A Convenient Proposal

A Daughter's Place

The Fourth Child
Matthew’s Children

Perfect Partners?
by C. J. Carmichael
(Harl. Super #1611, $5.50, G)  ISBN 978-0373-71611-1
Here is a category romance that reads more like a contemporary story.  Perfect Partners? is the story of two ex-police partners who team up again as private detectives and find love.  I enjoyed every minute of this tale.

Lindsay Fox hated the red tape of the department and after almost succumbing to lust for her partner, she decided to go on her own and open up her own agency.  She is so successful that she advertises for help.  Lindsay has some demons of her past to slay and she is basically a workaholic on her way to becoming an alcoholic, but she likes her life and is happy…or so she thinks.

Nathan Fisher is from a family of cops.  His dad died in the line of duty.  He was a good cop, but got caught up in some ugliness and even though he was cleared, he didn’t like how the department treated him.  He resigned.  Now he finds himself answering the ad to work for his former partner, a woman who was unlike him in almost every way, but who he was also attracted to.  One night on a stakeout they almost made out, but the perp came just in the nick of time.  Yet he never forgot that night. 

Nathan comes to Lindsay with the offer of a partnership.  They negotiate a compromise.  They will try the partnership for six months and see what happens.  They work well together.  Nathan loves the deskwork while Lindsay is more of a field agent.  It looks like a match made in heaven.  He even brings a case with him:  a woman supposedly shot her husband and now has no memory of it.  The husband wants a divorce and their daughter is hiring Nathan to prove that this is all nothing.  She wants her parents back together and knows there is more to the story. 

The investigation moves along but this hits just a little too close to home for Lindsay.  Her father shot her mother and almost killed her as a child.  Her sister coming into the room caused her father to turn the gun on himself.  The two girls are close today and are both dealing with their periodic neuroses.  Lindsay keeps pushing people away from her, refusing to let anyone get close. She fights her nightmares with booze even when her sister tells her what she is doing.  Nathan doesn’t know the history but knows there is something.  He cares enough to try to figure it out; thus we have love and we have conflict.

This story moved well and the other characters added to the reality of the story.  There is a new receptionist, Nadine, who it turns out has secrets of her own.  There is the story of this family and there is the backstory of Nathan’s troubles.  It all adds up to a much more complex tale than normally found in a Superromance story.  This story was not just readable, it was engaging and detailed.  It provided a feeling of really knowing these characters and wanting to get to know more.  And the romance seemed real, since it was based on feelings developed over a long period of time, even though their partnership was only a few months.

Perfect Partners? is darn near the perfect book and comes highly recommended.  

--Shirley Lyons

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