Damned If You Don't by Linda J. Parisi
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Genre: Adult, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Loose ID
Source: ARC for Tour
Goodreads • Amazon
Andrew Jackson “Jack” Kent’s on the hunt for white collar criminals, and as a private investigator he always gets his man. Except in this case it’s a woman, the brilliant cellular kineticist Dr. Morgan Mackenzie, whose next thrilling discovery is—him.
On the run from her employers with the formula for a priceless but deadly diet drug, Morgan agrees to a night of pleasure with the outrageously sexy stranger. But when she leaves the next morning, Jack won’t let her get far, and that’s when she realizes horrible truth. Her cowboy on a white horse isn't a hero after all. He’s part of the posse.
Yet when Jack goes to turn Morgan in, he learns who the real criminals are, and suddenly, it’s a race against time to find a murderer before they’re killed themselves. To do that Jack needs to convince Morgan he’s on her side. Even though she doesn't trust him, Jack is a drug she can’t resist, leading her to find out that more often than not you're Damned If You Don't fall in love.
So a cellular kineticist and an Army Ranger walk into a room... Sorry, it just sounded like a good set up and I couldn't resist!
Do you like science?
Do you like romance?
Do you like thrillers?
Do you like sexy ex-Army Rangers?
If yes, Damned If You Don't is the book for you!
When I was contacted to review this book, first, I was flattered, and then I was pretty excited. It's been a while since I've enjoyed a mystery/thriller. Pair that with a steamy romance, and I was in book reviewing heaven!
I have to say, I really enjoyed the story of Morgan and Jack. They have obvious chemistry from the first chapter, and their passion burns like a supernova. While they move a little fast paced for my liking, they certainly keep things interesting on their journey to find the person responsible for using Dr. MacKenzie's research to kill people!
Discovering that her research for a new diet drug was being tested unethically on people, resulting in their deaths by acute malnutrition, Morgan steals her research and goes on the run. Unbeknownst to her, Jack is hired to track her down and bring her back, but his attraction to her quickly spirals out of control and he finds himself helping her rather than hunting her! As they come closer to finding the killer, they have to decide if they trust each other and what the next step will be for them.
Wouldn't it be awesome if there were a diet drug that kicks your metabolism into overdrive when you're getting ready for the dreaded swimsuit season? Yeah... not so much if it can't be stopped and causes some form of starvation/desiccation. No thank you! I'll stick to my celery and treadmill! This just sounds like a diet regiment nightmare...and also reminds me of a recent "Supernatural" episode. The one where Sam looks like this:
I'll just let you admire this wonderful specimen....
Focus, Izzy! Back to the book! The plot was pretty intriguing and I spent the better part of it trying to figure out which character was the potential serial killer. I was way off, which is a rarity for me. Wow. That sounded super conceited...but it's true. I pride myself on being able to see the end game by the first third of a book.
The antagonist was definitely not what/who I expected, and I still don't quite know how I feel about them. They were certainly an interesting character, I just don't know how they managed to get away with their behavior for so long.
As for the main couple, they are the epitome of opposites attract. Morgan is brainy and reserved, while Jack is brawny and boisterous. Yep, that's right, it's the classic geek gets the jock, and I love it! I probably identify too much, but I can't help it! I get super excited when the nerd wins out; it gives me hope for humanity! Was that a hyperbole? Possibly, I'm not really sure...
But anyway, given their differences, Morgan and Jack are definitely put on equal footing—Jack depends on Morgan as much as she does him—which is always nice. They have a great give and take relationship ;) that I wholeheartedly approve of. Long story short: I like this couple, I just wish they would carry Lysol wipes around with them. They have an affinity for having sex in public places, which, I mean, good for them, but let's keep it sanitary for the rest of society!
My only major hang-up about the book is that you are introduced to Jack and Morgan a day after they meet. It's such a nit-picky thing that I feel weird for being bothered by it so much, but I just feel like the plot would have run smoother if it had started a day earlier. I mean, everything is answered at some point in the story, but for a while there are references to things that happened before the novel started and it felt a little strained. But that's just my personal preference.
Anyway, if you are looking for a hot romance, I'd definitely recommend Damned If You Don't! It'll definitely keep you entertained.
About the Author
Let multi-published author Linda J. Parisi take you through the darker, spicier side of Romance with her Paranormal, Paranormal Romantic Suspense, and Romantic Suspense tales. Winner of the New Jersey Romance Writer’s Golden Leaf Award for Best First Book for her novel, Noble Blood, and winner of the 4th Annual Stroke of Midnight Contest for her novel, The Joining: Bound by Blood, Linda is a long-time member of the RWA and the current secretary of Liberty States Fiction Writers. Linda has seen the publishing industry turn upside down yet stay the same because everyone loves a well-written Romance. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, John, and a family which includes Audi, a Cocker Spaniel mix who had her at woof!