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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review: Bare It All by Lori Foster

Title: Bare It All
Series: Love Undercover #2
Author: Lori Foster
Published: April 2013, HQN
Format: Print copy received for review
Tour; Yes, Media Muscle

As the person responsible for taking down a brutal human trafficker, Alice Appleton fears retaliation at every turn. No one knows about her past, which is exactly how she prefers it...until the sexy cop next door comes knocking.

Detective Reese Bareden thinks he knows what makes women tick, but his ever-elusive neighbor keeps him guessing like no other. Is his goal to unmask Alice's secrets? Or protect her from a dangerous new threat? One thing is certain: their chemistry is a time bomb waiting to explode. And with no one to trust but each other, Reese and Alice are soon drawn into a deadly maze of corruption, intrigue and desire-and into the line of fire...

Jumping right into this book without reading the first book in the Love Undercover series, I felt a bit misplaced for the first couple chapters.  Not horribly lost, just a bit out of sorts.  However, as the story went on, events and people started to fall into place and it wasn't long before this turned into a can't-put-it-down page turner.  Every page brought something new and exciting.  And coming in at 480 pages, that's nothing to sneeze at.  Honestly, with a book that long there usually might be a few moments where I would feel like skimming a few pages.  That never happened with Bare It All, not even once. Lori Foster is a terrific author, and I'm anxiously waiting for the end of my TBR so I can read some of her other books that I've been stockpiling for a while now!

In Bare It All the story starts with Alice.  Alice has a difficult history that includes being held captive by human traffickers.  It only makes sense that she is now more prepared, more alert, and just more instinctual.  She's trained herself to watch for anomalies, and she is more than ready to help others in need.  It's her keen observations that bring her to the door of Reese, super hot detective neighbor extraordinaire.  And lucky her, a shooting in his apartment lands him back at her door, sleeping on her couch for a few days while his apartment's crime scene is investigated.  Except if Reese and Alice both have their ways, he won't be on the couch for long!

I found Alice to be a pleasant person.  There were times I felt her behavior a bit odd.  She really has a knack for reading people, and seeing the real them and their true intentions - except when it comes to Reese.  She is apparently blind as a bat because she can't see that he is over the moon crazy about her! Aside from Reese she is a caring person, the type that you want in your corner because you know she isn't going to pull any punches.  She's straight forward and honest, all the while even coming off a bit timid at times.  But don't let that fool you, this woman can definitely handle her own.  She is the type of person I would seek out for a friend, definitely.

As for Reese, he is majorly hot, and perfect leading man material.  Coming in at six and a half feet tall, he is built and sexy as can be.  Alice has turned him and his whole world upside down.  Who knew that asking her to dog-watch for him while he is at work would have lead to this?  At times he is too pushy and I thought he was a bit gabby with her secret when he first finds out.  But he tells the right people for the right reasons, and his heart is absolutely in the right place.  He is definitely one of the good guys, through and through and I couldn't help like him.

The other standout, for me,  among the cast of characters is Rowdy.  Rowdy has taken it upon himself to help keep an eye on Alice, which turns out to be a great thing when she follows a van holding a woman she suspects is being used against her will by human traffickers.  Rowdy is a bit rough around the edges, walking the fine line of legality in most of his actions.  He's spent a long time fiercely protecting his sister (Pepper, from the first book in the series), and now is ready to move onto a project more along the straight and narrow. I thought Rowdy was an exceptional character.  He was very funny at times, and there is a wealth of sexiness there.  He's a bit cocky and arrogant, but if you are part of the small group he considers like family, then you are aces and have a friend for life.  I can not wait to read his book about him and his love interest, Avery.  She is really going to throw him for a loop, and it will be one hell of a ride!

And let's not forget who almost stole the show on a couple occasions - Cash, the dog!  It only took one page to fall for this furry pooch.  I love a book with a pet featured in it, and Cash definitely had personality.  He is the original reason for Alice coming into Reese's world, and he remained a constant character throughout.

This story was full of action, which is something I need in my stories.  The addition of human traffickers was some scary real life monsters to add to the mix.  The cast was colorful and intriguing, even the bad guys kept me glued to the page.  Every character brought something unique to the table.  The sex scenes were so sensual and hot; Alice and Reese are a perfect match.  When they pair up, over and over, it is definitely a thing of sexual heat and beauty. This book has every component to ensure it is a fantastic and wild ride. I definitely recommend it!

HQN Books; May 2013
464 pages; $7.99 U.S./$9.99 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77761-7


Lori Foster

Since first publishing in January 1996, Lori Foster has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA TODAY, Publishers Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. She also received the Romantic Times “Career Achievement Award” for Series Romantic Fantasy and Contemporary Romance.

Lori believes it is important to give back to the community as much as possible, so she routinely arranges events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.

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