Once Upon A Romance

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The P.I. Contest by C.J. Carmichael


Cover art: The P.I. Contest Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: The P.I. Contest - 2nd in The Fox & Fisher Detective Agency Series
Author: C.J. Carmichael
Publisher: Harlequin SuperRomance
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-71617-3
Release Date: February 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, New York
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None
C.J.'s Website: www.cjcarmichael.com

When Kate Cooper decides to make a stand, she makes a big one. Finding out that her fiancé was cheating on her and some of her coworkers knew about it, she quits her job at NYPD and moves on. She’s ready for a change and is determined to make a new start for herself and have a baby. Besides, she knows her friend Lindsay has been waiting for her to quit the NYPD and come work as a private detective for the Fox & Fisher Detective Agency.

Jay Savage now has custody of his teenage nephew after his sister died tragically. Jay knows he needs to leave his job as overseas airline pilot so he can be a single dad to his nephew. His friend Nathan had offered him a job as a detective for the Fox & Fisher Detective Agency because he used to do some investigations in college.

When both Kate & Jay show up to claim the ONE detective position, things start to get interesting. Lindsay comes up with a brilliant idea to have Kate & Jay compete for the job. A potential new client can’t really afford the agency, so they take her case gratis in order to see which potential detective can solve the case first. It’s a race to the finish with both sides underestimating the opponent.

And, what do you do when the professional competition starts to get a little personal? There’s no denying the attraction between them, but Kate wants a white picket fence with 2.5 kids and a minivan in the garage. Jay wants to help his teenage nephew get out on his own and move on with his life. A wife and children are not a part of that equation. The competition starts to turn form professional only to a fight to keep their heart intact.

I haven’t read the first book in this series, but it apparently shares how Nathan & Lindsay got together in the first place. The book stood totally on its own and enough back-story was given to keep a new reader up to date, but not bore a returning reader. Kate Cooper is one tough gal! Having been a career cop at NYPD makes you tough around the edges. But she’s really a softie at heart and has exterior curves in all the right places. She knows what she wants out of life and is willing to go grab the bull by the horns to get what she wants.

Jay Savage is attractive, intelligent and has a great sense of humor. He’s the kind of guy you’d love to come home to…only he’s not interested in anything long-term. Running scared from the mistakes his mother and his sister made, he doesn’t want to mess up anyone’s life by making mistakes. He wouldn’t have chosen to raise his nephew, but he will step up to the plate and do what needs to be done.

With Kate & Jay both trying to jockey to get key information first, it begins to look like "The Amazing Race". Each one tries to outdo the other and beat each other to the punch. They are so competitive that it truly becomes comical watching them try to outdo each other. When Kate makes some decisions that Jay doesn’t like, will he decide to stick to his goals for his life, or will he decide to let Kate in?

This romance is a fast read, but was fun because there was a little detective work and mystery incorporated throughout. Even if you aren’t a mystery lover, it’s not enough to overwhelm, but for those of us who like a little mystery, it added just the right spark to make the book shine out. C.J. Carmichael writes an enchanting story that draws the reader in from the start. I’m looking forward to the third and final book in the series.


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