I was warned that this was a middling romance. Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ does some pretty great character’s and character relationships, but sometimes the situations she puts them in are ridiculous and cringe worthy.
From Amazon: Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.
As with most SEP romances, the future couple starts off on the wrong foot. The man is hostile, but then begins to manufacture reasons why the woman has to be around him, despite the initial claims of loathing. One of her signature moves is that the hero falls for the heroine because she is plucky and stands up to him. That part is entertaining. It isn’t new, but SEP still makes it entertaining. I liked Coop and Piper together, once I got past my initial annoyance at “Emerelda Crocker.”
The mystery around Coop, and the shenanigans Piper drags him into are less entertaining and more exhausting. They are also a lot less believable. This is where SEP starts to wear thin for me. I know it’s a tiny detail, but SEP’s use of INS instead of ICE when talking about immigration enforcement made me nuts. It’s been ICE since 2002. It’s indicative of how out of touch SEP is with daily life today. There were a lot of times when part of my brain screamed, “it doesn’t work like that!” It creates a temporal dissonance to have the INS and drones existing at the same time. Other annoyances would be too spoilery, so I’ll just warn you that they exist and your mileage may vary on this book.
This is not a book for which you should pay full price. Borrow it from the library, pick it up on the dollar table. I got it on sale from Amazon for $1.99 and I feel ok about that. It’s a mostly fun read if you don’t think too much about the details.