Series: Fatal Series #1
Published by Carina Press on June 21st 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career--and her confidence--after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O'Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O'Connor's friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case. Sleeping with a material witness is another mistake she can't afford--especially when the bodies keep piling up.
I haven’t read anything in this series before, so I thought I’d give it a try since the newest one is coming out. This one was… it was just ok for me. I had some issues with the characterizations of both Sam and Nick, and there was a whole lot going on here. A lot of threads to keep straight.
Sam and Nick had one night together six years before this book opens. Through a series of manipulations on the part of Sam’s roommate at the time, who she later married, they didn’t see each other again after that one night. Until Nick’s boss and best friend, US Senator John O’Connor is found murdered and Sam is assigned to the case.
The connection between the two of them hasn’t lessened. Sam is now divorced from that guy, so they’re both single and quickly discover the ex-husband’s machinations. But they can’t be together right now because Sam is investigating the Senator’s murder, and Nick, as his best friend, the person who discovered the body, and beneficiary to his will, has to be considered a suspect. At the very least, he’s a witness in this case. All of which makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is for Sam, who is already dealing with scrutiny at work and in the media due to a high-profile screwup, to go ahead and ignore all that and get involved with Nick anyway. She knows all this. She tells this to Nick repeatedly, yet still starts sleeping with him.
And she doesn’t just get involved with him romantically. She takes him with her to see suspects and witnesses. She lets him sit in on interrogations. I am obviously not a cop, but I’d think a defense attorney would have a field day with a civilian having so much access to the suspects and evidence in an investigation.
And Nick… Well, I’d think he would want to stay away until the investigation was over, too. This is his best friend who’s been murdered. I can’t believe he’d intentionally act in a way that could negatively impact the investigation. Plus, he seems to really not understand what Sam being a cop means. At one point, someone opens fire at them, and she pushes him to the ground and returns fire. Afterward, all he can do is yell at her for insulting his manly pride by pushing him to the ground. Pushing him, the unarmed civilian, to the ground so she can do what she needs to do as a cop and disarm the shooter. “It makes me feel like a useless, dickless moron.” What exactly was she supposed to do? Take her gun and hide behind his big, strong, unarmed manliness while the shooter kept shooting? Hand him her gun and ask him to protect her? It doesn’t even make sense for him to be pissed. It didn’t even have anything to do with her feelings for him. It didn’t matter who was standing there, she was going to push them out of harm’s way and try to disarm the shooter.
There were a lot of shades of Eve Dallas and Roarke here, but a little less of their charm. Sam comes across as very wishy-washy, unable to control her own impulses. She lets Nick walk all over her, insisting on being a much bigger part of the investigation than he has any right to be, legally or morally. I’m also not a huge fan of insta-love, and these two are exchanging “I love you”s in less than a day. Their encounter six years ago was only one night, so that counts as insta-love for me. I liked it enough to read one more and see if any of these issues get worked out, but I don’t know if I’ll move on beyond that.