If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: In the Shadow of the Shield by Carolyn La Roche / @HeaBookToursPR @CarolynLaRoche

Title: In the Shadow of the Shield
Series: Secret Lives, Book 2
Author: Carolyn LaRoche
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: December 15, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Uniform, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: HEA Book Tours PR

When a police officer falls, justice must be served.

Donnie Massey was an honest, skilled police officer. That’s probably what got him killed. When his wife Diana watches him die in front of her, the worst part is going to be telling their son, Jackson.

After a year of mourning, Diana decides it’s time to move on with their lives. The first step to getting closure is to visit Donnie’s grave. But when she gets there, she’s not alone...

Good cops are rare. Carter Ryan is one of them.

Mentored by Donnie, Carter is at the grave when his widow shows up. It may not be the best timing, but he needs her help. Carter admits the fallen shield may not have died in the line of duty, but was likely murdered while involved in a secret investigation with deep criminal ties. Diana agrees to aid in unveiling the truth. Donnie deserves that much.

The definition of insanity...

As the two work side by side, a new and delicate romance begins to bloom. But would falling for another cop be the worst mistake of Diana’s life, or the best decision she’s ever made? When the investigation leads them to an underground meth ring, their mission goes from risky to down right perilous.

After a brush with death hits too close to home, will Diana risk loving another cop? Or will their chance at happiness be forever buried in the shadow of the shield?

Other books in this series

Twenty years married to the same man. He was the picture of perfect health. He was the most devoted and loving man ever to Diana and their son Jackson. But then he died. It was quick, unexpected, and left Diana and Jackson reeling from the loss. A year after her late-husband Donnie's death, Diana is just existing. She has her son, who had his own life, her girlfriends, who had their own lives, and... What else? At forty-six years old, simply existing couldn't be all that was left for her, could it?

Enter Carter. A police officer trained by her late-husband years ago, he wants answers to why this good cop died at such a young age and so suddenly. He manages to contact Diana (also manages to scare her to death and have her pull a gun on him for it) and together they delve into the mystery surrounding them with the hope that Donnie's death will be avenged. In that, Carter is a great guy. He's focused and loyal, determined and brave. He's also falling fast for Diana, a surprise for him as much as it is for her. Yet he maintained his focus while keeping Diana firmly in his peripheral as well. Life was going to get better for them both if he could keep them alive.

This is a dirty cop story. The men involved in Donnie's death were men who wore the same uniform he did, who vowed to serve and protect. But their uniforms were shields for their illegal activities and their goal was to serve and protect themselves.

When I asked to review this story, I did it because I needed something different from what I had on TBR. And this is different. For me. And in a day and age when people can be quick to point the finger at men and women in blue and cry foul, I was reminded by two fictitious characters that there are plenty of men and women in blue who are good, who fight for what's right, who still believe in honor.

There are parts of this story that dragged for me, dialogue and conversations that were a bit long for me. That's no slight against the author; I was impatient and wanted to know more about Donnie's death was all. But Ms. LaRoche writes with clarity, description. I like how Jackson was always somewhere in the story, even at what could have been the most embarrassing moments ever for Diana. I would have liked a little more suspense but this wasn't a suspense/mystery novel with romantic elements. This is a suspense/mystery romance, and Ms. LaRoche balances those two elements very well, producing a story that I liked and enjoyed.

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

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