Perfect Timing should appeal not only to women, but to men. How could it not when it involves flying, sci-fi-entific jargon, governmental conspiracy, murder, and greed? All that, and romance too. This is a decent read, but a confusing one in that the set up takes far too long. Eighty pages went by before I realized why Russian scientists stuck in Siberia and a murky fringe group were a part of the mix. Eventually, everything makes sense, but some readers might have given up already.
Cherish Malone is an engineer/P.R. rep for the Marquis company, a sub-contractor for Reck Enterprises. Her company has designed a revolutionary wing for a new airplane Reck is building for the government. 18 months hence, she had been on a test flight on the first prototype, which had crashed, killing many, and leaving her with nightmares and a fear of flying. It had also given and taken away the man of her dreams – Conor Mitchell, ph.D. fly-boy, pilot of the flight, who had rescued Cherish and co-pilot Alec Porter when the plane crashed and burned. Cherish and Conor had fallen immediately in love, but he left her at the altar just six weeks later, when the Air Force deemed the crash his fault. Since then she’s been writing him weekly venting letters as a sort of therapy.
Now Alec’s emailing her that he’s in danger and that she chose the wrong man, and she’s got no way of finding him – his emails are encoded. Now another prototype has crashed and Reck’s CEO is trying to blame it all on Marquis. Now Alec’s showing up at Conor’s place with a blond buzz-cut and happy-face contact lenses, telling him Cherish is in danger and that Cherish chose the wrong man. Now Alec’s strange girlfriend, whom he makes wear a blond wig to look more like Cherish, is sleeping with Reck CEO Russell Reck, over whom she exerts some strange influence. Now the government is saying Alec is a terrorist who downed the second prototype. Now Cherish and Conor must work together to figure out what’s really going on.
The story becomes more and more involved as seemingly separate scenes from the first portion of the book come together. To give more of the plot away wouldn’t really serve any purpose, so I’ll stop there. Intertwined with all this mysterious suspense is some decent romance, but it’s spaced out a little too little at a time. Conor’s background, his long relationship with Alec, and their connection with Cherish is an intriguing one. Conor has kept all her letters to him; and needs her even though he’s always been caretaker to those around him. Alec is convinced he loves Cherish. Cherish turns into a mass of hormones whenever Conor’s around, even though he broke her heart. Author Bicos keeps the sexual tension on high for the first three hundred pages, with heated kisses, near-misses, and spooning in bed to string the reader along.
Readers who enjoy romantic suspense with a focus on suspense might truly enjoy Perfect Timing, but those of us who tend to get lost with so many subsidiary action will feel frustrated. Setting aside the sci-fi sub-plot, there are some incredulous moments here – Conor’s inner thoughts sometimes sound like those of an English Lit professor, and I found it doubtful that a judge would have given 17-year-old Conor guardianship not only of his 12-year-old sister, but 12-year-old Alec as well, to whom he was not related. Still, Cherish and Conor are strong characters, and Alec makes a strong third character – weird contacts aside. The love Cherish and Conor recapture is well worth it, but one gets the feeling that the author could have pared some of the extraneous machinations out and the book would have been better.