Rating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Detective Brian Callahan is on the hunt for bad guys. He and his partner have a tip that a stripper named Angel knows their current mark. Only, this time, the strip club is all male and “Angel” is an attractive Puerto Rican man.

Angel has a tip for his sexy cops—and it rapidly leads to apprehending the bad guy. Still, Brian is intrigued by Angel and wants to catch up on his off-duty hours. Angel calls him with an offer for take-out at Brian’s place and he accepts. From there, Angel (also known as Jose) pretty much makes himself at home. Angel is studying to be a massage therapist and he is happy to brighten up Brian’s spartan apartment, have hot meals ready for him, and be a part of Brian’s life.

Unfortunately, this story seemed to be on fast-forward, with one-dimensional characters. Angel is all suave and savvy, dropping the barest of Spanish endearments and flirting Brian up from the start, while Brian is clumsy, awkward, and tongue-tied. He was smart enough to make detective, but seemingly not actually any good at detecting, yet he cracks a double homicide and two cold cases in a single day. Angel was essentially homeless and bumming lodging with Brian while their attraction grew. Their connection was supposedly physical, yet I struggled to find any real chemistry. Was Angel really interested in Brian, or was he a convenient mark? My crumpled dollar bills were on the latter, and yet Brian essentially gives this stranger free rein in his home and life after one brief conversation in a strip club.

Ultimately, the plot was too conveniently managed, with the meet-cute leading to almost immediate shoot-outs we only hear about, and cases that got solved in about 17 minutes. There was zero tension, for me. The connection between Angel and Brian felt contrived, with a fade-to-black romance pushing all the tender moments off the page.

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