Under The Covers
A man and a woman who are virtual strangers are thrown into a situation where it’s a matter of life and death that they pretend to be completely in love. The possibilities are many, but they are squandered on an average and constantly aroused hero and a less-than-stellar but equally constantly aroused heroine in Under the Covers.
LAPD Detective Blake Hammond’s vacation to Hawaii – his first in three years – has just been cancelled. He is instead being sent undercover to a resort to nab a drug dealer. As if that weren’t enough to piss him off, there’s more to his unwanted assignment than that. The resort, Seaport Manor, is a honeymoon resort, so he and DEA agent Veronica “Ronnie” Carmichael will be posing as loving newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. St. Claire.
There is plenty of lust from the moment Blake and Ronnie meet, even though she is initially determined to keep their relationship on a working level. That proves to be impossible as their very cover forces them to be always affectionate with each other, and eventually their relationship becomes an intensely physical one as well. Soon enough, though, Blake learns of an incident in Ronnie’s past, one involving a less-than-professional relationship with her former partner that ended terribly. His doubts concerning the woman he has come to love must wait to be cleared as Blake and Ronnie get a chance to nab the suspected drug dealer and finally come face to face with everyone involved in the operation.
While there is sexual tension aplenty between Veronica and Blake from the beginning, other aspects of the book are lacking. For one thing, Veronica doesn’t come across as a very capable and experienced undercover agent although we are told she is. At first she is too easily ruffled by her partner. Later, particularly given her past and what her plans are for the future, her decision to get involved with Blake doesn’t speak well for her common sense. Then too, the finale of the book is abrupt and moves both characters off center stage. As a result, the epilogue seems tacked on.
While I have enjoyed Ms. Denton’s books before and am looking forward to her next one, Under the Covers didn’t work for me. It fits some of the complaints I have heard about the more steamy category lines – plenty of hot sex but a less than satisfying plot and characters.