Lane Becker has been a thief since the age of fourteen, although not by choice. Being blackmailed for ten years by Hayrick Lesten turned Lane into a criminal and he’s about done with it all. Except, Lane wants to right some of his wrongs and that includes returning a priceless movie poster back to its owner. But Lane has to find exactly where the poster went and, in order to do that, he has to break into Hayrick’s home.
What Lane doesn’t count on is finding that Hayrick has hired a security guard. Quincy Holt is currently employed by Hayrick and he loathes it. Quincy’s career as a cop was ruined when he was presumed to be on the take, but he was undercover at the time, although off the record. Quincy went down hard and now he’s infamous in his small Oklahoma town. Quincy wants nothing more than to take down Hayrick and those connected with him and get his job back.
Quincy and Lane have instant chemistry, but now they are on the run from Hayrick as they sort through a mountain of paperwork to get the evidence they need. Both men have a lot to lose, including their hearts.
This book wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, or quite what I wanted it to be. This is the first solo book I have read from Rinda Elliott and being that she tries to set up a found family of cops looking to right all the wrongs, it was hard not to expect some level of the found family feel of her co-written series, and that didn’t happen here at all.
So much was just off for me from the start and when the basic framework of a story falters, it is difficult to recover from that during the course of the book. Lane was blackmailed as a child by Hayrick, who heads up a large underground fencing operation with million-dollar deals. The whole set-up with Lane was a bit flimsy. He’s blackmailed as a teen and then becomes a pro thief and never gets caught. It was a far stretch with not a lot of connecting details to support it. We are never shown any of his interactions with Hayrick and all we had was Lane saying how dangerous and scary Hayrick was, but there wasn’t much to back it up. Quincy was fired from the police force along with some close friends. He was unofficially undercover and of course the chief of police is dirty, so Quincy took the fall, but his story was also not as clear to piece together.
Both Lane and Quincy are supposed to be aces as what they do, yet they are so careless it became ridiculous. They miss obvious cameras and when they are on the run, they don’t really take many precautions against getting caught by a man who supposedly has amazing connections and is highly volatile and dangerous. When Hayrick is finally on page at the end of the book, he is then portrayed as a mustache twirling villain and the story just didn’t pull together for me. The base of the story was just off for me and it read like the larger plot line was an excuse to get Lane and Quincy in bed together. Because, from the moment they meet, they want to be all over each other even when they are supposedly on the run. So much of the story was glossed over in many areas and even when Lane is finally taking care of what he has wanted for ten years, it’s mentioned with the broadest of strokes. The meaning of the title is also wedged in toward the end and it was just another plot point to add to a long list that is off page.
I wanted to like these guys and I wanted to feel their chemistry, but it was more difficult to get past the larger storyline. The personal relationship here didn’t fit into the stolen property line well, so much of the story was told with only the basics given, and there wasn’t nearly enough shown to carry all that was going on here. There are a lot of characters here and their backgrounds were only haphazardly laid down for future storylines and I would have to see what was coming next to determine if I would spend my time reading forward in this series.