If there was ever a book with a lead-in that screamed take me home, it would be Undercover Angel. The heroine holding the hero at gunpoint in a contemporary? Sounds like a great way to start. Whoever wrote that blurb, great job! I would have found it difficult to sell this book so well.
Trish is an artist. She has a goal – to become a well-known artist in her lifetime. She has made the sacrifices. She has worked the long hours at a dead-end job to support her art. She has used up her personal savings. She has done everything in her power and yet has not been able to attract a gallery to give her the showing she needs. But Trish has a plan. She plots to get into the private club of Anton Gregory, a very influential art dealer, and somehow convince him to give her art a try. She hails a cab outside her office to head over to Anton’s club and finds herself having to force a reluctant cab driver to accept her fare. Only he is not an ordinary cab driver – he is Zach Tanner, and he is not what he appears to be.
Zach appears to be following Trish. He helps her get into the private club and he is there when she leaves after her fateful, and successful, meeting with her chosen art dealer. When Zach takes Trish home, she gets a good look at him and realizes that he was what she was missing in her art. He becomes her muse. She paints a nude portrait of him, and when the gallery owner sees it, Trish becomes an instant sensation.
For Zach and Trish, their developing relationship is a delicate thing. He wants her to stop dealing with Anton for reasons he is not willing to share. She doesn’t understand why he seemingly wants her to choose between him and her art – her art is something she has sacrificed so much for, and something she is not about to give up now. But things are not as they seem with Anton. Is he who he claims to be? All is explained in a vague plot line, filled with strange turns.
I liked a few things about this book. I liked how it began, and I liked how it ended. I liked the age differences in the hero and heroine. I liked the strange, artsy nature Trish had on very few occasions, and I liked the protective nature Zach had toward Trish. The intimacy between them is well done.
This book had several large flaws, however. One, the heroine was just a woman who waited for a man to protect her. She let either Anton or Zach tell her what to do at all times, as though she didn’t have a brain cell or a backbone of her own. For someone who gave up so much for her art, she sure let people walk all over her. Zach didn’t very much look like a hero – anything remotely hero-like was told through the eyes of the narrator. It happened, and then we, the reader, were told about it. The whole plot line was vague and clunky. From a cab, to Trish’s house, to a gallery, to a cruise ship, it didn’t stay focused, but hopped around, and there was much more explaining than showing. We didn’t see Zach deal with the bad guys, but only learned of his actions when he related them to Trish.
If you are like me, and peek at the last few pages of a book before you read it, you might be just as deceived as I was. Those pages had humor, sizzle, and pizzazz. They had two strong people hashing out their differences. They were the only really enjoyable moments of the book. As for the rest, all I can say is, someone did a damn good job choosing what to put on the inside cover. I bought it hook, line, and sinker.