Review: Deal With This

Deal With This
By Lucy Monroe

Alan Hyatt could do his job in his sleep, and when the Goddard Project sends him to investigate a case of high-tech espionage in the Vancouver film industry, he finds a perfect reason to work in bed. But sizzling actress Jillian Carlyle also happens to be his landlady, and she’s got a hard-and-fast (so to speak) rule that keeps her from dating her renters. While Alan’s cover as a reporter gets him close to all the suspects on the set of Jillian’s sci-fi show, playing a background actor at her suggestion to get his story? Well, that’s something else—but he’s not about to turn down a red-hot redhead, even if she keeps throwing him curves…

Jillian just can’t understand it. Sure, Alan is six-feet-something of chiseled ruggedness with gray eyes and an irresistible growl in his voice. But hello? She doesn’t do relationships—even of the casual kind—with men who impact more than her senses. No one is getting a chance at her heart. Especially not one of her renters. Still, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying Alan from afar—but not too far, or she wouldn’t be able to fully appreciate his rock-hard abs when he’s working out in the home gym. If only he didn’t make her feel safe and oh so right when they touched…

Once again, Ms. Monroe delivers an exciting romance jam packed with the things a reader loves the most. Not only is Deal With This a fun and gripping romance but it also has a hero I loved, a heroine I could root for and great secondary characters that flavored the story to perfection. On top of it all is a who-done-it that kept me guessing using twists and turns of all the characters’ relationships.

Jillian is a woman who seems to have it all together. She’s got her rules to protect her and everything is going as she wants it to. I loved that. Why? Mostly because those are the kinds of people you love to see unravel. She does such a good job at it too. First she has to deny herself. She’s got that down pat. Next, she has to face the fact that it’s no fun to deny herself and has to come up with a plan to allow herself to ‘break’ one of her rules. And then the fun begins because as we all know, love is its own slippery slope.

Joining Jillian on that free fall to humbling love is Alan — a man of mystery with rules of his own — to break everyone else’s. He’s also a character who loves and lives control and has the need to succeed. When I read about a handsome and ripped eligible agent who is so focused on a mission but yet is in shock when he gets his shorts in a twist by love,I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I needed to read not only how, but how bad would it get?

Poor Alan not only needs to balance his personal chaos with his mission but the objective is turning out to be a lot bigger and complicated than either he or his boss ever imagined. That’s where the secondary characters come in and Ms. Monroe had me guessing who could be the villain for most of the book. I also felt the same dilemma as Alan. Not only did I connect with the secondary characters but so did Alan. You can imagine what that must have meant to the integrity of his mission. How does a hero balance that especially when everyone is a suspect?

Another part I enjoyed in this story is the secondary romance. We have a light dusting of man-love which was tastefully written and smacks of the deft hand of Ms. Monroe. She has always had the knack of zeroing in on the very human and romantic aspects of a couple and this is no less poignant. I can’t say too much about the couple because they are intrinsic to the plot. I can say that I was pretty happy about their HEA.

Speaking of Happily Ever After, there is more to deal with than just Jill and Alan and the two studs I mentioned. Love abounds in Deal With This and I was delighted to read about characters that I’ve met before in some of Ms. Monroe’s previous books. You don’t need to have read them to enjoy this story however. Deal With This is a true stand-alone. But, isn’t it nice to hear about the ‘folks back home’?

Deal With This is a rousing, suspenseful, romantic and exciting story sure to keep you turning the pages until the end. But don’t be surprised if you go back and re-read some of those spicy parts. They definitely stoked the fire.

Rating: Photobucket

Review by Xeranth

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