I know I’m going to have a problem or two with a book when I get out a piece of paper to take notes about everything that is bugging me. This book started bugging me on page 21 when the heroine described herself as having a “keen mind” – UGH!
Maggie Malone, a private investigator, allows her stepfather to talk her into helping his son escape from jail. Maggie (remember she’s supposed to be “keen-minded”) agrees to this crazy scheme but only under the condition that she is allowed to look for the real criminals after her stepbrother is safely sprung from jail. Hawk Reynolds is on the trail of the same criminals for killing his family. He watches Maggie successfully effect Ben’s escape from jail, can’t quite figure out what’s going on, and conveniently arranges to run into Maggie one day when she is leaving a store. He is curious about what she is up to and has also become somewhat enamored of her while observing her in action. They meet and agree to become partners in their search for justice.
Maggie and Hawk don’t actually meet, however, until page 81 (remember the notes I started taking on page 21?). For me to even be mildly interested in a book, the hero and heroine have to start interacting pretty much right off the bat. If they don’t, everything else is usually downhill. I learned more about Maggie’s menses in the first part of the book than anything else. It seemed a particular obsession of hers.
The book got vaguely better after they (really) met, but Hawk and Maggie’s relationship just didn’t seem to have any fire. The reasoning behind their rather abrupt “marriage of convenience” was quite possibly one of the least convincing I have encountered. I also found it irritating that they frequently thought about each other in italicized language. If the italicized thoughts about each other had been turned into actual words between the two of them, the book would have been on a better track. There was too much thinking and not enough showing and talking going on.
Although there will be those out there who might like this book, I found it rather ponderous and limp-premised. I also really didn’t like it when they called each other “partner” after they made love. YUCK!
I have read and enjoyed many of Janelle Taylor’s books, but this one left me wanting. In particular, I would like to recommend another of her books, Passions Wild and Free. I read it years ago and can still remember the names of the main characters – I’ll forget Maggie and Hawk in no time at all.