Pretty Policeman: The Case of the Suspicious Stripper – Fifer Rose
Going undercover at a strip club owned by your mafioso boyfriend without running it past him first? Not the best idea. (Then again, a few spankings never hurt anyone… much.)
Micah Hart had learned a few things the first few months of officially dating Damon Romano, a vicious mafioso/ridiculously rich billionaire, infamous throughout New York City for his cut-throat “business”
1. Damon was soft for nothing and no one… except Micah (and maybe his sisters).
2. His domineering tendencies definitely extended to the bedroom.
3. Damon didn’t trust him – not completely.
That last one shouldn’t have hurt as much as it did. After all, there were bound to be certain obstacles to overcome in a relationship when one person was a mafia don and the other was a police-detective-turned-PI.
Damon keeps Micah far away from anything related to his “work”, and Micah allows it… at least until a stripper named Ginger waltzes into his struggling detective agency, claiming that her boyfriend – also a stripper – is trying to kill her. Ginger just so happens to work at Lust, the most infamous of a chain of clubs Damon has specifically warned Micah away from.
Taking the job would require him to go undercover at Lust, and he should say no.
But Damon is out of town for the weekend.
And Micah’s been salivating for an actually worthwhile case for weeks now.
What’s the worst that could happen?
Pretty Policeman is a fantastic brain candy written in the vein of Pretty Woman but with an undercover cop posing as a rent boy and a ruthless mafia don hellbent on being his sugar daddy. Against all odds and common sense, the two made it work.
Fast forward to the present day, former detective Micah Hart is now working as a private investigator with his partner, also former detective, Tessa Gallagher. One particularly interesting case came their way, and the two were eager to jump on it.
Pretty Policeman: The Case of the Suspicious Stripper has Micah and Tessa investigating claims by Ginger, a stripper, that her boyfriend and fellow stripper, Tommy, is trying to kill her. To do this, the detectives have to work undercover as employees of the club owned by Damon Romano and managed by his sister Joelle. And Micah has to do it secretly because everyone knows Damon’s possessive caveman tendencies.
As with the first book, its best to suspend disbelief, grain of salt, etc. Also, read Pretty Policeman before diving into this to get the lay of land, so to speak, because this installment assumes you had done just that. The plot moves fast and doesn’t waste time explaining who’s who. Previous events were vaguely referenced, as well.
The new case is interesting but can hardly hold water. It runs on the miscommunication gag where a character says one thing, and Micah thinks another. The people involved could have sorted it out themselves had Joelle not been scheming about Micah and her brother.
Micah is still our lovable TSTL hero with spectacularly bad self-preservation instincts, has a look of wide-eyed innocence only seen in lambs, and a heart of gold as bright as his smile. The doofus still makes me laugh with his internal dialogues, this time written with less mini-explanations in parentheses. I kinda miss those because they show how Micah’s mind works.
The story is in Micah’s POV. One of the things that makes it entertaining is that there is a constant sense of impending disaster, or anticipation of the other shoe dropping, whenever Micah makes god awful decisions or is talked into doing dumbass things. We as the reader see the approaching trainwreck a mile away while Micah doesn’t or does but forges on anyway.
Our boy is all good intentions and saving the people, and we root hard for him, but also, yikes! As cute as he is, I would l love to see Micah’s character develop. When he was still a detective, he convinced me he was good at what he does. Here, his investigations skills were a joke.
Damon, on the other hand, effortlessly kept the growly, possessive, soft-for-no-one-but-you moments as delicious and swoony as possible. The romance focused more on Damon being a Daddy rather than a Sugar Daddy, though he still loves pampering his precious tesoro. Fuck knows why the man latched on to Micah the way he did, but the mafia don had some of the most intensely romantic lines in the book!
“You’re my heart, tesoro, and it’s terrifying having to watch it walk outside my body.”
My favorite part is Geoffrey’s POV. He is Damon’s loyal chauffer and bodyguard who notes the changes in his boss since Damon had Micah. Through him we see a different side of Damon, the much-feared mafioso part, and the more recent besotted boyfriend side that few ever see. Geoffrey’s internal dialogues were more cynical than Micah’s but no less hilarious.
Pretty Policeman: The Case of the Suspicious Stripper is a shorter read than its predecessor. The plot may be thin, our hero might lack common sense, but the writing made me chuckle, and the romance is high on squees. All in all, fun, light-hearted, and super swoony!
4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits
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PRETTY POLICEMAN: THE CASE OF THE SUSPICIOUS STRIPPER: Kindle
Puzzle for Two – Josh Lanyon
It was like those crazy detective novels he read as a kid…
Fledging PI Zachariah Davies’s wealthy and eccentric client, toymaker Alton Beacher, wants to hire an investigator who can pose as his boyfriend while figuring out who is behind the recent attempts on his life. And Zach, struggling to save the business his father built, is just desperate enough to set aside his misgivings and take the job.
But it doesn’t take long for Zach to realize all is not as it seems (and, given that it all seems pretty weird…). The only person he can turn to for help is equally struggling, equally desperate–but a whole lot more experienced–rival PI Flint Carey.
Former Marine Flint has been waiting for Zach to throw in the towel and sell whatever’s left of the Davies Detective Agency to him. Still, he’s unwillingly attracted to the game but inexperienced accountant-turned-shamus, and can’t help offering a helping hand when Zach runs into trouble.
Especially when it’s hard to imagine any worse trouble than having your client murdered.
Puzzle for Two is a standalone novel by Josh Lanyon. It has a contemporary setting but also that Golden Age noir vibe that the author loves to reference in many of her books.
The story is from the POV of accountant-turned-PI Zachariah Davies who, along with his sister Brooke, is struggling to keep the family’s PI business alive. Then, wealthy toymaker Alton Beacher waltzes in, offering $12,000 for Zach to play his boyfriend to find out about the death threats to the already married businessman. Smelling the fish from a mile away but unable to say no because they had ZERO clients, Zach very reluctantly agrees.
The case is more complicated than Zach bargain for. Realizing they need more people to cover the investigation, he begrudgingly hires their rival, the more experienced ex-Marine-turned-PI Flint Carey. The man was willing to help, but was also quick to berate Zach for taking a case that is so patently bogus AND kept pushing offers to buy their detective agency.
The two men were polar opposites. Zach is inexperienced, a little too naive, and the type who avoids telling the truth so as not to hurt. If I’m feeling charitable, I would say he’s the type to see the good in others, but he tested my patience. There were high-tension scenes that could have been resolved had he just been more upfront.
Conflict came from the his interactions with his manipulative ex, Ben. This pest just wouldn’t stop inserting himself in Zach’s life while making it all about himself, AND blatantly ignoring the fact that they already broke up 4 months ago. Had Zach just told him point blank he has no feelings for the guy anymore, it would have saved us from all that drama. Their scenes were not pleasant to go through, and the plot could have done without.
On the other hand, Flint is not really a cynic but more of a realist due to years of experience. He’s blunt and antagonistic with Zach, who returns snark for snark. A typical Josh Lanyon love interest but nicer. A guy who says what he means, doesn’t play games, and always willing to lend a hand to a struggling rival.
I thought the mystery was pretty straightforward but trust the author to throw me in for a loop with twists and turns, suspense, and a whole bunch of questionable characters. While the book isn’t my favorite from the author, I was still completely absorbed because the storytelling is very engaging.
Puzzle For Two has all the usual Josh Lanyon elements but is far from stale. While it had its share of self-absorbed exes, it’s also highly entertaining, humorous, and fun. All in all, a satisfying comfort read from a go-to author.
3.5 Stars – that place between like and love
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This is a round up of the books I read on the 1st half of this year that I’m too lazy to do a full review.