Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun

Book Review

Under the SurfaceBook Genre:
Romance, Contemporary, Urban, Suspense.

Book Series: Book One in Alpha Ops (Spin-Off ?) Series

Released: May 31,2016 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 350  Price:$7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.



Book Synopsis:

Welcome to Eye Candy, the East Side’s hottest nightclub where the bartenders are hot, the cocktails are fancy, and danger lurks just under the surface…

Eve Webber, the gorgeous and savvy owner of Eye Candy, knows better than anyone that growing up on the wrong side of the tracks comes with certain complications. Determined to run a clean business and fix up the East Side, Eve’s plans get temporarily stalled when a potential new hire walks into her bar. The sexual chemistry crackling between them is a potent distraction…even if she refuses to mix business with the promise of pleasure.

Detective Matt Dorchester lives by strict rules that have kept him alive in impossible situations. When his latest undercover assignment has him playing a bartender, his desire for the passionate owner has him breaking every single one. Eve is in danger and her life depends on his secrecy. But once their attraction reaches a climactic conclusion, Matt must make a desperate choice: Tell her the truth about who he really is―or risk a once-in-a-lifetime love to save her life?

My Review:

As a connoisseur of books, dozens of them cross my path on a weekly basis, some of them even stumble into my life through an intriguing email to my gmail account.  This little gem caught my eye one day in May and I needed to learn more, so I downloaded a copy just to get a sample and proceeded to forget my current (yet unfinished…) read and devour this in a couple of days.  As most of you know that while I do love my romance I usually stick to the paranormal branch of the genre and only venture into the suspense/contemporary territory with authors I already have an established history with.  I was in the mood for something different though and being the first in a new series (I think) I decided to give this book a shot, and I am so glad I did!

There was  a bit of confusion when I started checking into this title.  Goodreads lists this as book four in the series, but the publisher and author’s site has it as a new series.  Even if this is a continuation of an already established series I was totally alright reading it on its own as I do not think there is any continuation from the previous books, or very little.  In other words don’t feel like you have to go back and read everything else before you start this read.  You will be fine, I was and you might even find yourself wanting to check into the other books by this author too.  I know I do!

Now for my thoughts on the story.  I liked it, quite a bit actually.  This book had it all and was a nice change of pace from my normal paranormal romance reads.  There was danger, a strong female lead, a yummy brooding alpha love interest, plenty of action and enough steam to fog your e-reader.  The story moved at a good pace for me, had a nice balance of wit, drama and sex to keep me turning the page and the chemistry between the love interests was definitely there and believable. I liked the aggressiveness of Eve and how she was the one pressuring Matt into a physical relationship.  She was strong and authentic and I liked her sense of character, in wanting to make her city a better place.  She wasn’t a wonder woman though and had realistic reactions to the danger that entered her life.  She kept it together though, was able to adapt and think quick on her feet.

Matt on the other hand had me wanting to do a facepalm on several occasions as I desperately needed him to get his head out of his ass and fight for the woman he wanted.  I guess one of the two characters needed to have flaws to overcome… I did like him though, like Eve he wasn’t perfect but still a man with integrity and honor even if he did let it get in the way of his happiness most of the time.  The supporting cast was fairly well-rounded too.  I would have liked to know more about several of them, the bad guy for example. Eve’s brother was another fun one I wish had more page time too.

This was a fun story that had me on the edge of my seat needing to know more and biting my nails as I watched the drama unfold for these characters.  The climax of the story was worthy of any action movie I’ve seen recently and the resolution of the relationship afterwards was authentic and sweet.  I really appreciated how the author left these two, those of you that don’t like the insta-love should have no problem with this one.  There may have been insta-sex, but the romance was in a believable spot when I finished up this book.  I plan on looking into not only the next book in this series but other titles by this author.  I’m also sold on suspense romance and will be working more of them into my reading mix!  I hope you give this one a shot and enjoy it as much as I did.

My Rating: 4 Stars


One thought on “Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun

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