Falling for Him, the latest entry in the Count on a Cop series, is a
taut police tale of a dedicated cop suspected of evidence-tampering
following the death of her partner. As such, it works admirably. As a
romance, it leaves more to be desired.
Detective Claudia Parrish still mourns the death of her partner, Frank, a
man who was also her lover. Frank died under a cloud of suspicion, an
apparent suicide, and Claudia carries guilt over his death because of a
quarrel they had on the night he died. Frank had been under investigation
for possibly destroying evidence, a crime Claudia is sure he didn't commit.
She's also pretty sure his death wasn't a suicide.
When Claudia is assigned to work with a new partner, Detective Gavin
Monaghan, her defenses rise. She doesn't want a new partner. Especially
not one who has spent the last year chauffeuring for the commissioner. But
Gavin isn't quite who Claudia thinks he is. He's really working for the
Internal Affairs department, who now want to investigate Claudia. Seems
that evidence is still conveniently disappearing, and the top brass think
Claudia may have taken up where Frank left off.
Gavin soon has misgivings. He'd originally worked on Frank's case, but
asked to be taken off when he couldn't justify the investigation. Now he's
working with Claudia, and falling for her, as she is for him. What will
happen when she finds out who he really is?
The author obviously did a lot of homework into police procedure. I was
caught up in the intricacies of the investigation, and the action is
fast-paced, the dialogue realistic. Gaving and Claudia definitely could
talk the talk.
What didn't sit well for me was the romantic entanglement between these
two. Oh, the attraction between them is believable, with more than
adequate sexual tension. But Claudia gave me some trouble. For starters,
she's already slept with one partner, and the ethical and professional
issues behind this are glossed over, with a weak explanation of "We decided
to keep it professional". How professional could that possibly be? It
didn't work for me. So what does she do? Falls into bed with her new
partner. I realize that a staple of romance fiction is the "overcome by
passion" scenario, but you'd think this woman would have learned something
from her previous mistakes.
Or maybe it's that she never seemed to think sleeping with her partner
was a mistake. At any rate, the whole setup bothered me. The novel
might have fared better if Claudia and Gavin hadn't consummated their
relationship until the case was resolved and they were no longer partners.
As it was, I had little faith in their romance, which felt underdeveloped
and tacked-on, and I began to wonder if Claudia would end up in bed with
any man she partnered.
If you like your romance with a heavy dose of action and a touch of grit,
Falling for Him may be just what you're looking for. Readers who
like a story focusing more on the romance may want to steer clear.