Run the Risk
by Lori Foster
Book #1 in the Love Undercover series
Detective Logan Riske goes undercover as a construction worker to attempt to find Rowdy Yates, through his sister, Pepper. She is using an alias, Sue Meeks, and is disguised as plain and frumpy. Rowdy is believed to be a witness to Logan's best friend's murder. Logan decides to use any means necessary to establish a connection with Pepper who takes him at his word when he pursues a romantic relationship. He now worries that once he's accomplished his mission Pepper won't forgive him for the deception.
The beginning of this story is its weakest as we are barely introduced to the main characters and the focus is on Logan trying to get close to Pepper. We have no idea why she's being sheltered by her brother or the details of her personal story. It's obvious that she's hiding behind a frumpy disguise and her initial relationship with Logan is bizarre. It would be okay if this aspect of the story moved at a quicker pace but it took much too long to develop. But, if you can make it through this tedium, the story then shifts into gear at almost breakneck speed and really delivers!
As if being undercover isn't stressful enough, Logan also has to contend with departmental corruption and isn't certain who he can trust. When the inevitable happens and Pepper realizes she was duped by Logan, her reaction makes for some pretty steamy moments as she uses unconventional methods to exact her revenge. Logan's brother, Dash, and his partner, Reese, also play major roles in the case and add humor and intrigue. Not knowing who to trust adds another element of excitement as Logan attempts to protect Pepper from those who have an interest in her disappearing.
Despite its slow start, this story has game and I'm glad I hung in there. It all makes sense after awhile and I was constantly off balance, trying to deduce the good guys from the bad ones. The romance between Pepper and Logan was pretty interesting and worked in the long run, even though you just knew he was going to be in trouble once she figured out he wasn't who he claimed to be initially.
This is a pretty good start to the beginning of a new series by Foster. I'm already waiting impatiently for the next book based on how this one ended (sorry, can't say any more without spoiling it for you). The other men and women introduced in this story are very appealing and I want more.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)