Review: Tempted By The Badge
TEMPTED BY THE BADGE - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Harlequin Romantic Suspense
BUY
March 2019
Romantic Suspense
REVIEWER:  Janet Caldwell  | RATING:  A
REVIEW:  I highly recommend TEMPTED BY THE BADGE, Book #2 in the To Serve and Seduce Series by Deborah Fletcher Mello. Set in Chicago, this “who-done-it” is engaging from beginning to end. I could not put this book down and I paid dearly for reading way past midnight to experience the adventure of licensed private investigator, Mingus Black and high school teacher, Joanna Barnes. Not only is it full of suspenseful turns and twists, but it offers a sensitive love story about total opposites that tests the boundaries of the professional/client relationship. Joanna is a popular and well-respected teacher at Riptide High School in Chicago, Illinois. She, her parents and maternal grandfather are graduates of Riptide. Teaching is in her blood as she comes from a long line of educators dating back to slavery.

Mingus hails from a law enforcement family including attorneys, high ranking police officers and judges dedicated to making Chicago safer. He is a former Chicago police officer who couldn’t follow the rules and felt he could be more effective outside the force without the restrictions of a badge. He is a very successful private investigator whose unconventional methods have proven results.

Without any warning that would indicate she was under suspicion; Joanna is arrested and charged with a litany of offenses ranging from sex with a minor to child pornography. Naturally, she is blindsided and reaches out to her best friend Simone Black for legal representation. Due to a conflict of interest, Simone connects her with brothers, Ellington, an attorney and Mingus, the PI who work in tandem. On the surface the evidence is condemning, but gentle persuasion from their sister convinces the two that they are Joanna’s best defense.

TEMPTED BY THE BADGE pits evidence against instinct. Mingus is a critical thinker and problem solver and not easily swayed by women. However, his gut instinct and unexpected attraction to Joanna pulls at the cobwebs shrouding his heart. Mounting evidence against his client, questions about her innocence and concerns about their professional/client relationship drives Mingus to utilize all his investigative skills to uncover why she is being accused of these heinous crimes. Without revealing any spoilers, Mello takes an issue partially inspired by recent headlines, inserts a bombshell twist and expertly crafts a suspenseful plot that is emotionally and intellectually challenging. I am excited to see where the next installment takes us.

24th April 2019 | romcol@caribsurf.com
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