Conflicting Interests

Elizabeth Finn
Conflicting Interests
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Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Release Date
January 2014
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

Katrina Page is a junior high English teacher whose patience is put to the test when Dillon Adler shows up forty-five minutes late for parent-teacher conferences. Their first meeting is anything but amicable, but what neither of them expect is to come face to face again. When Dillon, a detective with Seattle PD, responds to a home invasion and assault, the last person he expects to see is the fiery tempered teacher he managed to infuriate only days before.

But regardless of their rocky start, when it becomes clear her attacker's intentions are far more sinister than they may have initially realized, their time together becomes a necessity. Keeping his distance as the investigation heats up and their attraction mounts simply isn't possible. Unfortunate, considering Dillon isn't allowed to become involved with a witness, but with her life in jeopardy, he also can't seem to stay away from her.

Can he balance his job and her safety without losing his perspective? Or will he risk his career to be close to her?

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Mar 07, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
134 people found the following review helpful
A sexy detective, a sultry schoolteacher and a psychotic stalker come together in CONFLICTING INTERESTS, taking readers on an emotional roller coaster ride from page one.

English teacher Katrina Page and Detective Dillon Adler get off to a rough start after Dillon shows up very late to a parent-teacher conference with Katrina. Who cares if the single father is smokin' sexy, Katrina won't tolerate rudeness! Who cares if the hot teacher makes his blood boil, she's a real bitch!

After Katrina is attacked in her own home by an intruder and Dillon is on the case, the two can't help but share an outrageous attraction to one another. Dillon knows he can't get involved with a witness but he can't seem to stay away, especially when the intruder quickly turns into a stalker hell-bent on hurting her. Dillon wages an internal battle with himself, wanting nothing more than to be with Katrina but not by sacrificing her safety and losing his head. Katrina can't keep up with the mixed signals Dillon gives her, and combined with a lunatic stalker, she's at the end of her rope.

When Katrina survives yet another attempt on her life, all thoughts of propriety are gone as Dillon makes the decision that she's worth whatever damming decision his superiors settle on. As he struggles to keep her safe, he also struggles with the intense emotions that consume him where she's concerned. Can a relationship forged in battle survive in times of peace?

CONFLICTING INTERESTS is a single standalone novel featuring a detective and an English teacher who are drawn to one another despite the numerous walls in their way. I had conflicting feelings about this book. On one hand, the suspense portion was well done and well written. Waiting for the other shoe to drop and find out "who dun it" was one of the high points of this book. Another being secondary character Imogen, who stood out as a fun, funny and quirky woman in a sea of otherwise terrible characters.

My problems with CONFLICTING INTERESTS are many, however. To be sure, I like the F word as much as anybody, but the excessive (and I mean seriously excessive. A quick search showed me over 200 particularly clever paragraph showed the word used in various forms 9 times.) use was surprisingly off-putting for me. In my opinion, this showed a distinct lack of creativity by the author and made the characters seem completely immature. Additionally, the use of the word "duh" throughout really bothered me. For an adult novel where the main female character is an ENGLISH teacher, it was highly annoying to see such a juvenile term being used by the supposed mature ones.

As for the characters, I began really liking Katrina. She was fun and quirky and adorable and totally prone to embarrassing herself verbally while being self-deprecating about it. Once Dillon got to her, however, she turned into a demure and submissive woman who lets a guy steamroll her because she'll "take what she can get" from him.

Instead of being sympathetic and caring, Dillon was rude and cruel and hateful, full of blame for Katrina's supposed screw-ups. I completely loathed Dillon throughout this book, and I felt that the way he treated Katrina was not only verbally abusive at times, but completely emotionally abusive to her. He is self-absorbed and acts like a spoiled brat when he doesn't get his way, withholding affection and ignoring Katrina until she begs for forgiveness. He is likely the least likable male character I've encountered. I could go on and on about how disgusting this guy was, but you get the point.

The chemistry between Katrina and Dillon was very good, and when Dillon wasn't taking Katrina in anger while she was injured, the sex was decent, too. The sex scenes were many and very erotically written, however toward the middle of the book, they were so drawn out and repetitive that I wound up barely skimming over them (a true first for this chick!). All in all, CONFLICTING INTERESTS simply left me frustrated and rolling my eyes, though other readers may enjoy the constant emotional drama between the two MC's and the overabundance of sex.
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