My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received for review from Amazon Vine
Jamie Michele’s latest novel, An Affair of Deceit (Montlake Romance 2013) is as much thriller as a romance novel–and that’s a compliment. In fact, she does such a good job of weaving the two genres together, you will consider it pretty close to real-life.
Let me provide some backstory. After two decades, Abigail Mason no longer hopes her father will return to the daughter he abandoned. She has become a top-notch criminal attorney and uses whatever anger she holds against the man she barely remembers against opposing lawyers. She would have left life to follow that path–hard-working, focused, few if any friends–except for the arrival of (here’s the romance part) tall dark and handsome CIA agent James Riley. From their first encounter, in true romance fashion, she feels an unusual tingle of emotion, one which she resolutely ignores because it is not on her agenda. Events intervene and she finds herself chasing the shadows of her past side-by-side with this man she can’t quite ignore, right up to the dramatic life-threatening ending (which, of course, includes a harrowing rescue).
Michele is a good writer. The plot is well-paced and keeps me interested without the constant intrusive references to love and lust found in most romance novels. The characters are well-drawn, though a bit flat. Abigail is logical to a fault, not unlike Temperance Brennan in Bones, but Michele does get a bit carried away with the caricature of Ice Princess Abigail who imposes her will on everyone–including the CIA (really? Would they buckle to her forceful approach?). Abigail isn’t particularly likable, always thinking of herself, her approach, with little consideration for others.
James is drawn as her exact opposite–charming, warm, empathetic (with unruly, sandy hair, a crooked smile, and slightly wrinkled suit). He’s almost bumbling, despite being described as brilliant, as he constantly is out-thought by the untrained civilian Abigail. The latter pushes credibility. I kept waiting to hear that she was undercover, but instead, the author vaguely explained it by saying Abigail had been on the CIA ‘recruit’ list since high school because of these very traits.
Despite the occasional over-review of information we the reader already know (Michele has some trust issues with her audience), this is a good book from a new author. I look forward to her future stories.
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog,Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.