The P.I. Contest
The P.I. Contest is a typical series romance with a quick, breezy set-up: Two people both looking for a life change end up competing for the same job. There’s nothing terribly objectionable about it, but it’s not the type of story I’d run out and buy either; nothing sets it apart form the pack.
Kate Cooper finds out that her fiancé (and colleague at the NYPD) is cheating on her. She doesn’t need much time to think about what she’s going to do; she immediately quits the force and tells her former fiancé exactly what she thinks of him. Fortunately, her good friend Lindsay has already offered her a job at a detective agency.
Jay Savage has just lost his troubled sister, and is now the guardian of his nephew Eric. He loves his career as a commercial pilot, but it’s not really conducive to his new life with Eric, who seems to be struggling in school. Fortunately, his good friend Nathan has already offered him a job at his busy detective agency. Of course, Kate and Jay have been independently offered the same job. But all parties agree on a solution: Kate and Jay will work pro bono for a client who is looking for her biological father. Whoever solves the case gets the job. The client was adopted as a baby, but knows her biological mother, who has supplied three possibilities. Kate and Jay will need to track them down and get them to supply DNA samples so they can determine who the real parent is.
Kate is, of course, more qualified for the job. But Jay has energy and some good instincts, and he’s willing to work hard. Both of them soon find that they are attracted to each other, but their lifestyles don’t seem particularly compatible. Kate is very interested in starting a family, and she feels like her biological clock is really stating to tick. Jay claims to not want children at all. In a crazy moment, they have unprotected sex. Kate doubts she’ll get pregnant just from one encounter, but she desperately wants a baby. Jay has mixed feelings. He cares for Kate, and isn’t sure he can just walk away from a baby – even if he promised that he would do just that. Meanwhile, they are both working on the case and trying to figure out answers for the client, knowing all the while that only one of them can get the job.
From the start, I sympathized more with Kate. First of all, she got a raw deal with her boyfriend, and deserved someone who would appreciate her. But I also felt that she was obviously the person more qualified for the job. So much more qualified that there should not have even been a contest. People can look at fairness different ways, I suppose; to some, “everyone gets a chance” is fair. To me, rewarding the more qualified candidate with years of experience would be more fair. It’s also very evident that what Jay really loves to do is fly. I didn’t think he tried hard enough to make that work. He wants consistency for his nephew, sure. He’s also a single man who has been working as a pilot for years, and clearly would have the money to hire someone to help him out. I didn’t understand why he didn’t simply take a leave of absence, figure a few things out, and then go back to doing what he loved.
That said, there is nothing truly objectionable here. It’s just average. This is part of a three book series, the first of which featured the aforementioned Lindsay and Nathan (who both offered the hero and heroine jobs). for some reason, the next book (which has a heroine who is the agency’s receptionist and also an heiress) sounds more interesting to me. The P.I. Contest is really just a little too bland to bother with.
I've been at AAR since dinosaurs roamed the Internet. I've been a Reviewer, Reviews Editor, Managing Editor, Publisher, and Blogger. Oh, and Advertising Corodinator. Right now I'm taking a step back to concentrate on kids, new husband, and new job in law...but I'll still keep my toe in the romance waters.