Friday, April 8, 2016

Trouble With a Badge - Delores Fossen (HI #1629 - Apr 2016)

Series: Appaloosa Pass Ranch (Book 3)

A woman and baby on the run. A Texas lawman sworn to protect them both.

A tip about a serial killer's next target sends former big-city lawman Levi Crockett on a fool's errand. The willowy blonde he finds isn't the intended victim. But Alexa Dearborn is on the run and needs Levi's protection. So does the newborn she's guarding with her life.

With Alexa's WITSEC identity compromised, the Texas deputy is Alexa's best hope of survival. And although Levi isn't ready to trust her after the tragedy that tore his family apart, he'd never turn his back on the PI and baby girl in her care. Still, as a ruthless murderer stalks them, Levi finds himself fighting an even more powerful enemy: the dangerous desire bringing them closer together…

Good book that had plenty of action from the very beginning, along with a romance between two people who try to resist what's happening between them. In previous books, the characters have been dealing with a serial killer called the Moonlight Strangler. Alexa is a PI who has been trying to find him. In the previous book, a woman was killed by him and Alexa feels responsible. Complicating matters is the fact that the woman was the ex-wife of Levi's brother.

At the start of this book, Alexa has been under WITSEC protection, until her identity was compromised. Besides continuing her investigation into the Strangler, she got involved in helping a young woman who has a stalker. Levi gets an anonymous call offering information on the Strangler and heads off to meet the informant, only to discover Alexa instead, who is talking of a murder she witnessed and the baby she is protecting.

There's tension between them immediately, because Levi doesn't trust Alexa, thanks to her involvement with the Strangler case. Alexa accepts the distrust because she still feels guilty about her part in what happened. But Levi is a lawman first, and commits to protecting Alexa and baby Violet. However, neither of them can deny the sparks that are there between them. Over the next few days the attraction grows as they are forced into each other's company. Levi slowly loses his distrust, as he sees the lengths that Alexa goes to in order to protect Violet's mother. Alexa's guilty feelings are slightly relieved by Jax's acceptance of her presence in Levi's life. Both of them are a little freaked out by the strength of what they feel. The final scene at the sheriff's office is really good. I especially liked Levi's version of their moving their relationship ahead slowly.

The suspense portion of the story is fast paced and complex. Alexa has someone who is trying to kill her, and there are multiple possibilities. There is the man who is stalking her friend, and his anger at the way he thinks that Alexa is keeping him away from her. Alexa is also a witness against a man accused of money laundering, who has made no secret of the fact that he holds her responsible for "setting him up". And there is the Moonlight Strangler, who she is still determined to identify. There is also a US Marshal who she suspects of being dirty, and who keeps turning up at suspicious times. As attacks on Alexa continue to escalate, Levi and the others scramble to figure out who is really behind them. Options begin to narrow as the book progresses, and the final confrontation reveals all in a very intense standoff. There's an interesting and somewhat creepy resolution that pushes some things off to the next book.

No comments:

Post a Comment