Review: Falling Under by Lisa Renee Jones

falling underTitle: Falling Under

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Year of publication: 2018

The heroine: Detective Jewel Carpenter

The hero: Ex Green Beret/bodyguard Jacob King

The blurb: Ex-special forces Jacob King is a man who keeps to himself, having learned the hard way that letting people close to you, trusting them, might just get you killed. A lesson he learned when members of his Special Ops team turned dirty, while others, men he considered friends, died. He made them pay. He made them hurt. He put them in jail. And so he doesn’t trust anyone anymore. He keeps his women hot and fast, his friends few to none, and his clients through the elite Walker Security at a professional distance, but safe.

It works for him. Until it doesn’t.

His newest job should be simple and cut and dry. Jewel Carpenter, the daughter of the CEO of Carpenter Enterprises, is receiving death threats. He’s to protect her and find out who is issuing the threats.

Simple. Cut and Dry.

Until it’s not.

Until the chemistry between he and Jewel is all about love, hate, and sex. But even as he fights the attraction to Jewel and discovers there is more to her than meets the eye, the real threat comes not from the threats she’s receiving, but the connection she has to him. Because his past has come full circle, and those men he’s made pay for their sins now want him to pay. And what better way than the woman in his bed?

Standalone or series: Book three of the Walker Security series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: If there’s one thing Detective Jewel Carpenter knows about, it’s death. Her college best friend, mother and uncle are all murder victims. She sees death regularly as part of her job. She knows how to detach and compartmentalise, because the victims need her to. Her uncle, who was also on the NYPD, was well known and liked until he was murdered two years previously.

Jewel has a good record of closing cases. She’s proven herself to be a good detective and she doesn’t let anything stand in the way of her doing her job. So when her father, a wealthy pharmaceutical company owner, gets threats made against her, he refuses to put his only child at risk and doesn’t want to put another family member in the ground, so he hires Walker Security to protect both him and his daughter.

Jewel doesn’t want protection. She’s a cop who can look after herself, thank you. But the fear in her father’s eyes sways her enough to allow it, and she acquiesces to having a bodyguard as long as he stays out of the way and lets her do her job unencumbered. Jewel thinks she’s pretty good at details, so she’s annoyed when she finds out her new bodyguard has been tailing her for four days without her realising it.

Things turn sinister when Jewel starts finding notes and gifts left by the man they’re calling the slayer. Gifts that directly tie into the deaths of her loved ones, details that not many people would know. It unsettles Jewel enough that she stops protesting about Jacob, the man selected to protect her, but what also unsettles her is her unwanted attraction to him. He knows death, too. He’s also attracted to Jewel, but he won’t cross that line because she is a client. Jacob is also hiding a secret about his past that he knows will make Jewel run the second she finds out.

The dynamic between the two leads was so unlike anything else I’ve ever read that I found it captivating. They don’t want to want each other. They want to keep things between them professional, but it becomes impossible. They feel each other when they’re together. Eventually, they give in the desire that swirls between them and it’s explosive.

Not only was the romance totally hot, but the mystery of the slayer was also compelling. All is resolved in the end, but wow. What a ride. This is the first book I’ve read by this author but it won’t be the last.