Rating: 4 stars
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After hearing the news that Sheriff Dillon DePriest has been murdered in a whorehouse in Mesquite, US Marshal Jubilee Mason leaves immediately to start his own investigation into the murder at the request of the widow and the Mesquite sheriff. Not too long after his arrival, Jubilee discovers that Dillon had uncovered an underground child sex slavery ring and was murdered attempting to protect one of the kids.
Ending the slave ring requires an undercover operation, and no one is more experienced than narcotics Detective Kieran Fox. When Jubilee asks Kieran to go undercover, he hesitates only because of the effect that kind of job has had on their relationship in the past, but accepts in order to find Dillon’s murderer and to rescue the imprisoned children.
Uncovering the multiple layers of the slave ring takes time, but neither Jubilee nor Kieran allow it to come between their newly rekindled relationship. But in the back of their minds they know that something has to change in order for them to continue on and form the loving family they long for. New love blossoms all around them even as danger lurks behind almost every corner, threatening Jubilee and Kieran’s newfound happiness.
Last Dance is the fourth book in the Orgasmic Texas Dawn series by A.J. Llewellyn and D.J. Manly. This series is best read in order from beginning to end, otherwise the past events will only confuse you.
This book is by far the best in the series. It still has noticeable problems, but the story is the best out of the four so far. All around – the characters, their relationship, the mystery – it was just a better story.
This is the first time that I actually felt a real connection between Jubilee and Kieran. They finally became a couple in my eyes while reading this story. Yes, they still have a lot of sex and most of their conversation is dripping with double entendre and cheesy sexual innuendo. But their relationship has finally, finally become more than sex. Jubilee is coming to realize that remaining in the closet will only serve to damage any type of relationship he wants with Kieran. He’s seems stronger and more in control of his life, not caring what other people think. Kieran is more understanding of Jubilee’s position and his choices. They are protective of each other as well as Jubilee’s family. And Kieran is accepted as family by Jubilee’s sister and nephews. They are not only forming a relationship, but a family.
Both the romance and procedural drama/mystery is the best in the series so far. I like the change in direction from drugs to human trafficking. The undercover operation is entertaining. The addition of Darlene and Sunny’s relationship is strangely appealing, and Sunny’s story is funny and quirky and sad. But like I said, there are still noticeable flaws. There are some confusing aspects involving a religious cult and the slavery ring and Pauline’s new boyfriend (she’s Jubilee’s sister) that could have used some more detail to avoid eye-brow-scrunching confusion. Also the details from book to book aren’t consistent. Pauline’s boyfriend was a lawyer in the previous book, but in this book he’s a chiropractor. Earl, who was in the first installment, was the villain in that story, but described as more of a victim in this book. And finally I’m not sure what to make of the part of the storyline that involved the FBI most wanted criminal turned call girl. It had absolutely nothing to do with the storyline and had no real impact on the outcome of the story.
Unfortunately, I can still see the difference in authors through the characters they write. Some of the words used by Jubilee aren’t words I have ever heard in the south and I’ve lived here my whole life. Although, I will concede that Jubilee finally sounds like a more intelligent person in the past couple of books. There is still quite a bit of repetition in the description of events that happened in the previous chapter as if readers hadn’t just finished reading the scene being described. It’s still frustrating and still annoying, but easier to forgive due to the better storyline.
I feel that if the series were to end with this book, it would be on a high note. Kieran and Jubilee’s relationship is finally solid. The story was good. And the overall feel of this book is so much better than the rest of the series. However, this is not the end of the series, and I don’t know how I feel about that. The lack of consistency is the one thing that keeps me from wanting this series to continue, but since it is, I will continue on in hopes that it continually progresses as it has the past couple of installments.