Not so long ago, I was having a debate with my sister – the lovely Violet Grey – about which categories of fictional leading men (men of the real variety being considerably more difficult to compartmentalise, not that they should be compartmentalised, I may add!) make us a bit…well, crazy.
How this debate came into being, I have no idea but all can say for sure is that there was way too much sugar and oestrogen involved!
Anyway, the aforementioned debate – somehow – led to me brazenly announcing:
‘If it’s not bodyguards or cowboys then I’m not interested!’ Don’t judge me.
Soon after, I was indulging in some long-held, borderline addictive behaviour A.K.A “perusing second-hand book stalls” when I picked up this book and realised the blatant and, unforgivable error in my giddy, sugar-fuelled statement.
How could I forget NERDS?
When it comes to nerds I was doomed from an early age, this being exemplified by the fact that my first crush EVER was James Spader as Daniel Jackson in the original Stargate movie. Ok, I said it. It’s out there.
So, standing there in the rain, surrounded by books (and only moderately useful tarpaulin), reading the blurb for Mountain Shelter, I was entertaining the nice book-seller lady no end by being somewhat beside myself.
Go, go, leading man checklist!
- He’s a bodyguard.
- and a nerd?
*flicks through pages*
- AND he owns a ranch?
- AND he lives in Colorado?? (I’ve got a thing about Colorado for some reason. I think it must be another Stargate tic.)
That was it. I had only one thing to say to this paper-based gentleman…
[Image: Marvel & Marvel Studios]
But did the Wanda-ometer explode in the face of this apparent perfection? Stay tuned.
Our Notorious Neurosurgeon:
Child progeny, Jayne Shackleford has waited her whole life for a pat on the head from her businessman-cum-oil baron father (yay, for good old-fashioned daddy issues!). By the tender age of twenty-eight, she is one of the leading Neurosurgeons in the world, her groundbreaking procedure that reunites stroke victims with their memories is incredibly successful and her pet-project home renovation is going reasonably – if nonsensically – well. Jayne is adulting like a boss! Yet, that pat on the head is still nowhere to be seen. When Venezuelan assassin extraordinaire, Victor Koslov, disables her top-notch security system with the intent of abducting her, all eyes turn to local-legend and potential-ransom-target daddy, “Peter the Great”. Knowing her father’s capacity for wading in and taking over, Jayne hires Dylan Timmons to keep her safe in these perilous and confusing times. However, her unexpected attraction to “the guy” with the horn-rimmed glasses makes things even more interesting than she could have anticipated.
Our Noble Nerd:
When Dylan Timmons – genius, games developer and all-round technical whizz-kid – gets a call about a damsel in distress with a seriously knackered security system, he is on the case. Dylan isn’t expecting his body guarding skills to be called into action. However, when Jayne offers to hire him, his intrigue over this talented, head-strong and vulnerable woman (who is almost certainly smarter than he is) seals the deal. This is a body he is quite happy guarding and if he has his way, he and Jayne will be getting to know each other a whole lot better when this is all over. But with assassin and would-be kidnapper, Koslov, upping the ante in increasingly unexpected ways, the rule book makes a swift exit out the window. If the only place that Jayne will be safe is Dylan’s mountain hideaway amongst all its quirky residents, then gosh darn it, that’s just the way it’s got to be.
My Two Penneth.
Needless to say (because it has been said…at length!), I was all over this premise. However, despite Mountain Shelter really grabbing me, life – as it is known to do – kept getting in the way. I didn’t feel that I gave it my full attention and I’m not prepared to give a review based on one half-arsed reading. So, I read it again. Yes, I read this book twice in close succession and I think just the fact that I could do that says something.
Much as I love a good strong-and-silent-bodyguard type (because let’s be honest, who doesn’t, right?), what sold Mountain Shelter for me – both times – was the quirk factor. I love that Jayne is a nerdy and bookish yet confident woman (a rare portrayal of the nerdy and bookish!) who has always struggled to find people that she can relate to. I love that, badassery aside, Dylan finds the world just one big sensory overload sometimes and has to retreat to his ranch/sanctuary for abandoned animals to get away from it all (and he’s a friend to the animals? Cassie, you’re killing me here!). I love that between the drama, gunshots and almost kidnappings, however successful they both may respectively be, they’re just nerds at heart geeking out over signal jammers, OR equipment and 3D printers. It makes my nerdy little heart sing nerdy little songs!
Honestly, there is almost nothing that I disliked about this book. It might as well have been written for me! If pressed though, I would say that my only minor disappointment was the ending. It tied up a little too quickly for my liking (where was the happily ever after epilogue? ) and the action nut in me wasn’t entirely appeased. However, guts and glory isn’t Dylan or Jayne’s style. They’re thinkers and that’s one of the many things that I love about them!
Mountain Shelter in a nutshell: If you want nerdery, cuteness and some classic bad guy action, then this is the book for you. It gets the Wanda seal of approval several times over.
Wanda-ometer rating for Mountain Shelter:
Happily Ever After:
Mountain Shelter by Cassie Miles is available from (but not limited to) the following retailers:
P.S. James, call me, yeah?