Chased by Moonlight
I’ve certainly come across the Investigator in Love with Lead Suspect plotline before, but Chased by Moonlight puts an interesting spin on it. The characters are strong, the story dark and twisty, and the overall result largely works. This is a very unique series, which is no easy thing to do in this paranormal-glutted market.
First of all, be warned if you read this novel without having read its predecessor Masked by Moonlight, that you’re stepping into the middle of the action. And if you keep reading this review, you’ll be getting spoilers for that book. Unlike many romance series, this entire trilogy follows the relationship and adventures of a single couple – Charlotte (Cee Cee) Caissie and Max Savoie. Fortunately for readers, Cee Cee and Max are the sort of couple one wants to read about more than once.
Max and Cee Cee got together during the first book, but the romance plot is most certainly not finished. This book takes their relationship through some difficult trials, and readers really get to see them grow as a couple. On the surface, I couldn’t help thinking of J.D. Robb’s In Death series when reading these books. After all, Cee Cee is a cop and Max is a businessman with a shady past, who at times ends up being a suspect in Cee Cee’s investigation. However, the similarity basically ends there as the characters have very different backstories – and then there’s that paranormal element.
Max is heir to a business with a shady background, to put it mildly. He was rescued from the swamps of Louisiana by crime boss Jimmy Legere and he worked for Legere until he was killed. Max now faces the task of commanding the loyalty of Legere’s people and deciding what to do with the network he now controls. When the daughter of a New Orleans politician is brutally raped and killed in a manner that Cee Cee recognizes as the work of a shifter, she cannot help placing Max on the suspect list. In addition to his shapeshifting, his recently deceased mentor had been a political enemy and target of the dead girl’s father. Cee Cee wants to believe in Max’s innocence, but as the investigation continues (and additional deaths occur), she cannot justify leaving him off the list of possible suspects.
Not surprisingly, this turn of events strains her new relationship with Max. Given his background in some less-than-legal enterprises and Cee Cee’s calling as an investigator, the two have enough tensions to deal with. Adding in the murder investigation and the suspicions concerning Max does not help matters. The two go back and forth in terms of who is able to trust whom and, while sometimes frustrating, these scenes certainly make sense. In addition, as the couple goes through these struggles, one can see them really grow and their relationship deepen to a point that one does not often get to see in a traditional romance featuring a couple that meets and then gets together over the span of a few days. It was a pleasant change, and I enjoyed seeing a couple at a different point in their relationship.
Also thrown into the mix is Max’s search for information about his background. He accepts that he has special gifts as a shifter, but knows very little of his heritage. His quest for this information takes him into some dark places and this, combined with the murder investigation plot, make for a very action-packed novel. While the tensions between Max and Cee Cee make sense, each of them at times engages in over-the-top gestures that didn’t enhance the story for me. Given that their actions involved some less than intelligent choices for a murder suspect and some…er…rather unique on-duty behavior for a cop, I did occasionally get jerked out of the story.
However, even as I found myself shaking my head in disbelief over some of the characters’ actions, I also really enjoyed the story. Even more importantly, I found myself wanting to follow the ongoing relationship between Max and Cee Cee. The next book comes out in August, and I am anxious to see what adventures the future holds for these two.
I enjoy spending as much time as I can between the covers of a book, traveling through time and around the world. When I'm not having adventures with fictional characters, I'm an attorney in Virginia and I love just hanging out with my husband, little man, and the cat who rules our house.