Anyone looking at Mia DeNero would never guess she'd trained to become a bodyguard and has just opened up her own business, The Guardian Angel. Business hasn't been booming, so when a tall nerdy-looking man asks for protection, Mia leaps at the chance. The nerd is Nick Caruso, who claims to be a writer working on a book about the Mafia.

But Nick is really an FBI special agent who's trying to take advantage of Mia's close connection to the Russo family. The FBI suspects that Sophia Russo's brother, Alfredo Graziano, is connected to a stolen car ring operating in the area.

Nick soon finds himself very attracted to his pint-sized protector, as well as her eccentric family. But he's already skating on thin ice with his boss and if this operation goes south, Nick's career could be toast. Deceiving Mia is definitely proving to be hazardous to his heart.

Eccentric characters display bluster and nagging that hide hearts of gold. All the familiar characters from Criswell's tales make return appearances and add an affectionate familiarity to the story. Lighthearted and good-natured reading. (Jan., 325 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith