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Focus by Holly Bargo

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Professional photographer Dana Secrest has a secret and doesn’t even know it. When she storms from her best friend’s home on Christmas Eve-not the wisest decision she’s ever made – security contractor Sam Galdicar follows her to save her from her own hot temper and impulsive action. Upon arriving home, Dana discovers her apartment has been ransacked. Then an attempt is made on her life. She doesn’t know who’s trying to kill her or why, but Sam is determined to protect the woman whose eyes don’t need a camera to see the truth.

This enemies-to-lovers, billionaire romance contains some explicit content that may be unsuitable for readers under 18 years old.

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Not for the first time, I regretted the choice to move to Chicago. I ruminated over my freelance business and thought that I’d managed to accumulate enough in savings to tide me over for a few lean months. I was earning enough to move back home to St. Paris, a minute speck of a village in southwest Ohio. I’d grown up in St. Paris, where the still-depressed economy hadn’t recovered like most of the nation and property values were low. I could buy or rent a place for less than I paid for my cheap apartment in the big city.

And breathe clean air.

A hand landed on my shoulder and spun me around. I gasped, shrieked, and struck out with both fists. Unfortunately, I’d never learned how to fight properly, so my assailant had little trouble avoiding my wild blows and restraining me.

“Where in the hell do you think you’re going?” Sam Galdicar growled as I struggled against his grip.

“Let me go, you goon,” I growled back at the big, burly bodyguard to handsome, occasionally charming, and always domineering gazillionaire Bradley Vermont. His hands tightened and I sneered, “Or are you going to beat me like Brad beats Sonya?”

Either the words or the withering tone had the desired effect and he released me. I stumbled a step, turned around, and resumed walking.

“He doesn’t beat her,” Sam said as he fell into step beside me.

“Like hell, he doesn’t,” I retorted and muttered a profanity that insulted the man’s parentage and character and would have resulted in my mouth being washed out with soap if Dad were around to hear the vile words.

“He doesn’t isolate her from her friends and family,” he added, trying to soften my harsh opinion without success. “If he did, you’d never see her.”

We stopped at a crosswalk. I glanced at him. With his butter colored hair, square jaw, and cleft chin, he didn’t offend a woman’s eyes. His masculinity was rugged rather than pretty.


When a young photographer is in the wrong place at the wrong time, a handsome and confident security specialist is willing to do anything to protect her.

Dana Secrest, a photographer, and Sam Galdicar, a security specialist don’t particularly like each other. Sam is a personal bodyguard and head of security for a controlling and abusive Chicago billionaire, Bradley Vincent, who is married to Dana’s best friend Sonya. Dana’s dislike comes to a head when she tells Bradley what a selfish asshole he is and basically tells Sonya that if she has any self-respect left to divorce him. Shortly after the confrontation, Dana’s apartment is burglarized and Sam offers to take her home to Ohio. During the journey, they find out Dana’s life is in danger assuming Bradley is behind it all, but things don’t add up and it appears there is more to the story. Who is out to get her and can Sam keep her safe?

The main characters of Sam and Dana are well-developed and captivating which keeps the story interesting. Sam isn’t looking for a committed relationship considering he comes from a very dysfunctional and controlling family, and Dana is an independent, 25-year-old virgin from a humble background who hasn’t found a man worthy enough to be intimate with.  The attraction slowly builds while their dangerous circumstances take a surprising twist. In addition, there is an unfinished back story with Sonya, the abused billionaire’s wife, and her bodyguard Gordon, which in my opinion could have gone into more depth or had a separate book altogether.

Overall, this is a fast-paced, suspense-filled romance with a shocking twist.  If you like sensual antagonists and vile protagonists, give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Bargo for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Holly BargoHolly Bargo never outgrew a love of fairy tales, legends, and myths. Or horses. However, one foot must remain firmly planted in the real world where Holly makes her living as a freelance writer and editor. She and her husband have two grown children and live on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie indoor and outdoor animals.

Holly enjoys hearing from readers and other authors and may be contacted via the Hen House Publishing website.

When she’s not working on other people’s documents or reading, Holly finds time to transfer the voices in her head to paper … er … computer. If she doesn’t, there’s a definite possibility her mind will explode.

And for those who might wonder from where the pseudonym of Holly Bargo came, it’s quite simple really. Horses. Namely an elegant and temperamental Appaloosa mare who has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is fondly remembered for guarding toddler children and crushing a brand-new pager.

Follow Holly on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, Amazon, and Goodreads.


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