Risky Behavior, by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.
Series: Bad Behavior, Book 1
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.
Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.
As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?
Spoiler (highlight to view):
Character with HIV
Reading Risky Behavior, I was reminded how much I enjoy the law enforcement partners trope in romance. Whether the partnership is based on trust or distrust, working in close proximity to crack a case is often a great recipe for some explosive chemistry. Granted, Darren and Andreas spent more time chasing the bad guys than chasing each other, but they still found a little time to burn up the pages on my Kindle.
The two of them had great chemistry but it was definitely a slow burn. While I usually appreciate some good UST and investigative legwork, I definitely remember cursing the hold-up well into the book. But good things come to those who wait and yeah, they were definitely worth the wait. The sex was super hot, but I must admit I was disappointed when their attraction went from a slow burn to a low burn as the case took top priority once more.
Their investigation itself was very large in scope despite just the two of them working the case, and a lot of the time it felt very “them versus the world.” All that tension of course added to the thrill of the chase and the intensity of their chemistry. However if you’re not into the intricacies of detective work, this book might not be for you as it really does get quite detailed and the romance takes a backseat for most of it. Thankfully it was well-paced so it never got boring or tedious for me personally. There were a couple of times that I wondered how on earth they were getting approval for warrants and witness protection, etc without looping in their captain, but otherwise it was a pretty smooth read.
This paragraph contains spoilers so please highlight to view: I really appreciated that the book had an MC who is HIV+. I thought the representation was well-portrayed and very positive while still acknowledging the existing stigma surrounding the disease. I loved that Darren was able to give Andreas a refreshing and well-versed perspective and show him that it shouldn’t be a dealbreaker for intimacy. The book managed to find a nice balance between the care and consideration that goes into living with HIV, and being with someone who’s HIV+ — all of this without overwhelming the focus of the story, so kudos to the authors.
While I’m familiar with LA Witt’s works, this was my first time reading Cari Z. I’m not sure if they’ve co-written before, but I thought overall it was a pretty successful collaboration. Both characters were well developed with distinct voices and I found them to be believable both individually and as partners. As I mentioned before, I could’ve used more romancing with all that detective work, but I thought the book ended on a respectable HFN. If you like cop romances with an emphasis on the “cop” then Risky Behavior might be for you.
She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…
Visit her website at http://www.gallagherwitt.com/.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.