Monday, January 12, 2015

Review - Pretty Shameless by Jodi Linton

Pretty Shameless
by Jodi Linton
Series: Deputy Laney Briggs, #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: January 12, 2015

He’s gunning for her heart, but aiming for her body.

Wherever deputy Laney Briggs goes, trouble always follows behind—except when Laney is the trouble. Right now, Laney is on the hunt for her not-so-bright cousin, who is wanted for gunsmuggling. But there’s a sexy, hot-assed Texas Ranger on the same case, and Laney would bet her britches (and everything else she’s wearing) that Gunner Wilson knows something she doesn’t. It just requires a bit of sexy espionage…

Gunner knows all too well just how damned distracting Laney and her little red cowboy boots can be. The pure, unadulterated want between them has never been stronger and Gunner can’t resist making her crazy. But even as she gives into every carnal craving for Gunner, Laney is determined to get her answers, one mind-meltingly hot night at a time. The only question is whether she’ll be ready for the truth…

Bad boys could be so much trouble. They could cause regret. Screw up life’s biggest decisions. Make girls weak in their knees.

And then there’s Gunner Wilson. He was a class act. He loved hard and fell even harder. And he hurt. Some days I wondered if he’d been damaged beyond repair. That would between us cut deep.
Welcome back to Pistol Rock, Texas where the people are more colorful than the scenery and where sassy-mouthed Deputy Laney Briggs has found herself smack dab in the middle of trouble…again! One would think a town of only 200 would make for a relatively quiet oasis, but Pistol Rock continues to spout forth a well of depravity surrounded by a landscape ripe with the likes of organized crime, drug rings, and sordid other criminal activity. If you are looking for baseball, Mom, and apple pie, you have pulled up to the wrong one horse town.

Laney has always been an interesting character to me. Her tough, sassy-mouthed personality is a great cover to the sensitive and scarred heart she harbors. When you layer on her less than ideal family, namely a mother who makes Joan Crawford look like June Cleaver and a cousin who can’t keep his nose clean, it’s easy to see why Laney is a prickly as she is. Of course her history with her Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson and her best friend Luke Wagner – who of course don’t ever see eye to eye – only add to the many problems that Laney finds herself having to navigate through.

I love the story that Jodi Linton has woven around the town of Pistol Rock. Her characters are colorful and her descriptions of them have you easily painting an image in your mind of what they look like, their mannerisms, and their behaviors. It’s become apparent that she has crafted a mystery that starts in the first book, Pretty Reckless, and will take us through the conclusion of the series, but each book will focus on a separate event that will somehow tie in to her overarching story arc. Even though you won’t need to read the other books in the series to read and enjoy this book, if you do read them you will have more of an understanding about the dynamics between the characters, as well as be treated to some pretty funny “Laneyisms”.

I still find myself struggling with the relationship between Laney and Gunner. There is such an attraction and addiction between the two that I find myself disappointed at times that the focus seems to be only on the sex – which is certainly hot. There were a few honest moments between the two in this book, but I definitely need more from them on an emotional level – I am still trying to feel that connection between the two that the words on the page say is there, but when I tie that in to their actions I come up short in actually feeling it. And although I can certainly appreciate Laney admiring those sexy cowboys she comes in contact with, she really needs to get a handle on that libido of hers, especially if she wants to create a solid foundation for her relationship with Gunner.

My other minor issues surround two things – one being the need for both Gunner and Laney to respect the fact that their jobs force them to keep secrets from one another. I’m a bit surprised at times that Laney doesn't grasp the fact that Gunner can’t disclose information on the investigations he’s working on – even if they do involve her relatives – and think she needs to get a handle on the fact that the nature of their jobs will always have this being the case, but I would like to see more from Gunner reinforcing that fact with her. If they are ever going to make things work, this needs to be addressed. My other issue would be around the amount of metaphors and other “Laneyisms” that got thrown around in this book. Ms. Linton tells a wonderful story that, for me, got bogged down at times with what seemed to me to be too much of this type of phraseology. I love some of the things that come out of Laney’s mouth and shoot through her brain, but feel that in the case of this book there were too many and it became a distraction at times.

All in all this was another great installment in the Deputy Laney Briggs series and has me now waiting for the next book to see where the story will go. I've come to love all these characters and can’t wait to see what trouble Jodi Linton stirs up next for them, especially surrounding my personal favorite Luke (who’s mine by the way, just sayin’!)

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