Not Without Proof
I have read several of Kay David’s Harlequin Superromance books and thought they were pretty good. They were much better than Not Without Proof. When I find myself more interested in the heroine’s explanation of how the diamond cartel functions than in her relationship with the hero, I know a book has fizzled in the romance department.
Jennifer Rodas works for diamond broker Ami Leonadov. One day Ami tells Jennifer that he needs her to accompany him to Rio de Janeiro since she speaks Portuguese. At the same time, The International Diamond Dealers Association approaches retired assassin Stratton O’Neill to uncover who has been killing diamond brokers and stealing the goods. They think Ami is the prime suspect. Stratton insists he is retired, but he eventually takes the job.
Ami is murdered and Stratton soon realizes that someone is playing a deep game. Not only is Jennifer in danger, but so is he and no matter how fast they run, they can’t hide. Stratton is forced to use the training that he has come to hate to protect himself and Jennifer.
Not Without Proof lacked excitement. I’ve read my share of romantic suspense novels that kept me up reading for hours even though my body was telling me to sleep. This one put me to sleep. Stratton and Jennifer lacked sizzle as lovers and their relationship was lukewarm at best. They were nice enough, but the very definition of bland.
Jennifer was good, decent and competent. She had spent years caring for her sister who had been paralyzed in an auto accident. She is attractive, but self-effacing to a fault and I never got a clear picture of her in my mind.
Stratton was a clichéd tortured loner who spent most of the book brooding about a terrible incident in his past. Said incident is not revealed to the reader till quite late in the book – and yes, it’s pretty terrible – but by then my feelings toward him had already been set. He’s boring and dull.
Kay David is usually a good writer, and I can recommend her series romances. But this book hasn’t got much to recommend it. There are some bonus features in the back – How to Pick A Diamond and a nice recipe for flan, but both were more interesting than the story. My recommendation is to go to a used bookstore, get some of Kay David’s older books, then make flan. And if you are rich, treat yourself to a nice diamond.