My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 9 days (on and off)
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Pages - 336
Caroline Wallace is one of New Orleans PD's top hostage negotiators, and she's never failed to get every hostage out alive. But this time, it's different. This time, the hostages include her boss - the chief of police - and the mayor. And this time, she's trying to negotiate with Reed Ware, a former co-worker who left the force disgraced, under investigation by Internal Affairs, and worst of all, considered to be volatile and extremely dangerous. As police snipers arrive on the scene and manage to get a clear shot of Reed, Caroline knows she only has a few moments left to persuade the hot-headed, reckless (and extremely handsome) Reed to let the hostages go and turn himself in before anyone gets hurt. When the SWAT team runs out of patience and launches an attack, Reed takes Caroline hostage and manages to escape with her in the chaos.
During the escape, Reed reveals to Caroline that he's uncovered corruption at the highest levels of the police department and New Orleans city government, and those involved will stop at nothing to keep him from exposing what he knows...including murder. Now, the normally cool, calm, by-the-book Caroline is forced to question everything she thought she knew about her job and her city and join Reed on the run...putting both her life - and her heart - in jeopardy.
Karen Robbard's is an author I have read once before, she mixes a high paced crime with romance and sex. This time we meet Caroline Wallace, a top police negotiator with the NOPD (New Orleans Police Department). When a cop goes rogue and holds hostage some of the cream of the crop of New Orleans in a mansion on Christmas Eve. Surrounded by bombs and ready to set them off unless his demands are met, Reed Ware, a top police officer who left the police force under investigation of Internal Affairs. What follows is a police chase, the unraveling of why Reed has done what he done, Caroline's job and safety is on the line as well as facing her past and old attraction to Ware when he was on duty for her family when she was a teen.
Well I must say, I was pretty disappointed overall with this story. Caroline seems like a competent negotiator, she recognizes the potential issues she may have when she realizes who the criminal is. Due to a crush on his when he was on police detail with her family when she was a teen and an awkward encounter, however she is an adult now and a professional. The story starts well, it has a good build up and the crime story is set at a good pace. However, once she is kidnapped and the next stage progresses it really, for me, went to pot. She goes from being a professional to almost like a lust filled teenager. A lot of the dialog is about how they brush against each other and how their bodies react and a cat and mouse game of I like him he likes me but we both pretend we don't ensues. Seriously, even if you were attracted to the "perp" your professionalism would keep you right, or the fact he kidnapped you or the fact he had held your father hostage with bombs would.
I think you would have to suspend all rational thought to get on with this book. There was far too much contradiction for me, from the professional to the in lust teenage behavior, to the I like him but will pretend I just don't care all the whilst in a situation where the police are hunting you, oh and you have been kidnapped.
I had enjoyed the last book however this one, for me, was just a bit ridiculous. The characters were more focused on fighting their lust for each other whilst there was numerous descriptions of their body reactions to one another. I wanted to know about the crime as it seemed like a really good story, however the bulk of the book, I felt, was all about Reed and Caroline and the friction and temptations they fought off. 2/5 for me this time.