Saving Mr. Perfect
What could go wrong when a jewel thief and an FBI agent get married? Well, as you might surmise, there is absolutely no end to the mishaps that are likely to befall such a couple. Still, if any two people can make it work, I’d put good money on Penelope Blue and Grant Emerson, the stars of Tamara Morgan’s Penelope Blue series. Saving Mr. Perfect is the second book in the series, so hurry up and read Stealing Mr. Right if you haven’t already done so before diving into this installment.
The story picks up six months after the end of the previous novel. Penelope is struggling to adjust to her retirement, but for someone who was once one of the world’s greatest jewel thieves, life on the right side of the law feels pretty dull. She and Grant are happy together, but Penelope can’t help but feel the tiniest bit of resentment toward her husband who is still able to do the work he loves. Grant works long hours for the FBI, leaving Penelope at loose ends, something she’s never experienced before.
Readers of the first novel will be familiar with Penelope’s back story. Her father was one of the greatest thieves of his time, and after he died, the teenaged Penelope began using the skills he taught her to become a master thief in her own right. Working with a small group of trusted friends, Penelope was responsible for a number of successful heists, which brought her to the attention of Grant Emerson, an FBI agent intent on learning everything he could about Penelope and her father. The two entered into a whirlwind courtship filled with flirtation and an enticing game of cat and mouse, which eventually led to their marriage and Penelope’s retirement from a life of crime.
Now though, someone is determined to frame Penelope and she’s desperate to put a stop to it. Grant is working just as hard to clear her name, but Penelope has never been one to sit by and wait for someone else to rescue her. Life on the streets of New York City taught her to be exceedingly resourceful, and she’s sure she can help Grant find out who is behind the spate of jewel thefts plaguing the wealthy residents of the city.
For his part, Grant would like nothing better than to shield his wife from the Bureau’s investigation, but he knows her well enough to realize that’s not possible. He reluctantly agrees to allow Penelope to use her stellar sleuthing skills to uncover the thief’s identity while he uses his professional contacts to stay one step ahead of both Penelope and the thief. If he can catch the copycat in the act, Penelope’s name will be cleared, and she’ll be in no danger. But Grant’s new boss complicates matters almost from the beginning. Christopher is far too interested in Penelope for Grant’s liking, and he seems to have an unusual amount of inside information about the recent robberies. Is it possible Christopher is the one framing Penelope?
The chemistry between Grant and Penelope is utterly fantastic and there were several occasions I almost felt the spark that exists between them. The physical part of their relationship got quite a bit of page time in the previous book, and I must admit to being a little disappointed to see almost none of it here. There was something very special about watching these two come together physically, and I would have loved to see them continue to explore that side of their relationship. We get hints that they’re still quite happy in the bedroom, but that wasn’t quite enough for me.
Some readers might find Grant’s marriage to Penelope problematic. How is it possible for a well-respected FBI agent to marry a woman responsible for some of the biggest robberies the bureau has ever seen without suffering any professional consequences? Ms. Morgan does explain how this works, but it does require the reader to suspend a certain amount of disbelief and be able to just enjoy the story for the light-hearted, action-packed romp it is.
While Saving Mr. Perfect doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor, it’s still a strong entry in a truly unique series. The leads are well-matched and I loved the way they worked together while still managing to match wits at every turn. There’s a great twist at the end that I never saw coming, and I can’t wait to see how the author will build on it when the last book in the trilogy comes out.