3 out of 5 Stars
*I was gifted a copy of Blood Money by the author. I am not compensated for my honest opinion.*
Club owner Kate Jarrett has not had it easy in life, and her past continues to haunt her even as she tries to walk the straight and narrow. When a kid Kate has known for a while shows up at the back entrance of her club with five bullet holes in his chest, she is thrown into the middle of the investigation of his death, and the investigating officer, Jon Peterson, thinks she’s guilty until proven innocent.
When Jon’s younger brother Adam gets himself killed, he’ll do everything in his power to find the killer and put them behind bars. But when his initial instinct about Kate proves to be wrong and he is undeniably attracted to her in a way he’s never been before, he’ll have to dive deep into the drug rings to avenge his brother’s death. His budding relationship with Kate could be a problem, or it could lead him right to the people he seeks.
Blood Money is a suspenseful story with a heated romance to spice things up. Although Kate has a “friends with benefits” arrangement with her best friend Marcus, once Jon enters the picture, there’s no turning back for either Kate or Jon. The chemistry between them is undeniable, and their heat turns it into a scorcher. One of the things I loved about this book was the way Jon used their chemistry to break down Kate’s walls about having a relationship. Although he was willing to give her what she wanted at first—just one night with no strings attached—he knew it wouldn’t be enough for either of them and made it clear he wanted more, but he would only give her more if she was willing to be in an actual relationship.
The plot was intriguing with Kate’s relationship to Adam and Jon being Adam’s brother, and then the way the other characters fell into place in the drug business. I always love a romance that has more going for it than just the romance, and Jon and Kate’s quest to find Adam’s killer while putting themselves in danger fit the bill. Kate was used to dealing with criminals and was able to take care of herself, and Jon had been a cop long enough to know what the world of drugs was like.
Unfortunately there were a few things that brought this story down for me. To start with, we got the typical cliché of the bad guy spilling his guts before being brought down. Of course I won’t tell you who it was or how it happened, but suffice it to say I was hoping for more out of the climax. It also ended too quickly, leaving some things up in the air that should have been addressed. While there is a second book, I was hoping to learn more about Jon’s past in this book since his not-so-clean record was mentioned a few times. The way it all wrapped up wasn’t very satisfying. The epilogue was really just another chapter, which then cut off the story instead of tying up those loose ends.
There were also some formatting and editing issues. There was a lack of commas before direct addresses. The phrase “could care less” was used a few times instead of “couldn’t care less.” At one point, Kate dropped her phone, but the next minute she slipped it from her pocket to make a call. A good editor would go a long way toward cleaning up these issues and polishing the book.
Overall, I liked the plot and the author’s writing style, but felt this could have been executed better.