Series: The Company, #2
Published by Tuxbury Publishing on 1st December 2020
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Secrets, desires, and exquisite pie. It’s all in a day’s work at The Company.
Growing up, I was the rough guy from the wrong neighborhood who couldn’t catch a break. Posy was the pampered girl I tried to impress. But all she gave me was a single kiss before I had to skip town.Now I’m back, and the tables are turned. Posy runs a struggling pie shop. I’m the VP of a secretive billion-dollar security company.
Not that I can tell her. There’s a murderer on the loose in New York, and he seems to spend a lot of time at Posy’s shop. It’s my job to identify him before he can harm a hair on her pretty head.
Going undercover as Posy’s new barista wasn’t my idea. I don’t even drink coffee. But now I have to call her “boss,” and do everything the curvy perfectionist asks of me. I’d forgotten how much we infuriate each other, and that she somehow fills me with both irritation and desire in the same breath.
There’s nobody more skilled at stealth ops than me. I can bring this killer down. Right after I take a cold shower. And just as soon I figure out how to make a skinny peppermint latte with milk poured in the shape of a kitten...
‘Loverboy’ is a bit of an oddball, reading like a more ‘loving’ and dampened-down romantic suspense with cutesy moments minus the gore, guts and edge. It requires a mental shift really, as it tries to sit between a rom-com and a romantic suspense and I’d thought that if anyone could pull it off, it would be Sarina Bowen. The result is one that doesn’t quite punch above its weight, but that’s because I couldn’t quite get over its strangeness and the rather tiresome phrases that try to emphasise quirk and homey-comfort more than heart-pounding action.
Going undercover as a barista – this should be a huge clue that the storyline isn’t what you’d typically expect – isn’t really the highlight of Gunnar’s career, but doing so in Posy’s cafe – the girl whom he sort of teased and had a crush on years ago – is probably the cherry on top of it. It’s amusing enough to begin with, but then Bowen builds on their chemistry and leads the plot in weird directions that get me more and more befuddled.
Posy’s inexperience is overshadowed by a near-neurotic monologue of her losing her senses over Gunnar – her hormones quite literally, speak a little too much here – as Gunnar’s slickness never quite fades into a vulnerability that I wanted to read about. Still, their banter takes precedence over the mystery – an overarching plot runs through this book – and Bowen never quite strays from keeping it as lighthearted as possible.
‘Loverboy’ probably works well as a standalone; it’s sort of a new direction that Bowen’s writing seems to be taking with this series even though I’ve not read the first book yet. I’m probably slow to jump on the bandwagon here, but fingers crossed here that it only gets better.