Courting Suspicion

Kimberly Dean
Courting Suspicion
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Publisher
Mischief
Release Date
March 2016
ISBN
9780008181055
Series
Book 4 of Courting series
Genre
Contemporary Romance

SUMMARY
It's difficult to run when you want to get caught.

Nina Lockwood has spent years building her escort company into a lucrative and powerful business, yet everything is put in jeopardy when a bull-headed, sexy detective starts poking around. Josh Morgan is the last man on earth she should be attracted to, but Nina can't help it. A romance with him would be reckless, but she fantasizes about taking on her role of a D.C. madam in a more personal and pleasurable way.

Josh knows Nina's hiding secrets, and he wants to discover each and every one of them – uniform or not. But then a Luxxor escort is found in a compromising situation with a prominent politician, and the true cat-n-mouse game begins.

Book Review by Adelaide Rose (reviewer)
Jun 20, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
106 people found the following review helpful
"He made her feel good. Aroused. Safe. Connected. Awakened. Around them the joking laughs turned into embarrassed gasps. The hoots and cat calls became wolf whistles, but it was the collective sigh that ran throughout the whole of Nationals Park that finally got through Nina's clouded head. She wasn't safe. This was foolish, risky...dangerous."

When one of her most talented escorts is illegally filmed in an act of passion with a high-profile senator, Nina Lockwood finds herself trapped in a cat-and-mouse game with a handsome detective – one with whom she shares a complicated and sexually-charged past.

Though she is Washington D.C.'s most successful madam, Nina is much more than a purveyor of sexual fantasies. A beautiful and driven woman, Nina created Luxxor Limited as a response to the glass ceiling that curtailed her career in the financial sector. A caring boss and friend to the women of Luxxor, Nina will fiercely defend her empire and the women in her care from the scrutiny of the outside world - even if that protection costs her the romance and passion she desires.

Josh Morgan is relentless detective with a strong body and an iron will. Suspicious of Luxxor's mysterious business practices, and enthralled by its gorgeous and secretive founder, Detective Morgan is convinced that there is more to the events surrounding the unlawful recording of Senator Gunderson's tryst than the Senator and his lovely accomplice are sharing with the police. When the Senator drops Nina's Luxxor business card, the Detective knows he is right. Torn between his sense of duty and his desire to protect the woman whose empire stands to crumble amid the emerging intrigue, Josh is determined to unlock Nina's most forbidden secrets before it is too late.

Just like its heroine, Nina Lockwood, COURTING SUSPICION is the whole package – smart, sultry and full of substance. Though it is the sixth book in Kimberly Dean's Courting series, COURTING SUSPICION is an excellent standalone novel. Ms. Dean provides just the right amount of content from previous works to help readers understand character backstories without weighing down the narrative with exposition. In fact, COURTING SUSPICION is exceptionally well-paced and the author does a wonderful job of balancing Nina and Josh's romantic conflict, the central mystery of the story and an emerging subplot that will form the basis of the next novel in the series – all while demonstrating a talent for detail and careful editing.

One aspect of COURTING SUSPICION with which I was especially impressed was the quality of the "whodunit" that catalyzes and challenges Nina and Josh's love story. Though romantic mysteries and romantic suspense novels are popular with readers, few deliver page-turning mystery plots. Kimberly Dean dedicates time and effort to her suspenseful narrative and COURTING SUSPICION will leave many readers guessing until the very end.

Furthermore, I especially appreciated Ms. Dean's depiction of the female characters at Luxxor Limited, especially Nina Lockwood. Novels about escorts abound in the romance genre, but they often feature one-dimensional characters in favor of focusing on the explicit sexual content. While stories about "no strings attached" sexual romps have earned their place in erotic literature, COURTING SUSPICION presents a different approach. Though it is still a steamy story, with plenty of sexy love scenes, the women of Luxxor are relatable, compassionate and smart – each seeking fulfillment in their own, unique ways. There is love and mutual respect in many of the relationships featured in the novel and the women in this story deserve no less.

COURTING SUSPICION is, in my opinion, a must-read romance of the summer and one of the best romance novels I have read so far this year. With many thoughtfully interwoven plot elements, the 256 page novel will keep readers enthralled until the very end – and will leave them wanting more from Kimberly Dean's sexy and dynamic cast of characters.
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