Divorced, Desperate and Deceived
by Christie Craig
(Love Spell, $6.99, R) ISBN 978-0505-52798-1
This is my first of Christie Craig’s books and probably won’t be my last. She has a quirky style and Divorced, Desperate and Deceived falls into that genre of madcap, silly adventure romances. It isn’t great, it doesn’t break any new ground, but it is entertaining.

Kathy Callahan is the third member of the Divorced, Desperate and Delicious Club and the only one still single. Her two friends, Sue and Lacy, are happily married and happily pregnant. Their two cop husbands are nice guys, but Jason and Chase are just not Kathy’s cup of tea. She hates cops, for one reason. Her cup of tea is her plumber, Stan Bradley. For two years they have been flirting, teasing and generally playing the game. But nothing has happened yet, and Kathy has decided it is time it did. Her son is off with her skunk of an ex-husband on a trip to Europe. She has taken years to get over the scars he left her when he divorced her to marry an older woman – talk about a knock to your self-esteem. But now Kathy is ready to give Stan a run for his money.

Stan Bradley, though is really Luke Hunter, an undercover federal agent who has been investigating and infiltrating a mob-type guy named Lorenzo. Now Lorenzo is out to kill Luke and just as Kathy makes her move, the bullets start hitting the house. Luke escapes with Kathy in tow and the adventures begin. They take off in Kathy’s floral business van, which has her name and address plastered all over it. Now Kathy can’t go home. In fact, her friend Sue almost gets killed there. And she and Luke are stuck together until Luke can get orders from his one contact …who is not answering his phone. Meanwhile, the bad guys are coming.

We meet several crooked cops, mainly a state trooper named Foster. But the star of the bad guys is Joey. He is a big lug who is lovable, even though he has done some bad things. But he is now having a change of heart. Will he be able to help save Kathy or will he just end up dead along with her?

There were parts of this story that moved nicely and kept my interest. There were other parts that seemed to drag a little. This uneven pacing made it hard to stay engaged, especially in the beginning when so much backstory had to be laid down. The whole tale takes place in about three days, so there is a lot of dialogue to fill in the blanks. 

I really liked both Kathy and Luke. They were an appealing couple and their banter was generally cute. I really liked Joey and would have enjoyed a little more background on him. As it was, he was so integral to the story that it really didn’t matter what his real motivation was; it just would have been nice to have a little more than what was given.

There is definitely some violence in here and some readers may not like the cold-bloodedness of some of the actions of the villains. However, there is humor too; albeit a little sick. One of the funnier parts of the story involved a corpse hanging out in a porta-potty. You just have to read it to get it.

Humorous foreplay, hot sexual interactions and some honest exchanges make up the bulk of the romance between Kathy and Luke. There are a few secrets from the past that add to things, but are more distracting than not. Joey almost steals the show and his side story was very engaging. Overall, Divorced, Desperate and Deceived was a wacky adventure little romance with some unique twists.  

--Shirley Lyons

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