Title: Bare It All (Love Undercover, Book Two)
Author: Lori Foster
Expected Release Date: April 30, 2013
ARC provided by NetGalley
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....
Lori Foster is one of those authors that is an auto-buy for me. I know when I pick up her book, I'm getting a great read. Her characters always sizzle on the pages. Foster is a pro at amping up the sexual chemistry and taking two characters to the extreme. Her plot pacing is spot on and her heroes are totally addictive.
Bare It All provides everything that I come to expect with Lori's books. And although you do not have to read her series in order to understand the story line in Bare It All, I highly suggest you do-- just for sheer joy of such a great series. Start with The Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor series...
Reese Bareden is a cop whose apartment has been the center of a crime scene. And his neighbor, Alice Appleton, has provided a couch for him to sleep on while his place is off limits during the investigation.
Reese has had an attraction for his quiet neighbor for a while, and the cop in him wants to know more about this very perceptive woman. He knows that she is hiding something, and he is determined to find out. When he does some snooping in her apartment and discovers not one, but several guns, a taser, and a baton under her bed, Reese's protective instincts go on high alert.
Alice cannot deny her attraction to her very sexy neighbor, but her past and the secret she is keeping may hinder any chance of a relationship with Reese Bareden. He is honorable, loyal to the core, and his career as a cop makes Alice question if he could handle the truths in her past.
I loved Reese as the hero--he's everything that makes a man sexy and adorable. He loves his dog, Cash, and states "Love me, love my dog." They are a package deal. Alice, who sometimes takes care of Cash when Reese is gone for long hours, adores the mutt and spoils him with attention.
Reese is protective, although it was a little overbearing at times. But I get why Reese felt the way he did. He wanted Alice to trust him, depend on him, and not have to look somewhere else **ahem, Rowdy** for that. He is truly an alpha male and could totally see him metaphorically pounding his chest a few times in the book.
But then Reese says things that literally put my toes in perma-curl mode. He has such a way with words...
Serious, heated, he searched her face, her eyes, finally her mouth. "I'll fill you up, Alice. And I swear you'll enjoy it."
Alice is the kind of quiet woman whose mind is always alert--watching those around her, aware of her surroundings, and prepared for flight at any moment. She has reason to be wary. She was kidnapped and held hostage by a madman for over a year. She stays aloof, works from her apartment, and has distanced herself from her family. But with Reese around, her walls start to crumble and she falls for this man determined to be her knight and shining armor.
As a lover of series romance, we get to see more of Rowdy, who first appeared in Worth the Risk. He sees something in Alice that raises his suspicions that she is hiding something. Every fundamental instinct in Rowdy has him reaching out to protect her, despite his usual reserved behavior in the past.
And then there is a cameo appearance of a character from the Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor series...he has come to Alice's rescue before and shows up to offer his expert skills once again. I literally squeed aloud when he walked into the room. You'll have to read to see who this smexy hero was...teehee...
Reese and Alice complimented each other well. They were cute to watch as they tried to "feel each other out" and sort through their feelings.
One of my favorite things about Alice was that she didn't hide her lust for her man. She ogled him like the sexy eye candy he was.
Sighing in resignation at her distraction, Reese said again, "Up here, Alice."
Mute, she performed the near-impossible feat of lifting her attention to his face.
Another favorite part of the book for me, was watching both Logan and Reese realize their Lieutenant was not just their boss, but a woman...
Logan pulled back. "You saw her..." And then in a choked whisper, "Breasts?"
"Couldn't help it, Rowdy supplied. "She showed up in this boner-inspiring outfit, and that was enough to drop Reese's eyeballs right there. But then after one of the men grabbed for her, she lost her blouse."
Then there was the appearance of Logan's brother, Dash, who provided some comedy as well. **And Lori, I sure do hope to see what happens between him and Lt. Peterson**
"Spoken like a rejected man." Dash lifted his Coke in a salute. "If you can't get it, deny wanting it."
Bare It All was a delicious read and a great addition to her newest series. She is definitely on a roll with these addictive characters.