by Karin Tabke
Series: Bad Boys of the Bay #1
Pub. Date: March 18, 2014
Freebie Date: Dec. 31, 2015
A sexy stranger, a night of no holds barred passion, and a secret so dangerous it could destroy their lives...
Dr. Katrina Winslow has always known who she is: an elite scientist, a certifiable genius and ultra-reserved when it comes to love and relationships. So when a simple game of truth or dare offers the cool doctor the opportunity to shed her lab coat and glasses and put on a pair of strappy stilettos, she accepts the dare. But will shedding her inhibitions for a sexy stranger fulfill her every desire and help her discover if she can be truly daring or will it cost her everything?
Hot cop, Simon West, is on the hunt for a bad guy when he comes face to face with a fiery little scientist who may be the key to his investigation. Renown for his unorthodox investigative tactics, Captain West is more than happy to accept the Dr.’s dare. What the Captain doesn’t expect is to dare her again, but this time on his terms, terms that have nothing to do with his investigation.
Will the prim and proper scientist resist the sexy cop? Or will she allow Simon to strip her bare and guide her closer and closer to what they both secretly desire?
I really enjoyed Karin Tabke's Blood Moon Rising Trilogy, so I was stoked to run across this book as a freebie on Amazon. I remembered from my prior reads that she did the smut pretty well. However I have to say that, for a book outside of the new adult arena, The Chronicles of Katrina was absolutely dripping with angst. I was choking on it the whole day. As I was reading this when I was a bit under the weather, my angst tolerance was on the lower end of the spectrum.
So our heroine is Dr. Katrina Winslow, a molecular geneticist with an IQ of 175. She is also apparently a little sexpot, but she hides it under the guise of being "professional" because science and sexpots don't go together in our society. Isn't that a shame? Anywho, I really liked the idea of this heroine. Being a bit of a smartypants myself, I can totally dig a heroine who can walk and chew gum at the same time. Well maybe not, our girl was sort of a klutz. But so am I, so its all good. If we can't walk and chew gum at the same time, at least we have big brains and boobs to match. I felt bad for Kat and her history of failed relationships... for about an hour. Then her insecurities started grated on my last nerve. She was so over the top insecure that I think my eyes rolled right out of my head. Things you should never ask your man because you will never be happy with the answer:
1. Whether he liked having sex with his ex?2. What do you see in me?3. What will happen to me if someone better comes along (for him)?4. How many women did you sleep with before me?
So for all of her intelligence and good looks, Kat went downhill for me after about the 30% mark of this book.
Now, our sexy hero on the other hand, stayed strong and true for most of the story. Simon West is a captain with the sheriff's department and is a true man's man. He is not a Dominant in the traditional sense, but he has no problem taking control of Kat's body and pleasure. He has a couple of skeletons in his closet, but nothing over the top that couldn't be dealt with. I give him huge props for his ability to deal with Kat's insecurities without telling her to grow a backbone and leave him alone. I would have been seriously tempted. I would have liked to see more of him as a law enforcement officer, we heard more about his job than we actually saw him working. But overall he was a solid hero for your romantic fantasies.
There were some things that I really liked about the story - namely the corporate espionage plot. I liked mystery/suspense of that aspect . I found myself wanting to rush through some of the sex to get back to the plot conflict. As I said at the beginning, Tabke writes smut really well so her sexytimes are on point. A good amount of detail, build up, and steam in all the encounters. Though there were A LOT of them - I think a couple could have been sacrificed to build up the espionage aspect which remained on the fringes of the story.
There were also a couple things that didn't match up for me. Simon is supposed to be working undercover, but the whole task force is identified as a group of cops at the resort at the beginning of the book. This blows the undercover role. ***SPOILER!!! As part of his cover, Simon has a wife - but that is never flushed out. There is one call from his "wife" - but they are not living together and we do not ever see them together as a fake married couple. It is also not explained why he would need a wife for an undercover assignment, particularly when everyone already knows he is a cop and is banging the scientist. ***END SPOILER!!! And finally, the corporate espionage and biological warfare conspiracy is not really an investigation that would be spearheaded by a state/local law enforcement agency. It would have been more believable if this task force was made up of CIA, DHS, FBI, DOJ, etc.
I did enjoy the story - but a few times it felt like work trying to deal with Kat's self-esteem issues. I am really looking forward to the other books in the series and hopefully the heroines will have a little more confidence.