Published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Copy obtained from publisher for review.
When adrenaline runs high, so does the force of desire…
For Shay Appleton, it’s love at first sight when a gorgeous stray dog is brought into the animal shelter where she works. She just knows he’ll make a terrific watch dog—and with an abusive ex who won’t let go, she needs all the protection she can get. But Shay never suspected that her new pet is actually a trained police K-9 named Bogart—until Bogart’s even more gorgeous, human partner shows up on her doorstep.
Officer James Cannon is one tall, strong alpha male who’s convinced that Shay stole his dog. But once he gets closer to the suspect, he realizes that this stubborn, independent woman not only needs a guard dog, she needs James as well. It seems that someone from her past is stalking her, and threatening her life. When danger meets desire, will James risk his career and his best friend…to protect the woman who’s stolen his heart?
I wanted to feel bad for Shay. Afterall, she was a victim several times over. It’s just that she was closed off, high-strung and exhausting. James was a freaking saint to stay around and try to form a relationship with her. I think it was his trained sympathy taking over in the beginning. Being a minor in psych and trauma studies, he had a level of compassion ingrained that he just couldn’t ignore.
I enjoyed James’ character. When he takes Bogart, his K-9 partner, on a search for an accident victim it was a glimpse into his professionalism. I really enjoyed the K-9 additions and seeing James and Bogart move about as a team. Not only is James a good cop, he’s also caring and funny. It’s too bad Shay is such a paranoid stiff, it’s totally lost on her.
What really turned me off of Shay was when she brings James to her apartment for the first time. She’s had a crazy, stressful day. She had an encounter with her ex, Eric, and then a threatening phone call. James shows up and she’s happy but still off. One would think she’d relax a bit in a cop’s presence and feel a bit safe. She does after some time but then she freaks out again.
The paranoia sets in and they cut their dinner date short. Fast forward to her apartment, James finally gets her to confide in him, she tells him everything that’s happened to her. The abusive ex boyfriend, Eric. How he is still coming around and won’t leave her alone. Her prior history with law enforcement as a youth, but she leaves out the recent threats. The walls are breaking down and then she snaps. She even hits James! She goes from ‘I was emotionally hurt at a kid and physically by my ex’ to being the one to hurt James. What the hell?
After she assaults James, she tries to seduce him. Make him stay the night and be with her. She’s mad that Eric always treated her like a whore but then she contradicts herself with James. She even think about what women in videos do while she’s seducing him. Is that not contrary?! At this point I’m at a loss. I just don’t understand Shay.
The whole scene didn’t sit well with me and that’s why I just can’t let it go as I write this review. I desperately wanted to take James under my care and find him a better woman to spend his efforts on.
Through all of Shay’s roller coaster emotions and decisions, we still have a pretty interesting suspense story. We don’t know who is stalking Shay and we don’t know why. She thinks it is Eric but then Shay even doubts he’d go that road. He is more of a hands-on sort and less likely to hire someone to get a thrill. When everything comes to a head, I’m still conflicted about events.
Shay lashes out at James once again, but then she’s excited to have him come looking for her to discuss and fix things. That’s when everything takes a bad turn and it is up to sheer survival on Shay’s part and good police training on James’ part to get them out of the mess.
The attempt to make Shay more human and with personality at the very end isn’t enough to wash away how she acted all the chapters prior. The attempt falls short. It’s too little, too late.
Read this book for a great K-9 cop and his loveable partner, Bogart. Don’t read it for the emotionally spirally woman who can’t figure out what she wants or needs from one paragraph to the next.