by Alannah Lynne, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-271-8
Nikki Kincaid likes her life to be fast. Our former drag racer heroine likes fast cars, but alas, she is forced to take things slower and lay lower for a while when she starts receiving letters - anonymous ones, of course - that contain what seems like threats on her life. Adam Guthrie, our cop who is off course off-duty and doing his buddy a favor (cops in romance novels are always very free for some reason), is currently sticking very close to Nikki, his buddy's sister. Adam has also decided that, in addition to paying close attention to Nikki's body, he will also spank it, among other things.
I don't know what to make of Reaction Time. This is also one of those stories where bodyguard duties apparently consist almost entirely of rogering the person one is supposed to protect. All in the name of making the reader's holiday season hot, I suppose. When the villain shows up, it is in an "Oh yeah, remember the plot?" manner. Nikki claims to be a feisty heroine, but she's often impulsive and foolish instead. As for Adam, the author must have tried to make him one of those perpetually brooding big strong man who oozes alpha vibes out of the wazoo, but I find that fellow a silly twit whose actions can be contrived. Then again, he's supposed to be protecting her, not spanking her, so it's not as if I can expect anything better from him, I suppose.
If Reaction Time doesn't have that silly mystery subplot and instead has just let the characters behave like silly hormonal fools, it may have worked better. As it is, most of the characters' antics don't make sense considering the situation they are supposed to be in, so this one doesn't really cut it for me. This is one story that tries to cram its many pre-established relationships, BDSM dynamics, and a mystery subplot into its short story format and doesn't quite succeed at the end of the day.
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