Harper, Julia. For the Love of Pete (2009). 400 Pages. Forever. $6.99
“Things finally came to a head between Zoey Addler and Lips of Sin the afternoon he tried to steal her parking space.” With another solid first-line, Julia Harper drags us back into the world of FBI chases and romance. Some of you may remember Dante Torelli from Hot. It’s alright if you don’t though, because this book really stands alone. The references to Hot are there, but they are not key to the story.
Anyway, when the child of a key witness is kidnapped, Special Agent Dante Torelli (a.k.a. Lips of Sin) must find Pete (Zoey’s infant niece) in time for her father to testify on Monday. Of course, as difficult as finding a kidnapped baby in Chicago might have been, that’s not all that’s going on here. Pete is kidnapped from her kidnapper in a robbery-gone-wrong. Dante is framed for murder, and most everyone believes he’s a dirty cop. Zoey refuses to trust him, and will not just go home, or at least anywhere safe. Bullets fly, chases ensue, cat and mouse repeats itself.
Meanwhile, as with Hot, we get other points-of-view. Chapters may focus on Dante, Zoey, Mrs. Gupta & Mrs. Gupta, Neil Senior, and the “Senior FBI Agent”, to name a few. It could get a little confusing, but since it’s in third-person limited, the story stays reasonably clear. As with Hot, I feel that the bad-guy chapters can be a little too much sometimes, even if they are pretty funny (especially those which dealt with the Mrs. Guptas.) The story unfolds in an unexpected way, and the bad guys are defeated in some very surprising ways.
If you are surprised by romance novels featuring romance, do not read this paragraph, as it could spoil the book. If you are not surprised, hilight the text to read “spoilers”. Eventually the romance plot becomes primary; Dante is head over heels for Zoey. There are a few kisses which are badly handled; they act like the second kiss is the first, which it is not. They are equally as shocked by the third. By the time they’re truly involved with each other, you’re rolling your eyes and telling them to get it over with already.</ “spoiler”>
The Quick Version:
With a fun plot, an entertaining cat-and-mouse game, and a brief appearance by Mac, this book is nearly as entertaining as Hot. It does, unfortunately, fall a little short, and has a bit too much of the “uptight, structured man falls for free spirited hippie chick” which is not my favorite plot. It scores a solid 3.5 out of 5. I enjoyed it, but I won’t be re-reading it any time soon.