I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bare it All by Lori Foster
Series: Love Undercover #2
Published by HQN Books on April 30th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
As the person responsible for taking down a brutal human trafficker, Alice Appleton fears retaliation at every turn. No one knows about her past, which is exactly how she prefers it...until the sexy cop next door comes knocking.
Detective Reese Bareden thinks he knows what makes women tick, but his ever-elusive neighbor keeps him guessing like no other. Is his goal to unmask Alice's secrets? Or protect her from a dangerous new threat? One thing is certain: their chemistry is a time bomb waiting to explode. And with no one to trust but each other, Reese and Alice are soon drawn into a deadly maze of corruption, intrigue and desire-and into the line of fire....
This story picks up the next day after the end of the previous book where Alice Appleton, Reese Bareden’s mousy next door neighbor, saved his life, along with his partner Logan Risk and his boss, Lieutenant Margaret Peterson. Reese’s apartment is now a crime scene and he has no choice (yeah, right) but to sack out on Alice’s couch. As strange as Alice behaves, Reese is drawn to her physically and emotionally, even though it is obvious that she is hiding from something or someone.
Reese is 6 and ½ feet of blond, green-eyed brawny male and makes no bones about what he wants from Alice and can’t help but feel protective of her. She is also very much attracted to him but something from her past experience is holding her back, but not for too long. Throughout the story, you could feel that something was brewing and knew Alice’s past would inevitably crash around them and converge with Rowdy Yates’ plans to enter into a risky business venture involving people connected to her past (Rowdy is Logan’s soon to be brother-in-law).
What fell short
While this is an interesting story, it followed the same pattern as the last book. The first half is a lot of back and forth between Alice and Reese as the suspense is supposed to build. But, it plods instead at too slow a pace. The last half of the book is much more exciting and I wish it hadn’t taken so long to get there. I also found Alice’s character to just be bizarre, one moment a frightened and withdrawn young woman and the next an aggressive tiger. I got whiplash trying to keep up and figure her out. In the end, I just gave up.
The bottom line
There’s plenty of steam and ultimately lots of action. I really like these characters, even odd Alice, the dynamics between them and the romance. I plan to read the next book when it’s released and recommend this one but can’t round my 3.5 stars to a 4 because the suspense aspect just didn’t meet my expectations.
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