BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Bea Reviews Don't Look Back by Christie Craig


Series:
Texas Justice #3
Read As A Stand Alone: Yes
Publisher: Forever
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: December 15th, 2020
Buying Links: Amazon* | Apple Books* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo |
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Christie Craig's thrilling romantic suspense about a by-the-book FBI agent who must trust a risk-taking detective for help tracking down her sister's killers -- perfect for fans of Kat Martin, Sharon Sala, and Brenda Novak!

FBI agent Brie Ryan's latest mission is personal. She's posing as a waitress at the Black Diamond strip club, the same club where her estranged half sister worked until she turned up dead. When Brie's undercover assignment is compromised, she turns to the only man she knows who can help her: Connor Pierce, a too-sexy-for-his-own-good, rule-breaking cop with a knack for solving cold cases.

When someone breaks into Brie's apartment, Connor's detective skills aren't the only things that kick into overdrive. Although his job demands he remain detached, now he finds himself tempted not only by Brie's beauty but also her intelligence and bravery. As the investigation-and their attraction-grows more intense, lives are in jeopardy, and Connor finds the most important rule he must break is his own. But can he put his heart on the line?


My Thoughts:

I didn't re-read the blurb before starting the book and I was about a hundred pages in when I did. I laughed and laughed so hard. Brie is so NOT a by-the-book agent. In fact, I described her in a tweet as a maverick. The so-called rule-breaking cop, Connor, was more by the book than she was. So, yeah. The blurb is not completely accurate. 

I read a book by Craig a few years that didn't wow me but when I saw this in Forever's newsletter, the blurb was appealing so I took a chance. This one was a much better fit. And now I want to check my local library to see if they have the firsts two books in this series. This worked just fine as a stand alone but my curiosity has been aroused about the prior stories. 

Brie comes from a very messed up family, very soap opera-ish. Connor's family was also messed up but not as much. Loyalty is a trait they share and both admire. Sometimes it comes into conflict with work expectations, and choices have to be made. There was good chemistry between Brie and Connor and while the romance moved quickly, it is a romantic suspense after all, it worked. The HEA was a little more sudden than I prefer but I think most romance readers will like it. I disliked that they had A Big Misunderstanding and that Brie was so resistant to discussing it with Connor. He made mistakes, yes, but Brie's refusal to discuss them or listen to him was frustrating. He jumped through hoops for her while she was less willing to be flexible. Apart from that, the romance worked for me; I think they are a good pair.

Though the book takes on some tough topics - human trafficking, drug use, murder - it was not a heavy story. There was a lot of hope. I did have a problem with Craig's use of ICE. That is a governmental agency that has serious image problem and has engaged in some highly questionable activities. There was no acknowledgement of any of that. They are portrayed as 100% good, and helpful, and never ever problematic. I don't know how Texans or police officers feel about ICE but it came off as very tone-deaf and unrealistic. I definitely had problems with their portrayal.

Overall, I liked the story and I do want to read more in the series. There were several connected mysteries, a few twists, romantic heat, drama, some humor, and romance. It was a fast paced story, lots of action, but also some nice characterizations. I'm a little in love with Eliot. I hope he gets his own story. I'll be back for more.

6 comments:

  1. If things are too unrealistic, even for fiction, they can be hard for me to read. I'm glad it worked well enough for you to want to read more in the series. Wonderful review!

    Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. I often have that problem too. While the book did have a few issues, it worked for me. Depending on how OCE is handled in other books, I may quit the series. I'll see.

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  2. I have the second book in this series and was worried that it would work well as a stand alone. It sounds like that shouldn't be a problem since you had no problem jumping in with this one. This sounds entertaining.

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    1. Yeah, I don't think you'll have a problem starting with the second book. This one was definitely entertaining.

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  3. This kind of story can be so fun and this sounds really entertaining. The thing about the by the book made me laugh. They are very rarely by the book in this kind of story!

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