Monday, July 25, 2011

Best Man for the Job - Meredith Fletcher

I don't know Meredith Fletcher, but we have several mutual friends (Mel Odom and Bill Crider, to name two). Because of that, and because I enjoy a good romantic suspense novel now and then, I was happy to read Fletcher's new novel published in the Harlequin Romantic Suspense line, BEST MAN FOR THE JOB.

With "best man" in the title, it shouldn't come as any surprise that a wedding figures in the plot of this book. Before the wedding can take place, though, masked and heavily armed intruders bust in on the bachelor party in a fancy Las Vegas hotel suite and kidnap the groom. The groom's future brother-in-law Callan Storm is a Special Forces operative, but even though he's there, he can't prevent the kidnapping. It just so happens that also on hand is Eryn McAdams, a former exotic dancer who now works as a security consultant and private detective. Eryn was actually there to jump out of the cake in a skimpy costume, but only because she was filling in for a sick friend.

With a set-up like that, you know that Callan and Eryn are going to try to track down the kidnappers and rescue the groom, and boy, do they. This is one of those compressed action books where everything happens in about a twelve-hour span, and we're talking about a lot of action along the way. Fistfights, gunfights, chase scenes, a little computer hacking and cyber-sleuthing, all of it punctuated by an ever-increasing sexual tension between Callan and Eryn.

There's a lot more bang-bang than kiss-kiss to this one, but the late sex scene is both believable and effective. The hero and heroine are both appealing characters, and while they have some drama in their back-stories, they're not loaded down with overwhelming angst. Fletcher writes very well in a lean, fast-paced style, and this is worlds better than some of the bloated contemporary thrillers I've come across. I know she's written some other romantic suspense novels in the past, and I'll be on the lookout for them now, along with any new ones. Highly recommended.

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