Reviewed for Evie at www.Evie-Knight.com
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via RT Con 2013.
Let me start by saying that I didn't realize that Fatal Affair was romantic suspense or romantic thriller. I don't really care for those types of book because I think I use a different part of my brain to enjoy romance than I use for mysteries or thrillers. Can you imagine how pleasantly surprised I was when I actually started enjoying this book?!? I'm going to try to keep this relatively short because I could probably go on and on about what I liked about this book!
Okay, so there's Sam. Sam's a Detective Sergeant with the Washington, D.C. police department. She's just coming back from administrative leave after being in charge of a devastating shoot-out that ended a young boy's life. It wasn't her fault; Sam didn't do anything wrong. But it WAS her call to make and a kid died because of it and she can't forgive herself. Neither does the young boy's mom or the general public, if the press is to be believed. So when the murder of a senator is assigned to her, she knows she going to have to do everything by the book AND to solve this one quickly. I really liked Sam. I thought that she had an awesome mix of toughness and vulnerability. Any tougher and I would have been thinking that no man would be equal to her, you know? If she would have been too vulnerable, I'd have been wondering how she'd survived so far!! But Sam is just right. I love the relationship she has with her dad. He pushes her to do more for herself but doesn't become nagging or irritating. You can see the love between them and I thought it was really sweet! Plus, the banter between Sam and her partner, Freddie, is fricking hilarious! I could actually picture what they would look like, hassling and taunting each other! I couldn't get enough of them together.
Then there's Nick. He was the chief of staff (I think?) for the senator but he knew Sam from before the murder. They had a little one-night stand a few years back that they BOTH wanted more from. But because of some nasty, deceitful behavior by Sam's jealous ex, they weren't able to reconnect again. Needless to say, Nick was blown away when he saw Sam again but he's also grieving since the senator was not just his employer, but he was also Nick's best friend since they were kids. So it was very clear what a kind, upstanding guy Nick is right from the start. It was also a lot of fun to watch Nick slowly pull Sam out of her shell and to see her being able to lean on Nick every once in a while. But it was heartbreaking to watch (read) Nick coming to terms with the fact that he didn't know his best friend as well as he thought he did. The only real complaint about Nick was that he didn't know when to quit. I know that it's supposed to feel like he loves her so much that he won't let her pull away from him. But to me, he should have known that she would have problems at work because of their love affair. Even if you want to try and say that he didn't know that (even though she said that to him several times), he should still have respected her enough that if she said, "I can't do this now", he would have let things cool off until the case was solved. She actually suggested that they could explore their relationship after the case was over on several occasions. But he kept persisting and coming on to her and looking at her when he shouldn't be and being more protective and territorial than he should have been. I hate to say it, but maybe Nick needs to learn that no means no?
I really liked Sam and Nick together. It was so sweet to see them leaning on each other for support and for friendship. I wasn't super thrilled with how protective Nick was since Sam was a police officer and deals with dangerous situations every day. On the other hand, I sort of DID like how protective he was because I kind of like a dash of man-saves-woman. It also provided a little bit of humor for the book and you know that I love humor in my romance novels.
Overall, I think I would recommend this book. It's not without its flaws but I couldn't find anything major that drove me insane. My favorite part of the whole book was the characters! All of them! Sam and Nick were great, I loved Freddie (Sam's partner) and Sam's dad, and I even loved Sam's work enemy, Lieutenant Stahl. Well, loved to hate him at least! This was really well written, if a little slow in the middle. But if you like a good mix of romance and mystery, you're going to really enjoy this book.