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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Undercover Man

****½ Undercover Man by Merline Lovelace. Romantic suspense.

Doc is a secret agent electronics expert and, well, he's a bit of a control freak, but that works well in his job--making lists for every eventuality. He's also David Jensen, Paige Lawrence's fiance.

Paige doesn't know about the secret agent part, but she knows all too well about the lists. David left her one, and an itinerary, then disappeared on a business trip a week before their wedding. Her instructions are to meet him in Cannes in a week, and they'll get married there.

But Paige is having second thoughts. She loves David, but he's always holding back, always so controlled, and so she's decided to surprise him on his business trip and see if she can't shake him up--one last try before she breaks their engagement.

Which ends up with Paige being mistaken for a call girl/courier, abducted, and smack in the middle of international intrigue, with a street urchin for a partner.

I was a little confused at the beginning about who I was supposed to be rooting for--the story starts out with Maggie, Doc's partner, so I didn't know why I was suddenly getting all this information about Paige. Of course, that wouldn't have been a problem if I'd read the back cover copy, but I try to avoid that.

Otherwise, this was a wonderful, fun, exciting, and romantic story. The way Paige became involved in the operation was believable, as were her mixed emotions. She was angry, scared, brave, and confused, and she didn't suddenly become SuperSpy when she agreed to help on the mission.

David was just too cute and typically male. He had everything figured out, very reasonably, and had a difficult time adjusting to "his" sweet, demure Paige diverging from the path he'd assumed she'd be more than happy to follow. But of course he learns in the end.

Best, though, was that Paige, in demonstrating her independence to David, did not, as so many other heroines in this subgenre tend to do, become TSTL. She didn't stupidly run into danger, and when she agreed to put herself in danger, she asked for all the help she could get.

I enjoyed this story very much. I've put the sequel, Perfect Double, on my to-look-for list, and will keep an eye out for more books by Merline Lovelace in the future. Any recommendations?

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I have never read anything by Merline Lovelace, but this sounds interesting! This seems like an older book judging by the cover, so I might have a hard time finding it...
Yes, it's an older book--1995. It was republished in a 2-in-1 with the sequel as Dangerous to Know, which is also out-of-print, but it's more recent: 2002, so it might be easier to find.
Thanks for telling me, Darla. :)
Darla, I love Merline Lovelace's work. She's become to me one of my comfort reads. Nothing usually dynamic but I can be assured of a good comfortable read with a bit of military suspense tossed into the romance. I can't particularly recommend anything specifically because I've anthologized all of her books, in my mind, into, "just get the ones I find and buy them". Good comfortable and enjoyable reads. Grab any you see on those clearance racks at the UBS or glom them from anywhere you can find older romances.


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I did just order one or two of hers from Harlequin.com--they had a 29% off sale for Leap Year Day.
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