“A solid mystery and an engaging romance, however, several unrealistic elements and plot holes detract from the overall effect.
The murder mystery is well-developed from the initial gruesome discovery of the corpse through the questioning of suspects and the ultimate revelation of the killer's identity. Unfortunately, the secondary stories are not as well fleshed out. There is a significant lack of detail concerning Sam's past relationships with Nick and with her ex-husband as well as the events leading up to her return to active duty. This makes it difficult to follow the complex storylines and hampers the attempt to merge them all into a cohesive whole.
In addition, the way Sam is treated by the police higher ups is not true to life nor is Nick's insistence on seducing Sam when it is evident that there are ethical issues with her job. These circumstances required me to suspend my disbelief more than should be necessary in a romantic suspense novel.
That said, the characters are strong and likable. Sam is a take no prisoners investigator but still manages to maintain important connections with friends and family - her banter with her partner, Freddie, is one of the highlights of the book. Nick is a loyal and honorable friend but also an imperfect hero who struggles with the idea that Sam is a skilled detective capable of handling herself in dangerous situations. They have great chemistry but their "I love yous" are a little too quick and saccharine sweet, especially considering this is only the first book in the series.
Despite the above mentioned issues, this is an entertaining read that hooks you from the start and is difficult to put down. ”