I don’t normally read contemporary romance novels. In fact, it seems rare that I read books without any paranormal beings. I had heard about this book from the Romance Readers Reading Challenges group and I have to admit that I was curious. I didn’t know that J.R. Ward had used another pen name -- Jessica Bird. I must say that I like this incarnation of J.R. Ward. This is definitely a nice break from all those vampires, werewolves, and other assorted paranormal creatures I had been reading about. The edition I read was a reissue published in 2010. I would recommend reading the author’s note at the beginning of the book. It does give you some added insights into the characters and the writer’s frame of mind while writing this book. An Unforgettable Lady is the story of Grace Woodward Hall or the Countess von Sharone and her bodyguard John Smith. Grace is a wonderful character. She is from a wealthy society family; she is beautiful, smart, and a genuinely caring person. Grace is married, but she is separated from her good for nothing playboy husband. One word can describe John Smith: hawt! He is handsome, protective, dangerous, and sexy. John has a special ops background. John enters Grace’s life during a gala event where he is responsible for the security of an ambassador. There is an instant chemistry between John and Grace and they share a very hot kiss. When Grace’s life is threatened later on in the book, John comes highly recommended as a body guard. Grace decides to hire John and the delicious sexual tension begins.There is a long, long build up in this relationship. The sexual tension is exquisite. At times, I felt like I needed a cold shower. I really liked John’s character. John is conflicted. His military background made him aloof at times. Due to the nature of his chosen career, he has never had a long term relationship with a woman. He offers Grace a sexual relationship where he would satisfy her needs, but with no strings attached. When his job was finished, he would leave. John lets Grace ponder this situation to decide what she would like to do. Interestingly enough, this is where we see a little of the “Wardisms” come out – the possessiveness, the “mine”, the need to possess. John can not commit to Grace, yet he can not stand the thought of any man being interested in her. I found that I had guessed who the culprit was about 2/3 of the way through. And no, it wasn’t the butler!My only criticism of this book was the lack of any kind of showdown between Grace and her estranged husband, Ranulf. I find it odd that an estranged husband would not do anything once his wife’s life was threatened. Odder still, that they didn’t have a shouting match or any kind of confrontation at the end of the marriage. It seemed to all be handled rather impersonally by the lawyers. The novel had an entirely different feel from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books, yet in a way, some of her “Wardisms” did manage to slip in. I didn’t mind; I liked that series. I think I like this book more. I really enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to getting my hands on An Irresistible Bachelor for more of this side of J.R. Ward.