The first book in a new romantic suspense series finds a jewel thief and her FBI agent husband on conflicting sides of a big heist, as well as on the cusp of their one-year anniversary. I love this premise and I really wanted to like this book, but there are problems. Major problems.
The story starts in medias res with the heroine attempting to steal a jewel that’s personally very significant to her. It’s then revealed that she’s married to the FBI agent tasked with protecting said jewel. Penelope and Grant have been married for a year, but what’s the real state of that marriage? Do they like each other? Do they love each other? Do they both know what the other one is up to? If you expect to get answers to any of those questions in anything like a timely manner, you will be sorely disappointed.
How exactly Pen and Grant ended up married is told through flashbacks sprinkled throughout the book. Flashbacks can be difficult to employ but, when done well, can be used to strengthen and bolster a story. The flashbacks in this book do the opposite and hamper everything. I hate being in the dark when the story doesn’t necessitate it but the structure does.
It doesn’t make sense for a romance to not have established whether the main characters even like each other until hundreds and hundreds of pages have passed. If I’m going to need to wait for the big pay-offs, then I’m going to need some freaking breadcrumbs to keep me interested along the way. Some affection. Some longing. Freaking anything. I don’t feel like I got that. The most frustrating part is that the romance, when we finally get it, is goooood. It’s really good, but the foundation and structure is so bad that I had already given up on the characters before I was given any reason to root for them.
This book also fails to serve its heroine well on a number of levels. She has a weird relationship with her bff/ex-lover, Riker, that’s so damn uncomfortable and awkward. He treats her like a piece of crap, acts jealous about her marriage, ignores her work suggestions, and even talks for her when she’s standing right next to him (Grant does this too sometimes… argh.) She doesn’t stand up for herself either and It’s maddening. I almost threw my kindle at the wall at this gem:
“Riker was right. I don’t have any common sense. I’m not good at ordinary things.”
Jeebus. Fuck that guy.
The story also does Penelope no favors by being all tell and no show when it comes to her legendary heist skills. We’re told repeatedly that she’s a jewel thief extraordinaire, but we never get to SEE her do anything extraordinary. She hides in tight spaces and complains. She comes up with plans that her team doesn’t use. That’s about it. If multiple characters are going to spend a whole book telling me how awesome the main character is, I should be able to see that myself, but I just couldn’t do that here.
I’m at the point where I’m declaring Tamara Morgan is just not for me. This is the third book that I have read by her and there are always aspects of her books that I find intriguing, but something in the execution always tanks them for me. This book didn’t work for me at all and I have no interest in riding this roller coaster anymore, so I’m out.
Being married to a federal agent certainly has its perks.
1. I just love the way that man looks in a suit.
2. This way I always know what the enemy is up to.
Spending my days lifting jewels and my nights tracking the Bureau should have been a genius plan. But the closer I get to Grant Emerson, the more dangerous this feels. With two million dollars’ worth of diamonds on the line, I can’t afford to fall for my own husband.
It turns out that the only thing worse than having a mortal enemy is being married to one. Because in our game of theft and seduction, only one of us will come out on top.
Good thing a cat burglar always lands on her feet.
No excerpt available.