The First Mistake by Merline Lovelace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
TBR Challenge 2011- General. This book has been on my TBR list since since March 2010.
I don't know why it's taken me so long to read this book. I'm so glad I signed up for the TBR Challenge 2011 over at Wendy the Super Librarian's blog (www.wendythesuperlibrarian.blogspot.com). Because of the challenge, I've been combing though my TBR lists for books I added prior to 2011. I can't even remember who recommended this romantic suspense, but they were right. It's very good.
This is the first book in the Cleo North Trilogy. It's followed by The Middle Sin and The Last Bullet. This trilogy has both romance and suspense, but the emphasis is on the suspense plot. Even though I tend to like books with equal emphasis on the two part, this book grabbed me and kept me eagerly reading. Perhaps it's because the character and relationship development are so satisfying even without the emphasis on the romance. (There are sex scenes, for those who want to know such things.) Cleo has an on again, off again relationship with a sexy FBI agent, Jack. Plus, while on the job as a bodyguard in Arizona, she meets an equally sexy millionaire. Both these men will figure in the following books. I'm assuming there'll be an HEA by the end if the trilogy.
The action and suspense were very good without being brutal or overly graphic. Cleo is a competent former Air Force OSI officer turned security expert who doesn't have TSTL moments, thank goodness. The way the investigation works, the rules followed, the inter-agency "cooperation," etc., all felt realistic. The author, a 23 year veteran of the Air Force, writes what she knows and it shows. She also writes with a sense of wry humor, which adds to the enjoyment.
I highly recommend The First Mistake as a fast-paced, enjoyable romantic suspense with a dose of reality and a touch of humor.
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