Bachelor on the Prowl

Be My Baby Tonight

The Butler Did It

Can't Take My Eyes Off You

Come Near Me

The Dangerous Debutante

Escapade

  Everything's Coming Up Rosie

A Gentleman by any Other Name

Indiscreet

Jessie's Expecting

The Kissing Game

Love to Love You Baby

A Most Unsuitable Groom

A Reckless Beauty

The Sheikh's Secret Son

Someone to Love

Stuck in Shangri-La

Then Comes Marriage

This Can't Be Love

This Must Be Love

Too Good to Be True

Waiting For You
 

 
Mischief 24/7
by Kasey Michaels
(HQN Books, $6.99, PG 13) ISBN 978-0-373-77366-4
**
Mischief 24/7 starts with an interesting premise.  We meet Court Becket and Jade Sunshine both after their divorce, as well as during their initial meeting and hot, short courtship.  Each chapter bounces back and forth between now (post-divorce) and then (quick romance).

Jade Sunshine is a detective, an older sister, and the sole support system for her alcoholic, detective father Teddy.  She’s ready for someone to take care of her and care for her when she meets the super rich, very handsome hotel magnate Court Becket while serving a subpoena in his hotel’s bar.  Court and Jade fall into bed nearly immediately, letting lust and longing fill them while they tumble headlong into their ill-fated marriage.

Court’s first meeting with Teddy goes very badly. Teddy tells Court that Jade is his little girl and won’t leave him to marry Court and go off to live with him. Teddy is needy, selfish, and obsessive. After Jade and Court marry in Vegas, Jade finds Teddy recovering from a week-long drinking binge, and promptly blames herself for not being there to care for him. Teddy eventually coaxes Jade to come back to help him at the detective agency, driving a bigger wedge between her and Court.  When Jade gets badly beaten by an irate husband for uncovering his affair on the job, Court issues an ultimatum: he wants to be the most important man in her life.

Teddy hires Jade a divorce lawyer and the divorce proceeds. Jade throws herself into work, stops eating and walks around like a lifeless zombie. Teddy settles into investigating four unsolved cold cases that have plagued him since his police days. On the verge of solving the mystery, Teddy is found shot to death in his office and he’s suspected of murdering a beautiful politician’s wife on his last night alive.

Mischief 24/7 is the third in the series. Each of Jade’s sisters, Jolie and Jessica, have their own stories, complete with romances and some success in solving some of Teddy’s cold cases.  Court comes back to support Jade and together they start to unravel the mystery of the remaining cold cases and Teddy’s death.

Court and Jade’s interaction veers wildly from passion to regret to understanding while they run around town, tracking suspects and clues. They seem to want a future together, but have to wait until all of the drama around them dies down before they proceed.

I believe the big problem I have with Mischief 24/7 is the number of problems that made this story feel very cold and unbelievable to me.

I didn’t like Jade; she seemed wooden, dependent and she was constantly negative. Most of her interaction with Court consisted of her detailing how confused and upset she was. She never seemed to make a decision for herself, always following what someone else thought was best for her.  It’s hard to feel compassion for a person who refuses to take control of her own life.

All of the cold cases, which could have been an interesting part of the plot, were skimmed over completely. After reading the whole book, I still have very little idea of what the cold cases were, and why Teddy was so fascinated by them.

Court and Jade’s original courtship is much too rushed. While it is portrayed passionately, the reader doesn’t feel any passion coming from the quick, uncomfortable encounters where Court seems enthralled and Jade seems bored and unsure.

Court’s character is the only part of the book I really liked, he is warm, understanding and funny.  Unfortunately, he comes off looking like an idiot for being so singularly impassioned by a woman who doesn’t even know if she wanted him then or now.

Even with a good hero, Mischief 24/7 can’t be saved, and I wouldn’t recommend it. 

--Amy Wroblewsky        


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