Detective Daddy by Mallory Kane

detective daddyTitle: Detective Daddy

Author: Mallory Kane

Mills & Boon imprint: Intrigue

Year of publication: 2011

The heroine: Criminologist/DNA profiler Rachel Stevens

The hero: Homicide detective Ash Kendall

The blurb: He learned he was going to be a daddy the same day his parents’ murderer was set free. But Detective Ash Kendall was determined to keep it together. After all, the woman at the centre of everything, Rachel Stevens, had a lot of explaining to do.

The lovely DNA profiler had no idea her evidence would reopen Ash’s old wounds. Despite all they’d been through, she hadn’t stopped loving the man who just found out he was going to be a daddy. And with someone desperate to keep the secrets of the Christmas Eve Murders hidden, Ash was the only man who could protect Rachel and her baby…

Standalone or series: Standalone

The review: I stayed up until 1am reading this book, so it’s safe to say I really enjoyed it *g* Twenty years previously, Ash and his three siblings were left orphans when their parents were brutally slaughtered on Christmas Eve. The detective in charge of the case, now Deputy Chief Charles Hammond, caught the killer and put him behind bars where he belongs.

However, now that DNA testing is much further advanced than it was, the case is reopened. Rachel Stevens, one of the senior criminologists and Ash’s former lover, is asked to blind test the evidence (all information identifying the case is redacted) and it proves the man convicted, Rick Campbell, is not the killer.

Ash finds out Rachel is pregnant with his child when she collapses and he takes her to hospital. She’s reluctant to tell him about the baby, because he dumped her two months previously – as he has with every woman he’s previously dated. His nickname around the precinct is Ashanova, and although she was warned by other women who came before her, Rachel thought she was different. They dated for four months and he took her to New Orleans for a romantic weekend away, but it turns out that Ash realised he felt differently about Rachel and it freaked him out, so he phased her out as he does all of the women he dates. However, what neither of them knew is that Ash got Rachel pregnant that weekend.

The release of Rick Campbell from prison after twenty years throws the Kendall family into a spin, because it means that not only did the wrong man go to prison, but the real killer is still out there. Ash and his siblings were raised by their father’s brother, Craig, and his wife, Angie, after their parents’ death. Ash became a homicide detective because he wanted to make sure other families who suffered the same fate got the same closure the Kendalls thought they’d had.

When Ash finds Rachel on the floor of her kitchen with a head wound and her placed tossed, he insists she stays with him until whomever is targeting her is caught. Rachel finds it hard to be so close to Ash, because she’s in love with him and has been for months, and she’s unable to resist when he initiates sex on the couch. Ash finds himself surprised by how much he loves the changes to Rachel’s body and how attracted to her he still is; his sister’s comment about him being in love with Rachel won’t leave his head. He’s grown tired of the Casanova role at thirty three and wants to be part of his baby’s life.

When Rick Campbell turns up dead and Ash & Rachel find flaws in the investigation into his parents’ murders, Ash and Rachel need to find out what’s going on. I won’t reveal the identity of Rick Campbell’s killer, but Rachel is held hostage by this person and Ash takes a bullet to save her. Ash eventually admits he loves her and asks her to marry him, and they get their happily ever after.

The cover: love the door with Ash’s name on it, and the pouty look on Rachel’s face makes me laugh every time I look at it 🙂

The only thing that bummed me out is that the identity of the real killer was never revealed…

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