Romancing the Weekends: Bare it All by Lori Foster
PJV Quickie: Bare it All is the second book in Lori Foster’s “Love Undercover” series and I was looking forward to reading Alice and Reese’s story. Although the plot was interesting, it took a back seat to the romance, which was disappointing as this heroine fell short for me.
Author: Lori Foster
Type: Romantic Suspense
Published: April 30, 2013 by Harlequin HQN
Alice Appleton has been obsessed with Reese, the sexy cop next door, since the first time she laid eyes on him. Her past, however, has kept her from doing anything about it. She’s learned to be observant, cautious, and not to stand out. Previously, she’d agreed to babysit Reese’s adorable dog Cash, and in doing so has learned a little bit about him, without letting him get close. After an ‘incident’ that ended up with his apartment covered in crime-scene tape, Alice has agreed to let Reese stay at her place until he can get back into his.
Reese Bareden has been trying to get to know his sexy neighbor, but she’s more responsive to his dog than she is to him. From observing her, he knows that she’s had some sort of trouble in her past, and wonders if it’s in the past or if she’s hiding from it. When a sting operation goes bad and ends up with his apartment full of holes, he cajoles Alice into letting him and Cash stay at her apartment. He’s determined to bring her out of her shell and learn more about this sexy, secretive neighbor.
When Alice stumbles across trouble, Reese knows it’s a good thing he’s around to protect her from herself. But he doesn’t know how deep this trouble goes, or how strong his feelings for Alice really run.
First of all, I’ve got to say I love this cover – doesn’t he look like Ryan Kwanten, the Aussie hunk who plays Jason Stackhouse in TrueBlood? A little scruff, great shoulders…Very, very nice 😉
In the previous/first book in this series, Run the Risk, I was intrigued by the characters but less so by the story; in Bare it All, I found the story interesting but the characters lacking. Well, one character, actually: the heroine, Alice. Her character made absolutely no sense.
After reading Run the Risk, I was intrigued by the mysterious Alice – she and Reese had an attraction that was almost palpable; you knew it was inevitable that they’d be getting together. I just knew their story would be good. I was not wrong – their chemistry was smokin’ and the sex scenes were hot. But when they weren’t having sex? Alice’s character was just weird. She’s got this horrible thing in her past, and it’s made her very observant and able to read people by miniscule actions and facial tics. But when it came to Reese, she was almost child-like in her confusion. I think she was supposed to appear naive, but I just found it hard to believe she could read all these other characters, correctly, but be totally clueless with Reese – even after they were dating.
But, lest you think I didn’t like the book, let me tell you about what I did like: Reese and Rowdy (Rowdy is the brother of the heroine in Run the Risk). Reese is great hero material – strong, sexy, and sensitive. He really cares about Alice and wants to protect her to the best of his ability. He’s got a moral line he won’t cross, and friends who will stand with him. This includes a relatively new friend, Rowdy. Rowdy’s not used to being around cops, and although it still makes him jumpy, you get the feeling he’s getting used to it. I really liked his character – kind of a rascal, the kind who might get caught with his hand in the cookie jar but could talk his way out of it and end up with another cookie to boot!
The suspense plot was interesting, if light. It provided a good vehicle to move the book along and had plenty of action, but wrapped up rather quickly. Without going into spoilers, it did seem kind of a coincidence given Alice’s history, but I liked the way Ms. Foster was able to tie different elements of the story together and bring in all the characters to help Reese and Alice.
I’m curious about a few characters who have future stories brewing; I’ll be reading the next book, Getting Rowdy, to see what happens next!
Regardless of how many times I mention book 1 in my review, Bare it All can be read as a stand-alone, although you’ll get a better feel for the characters if you do read Run the Risk. Fans of romantic suspense should enjoy Bare it All.
Other books that you might like, similar to ‘Bare it All’:
ETA: I can’t believe I forgot to add the book trailer – very sexy!