Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: On the Scent by Angela Campbell

Title: On the Scent
Author: Angela Campbell
Series: Psychic Detective, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 25 July 2013
Source: Borrowed

Hannah Dawson has a big problem: she’s just become the unexpected owner of a snarky cat, a loveable but not-so-bright dog... and their $10 million fortune!

Which would be awesome if it hadn’t made her the target of every wacko in the metro Atlanta area. Now Hannah and her famous pets need protecting and there’s only one man who can help them...

Enter Zachary Collins: ex-TV star of ‘The Psychic Detective’ and street-wise private investigator – all 6 foot blue-eyed gorgeousness!

Only Zach’s got secrets of his own – not least that he finds his new client irresistibly hot. The more time he spends keeping Hannah out of harm’s way, the more he’s tempted to give in to the attraction... even if it means breaking all his own rules.

On the Scent was a pleasant surprise, a sweet romance between a smart heroine and a capable hero. Things didn't always go exactly as I expected, which was I was very grateful for - especially when the secret trope came up in the story. I was worried it'd be handled one way, but - thankfully - Angela Campbell handled it in a totally believable and perfect way.

Hannah's a completely "average" woman. She's a nurse who likes to help people, and conversely isn't really sure she even likes people anymore. She loves her pets, and trusts her gut even when she's not sure she should. And when extreme circumstances come up, she handles them calmly with brains and guts. She doesn't mind thinking outside the box, but wants all the facts, too. I liked her. Zach did, too, and it's easy to see why.

Zach is a struggling businessman - trying to keep his investigative firm in the black and forget the guilt he feels over some of his past. He's honorable. There's really no other way to put it. He tries to do the right thing, by everyone, no matter what. He takes on more guilt than he actually deserves and really cares about the people he's trying to help.

Put these two together and there was a sweet, comforting romance that budded. It wasn't all lust - though there was plenty of attraction there too - but I felt like Hannah and Zach actually liked each other. They talked and, through their actions, showed the kind of people they were. It's a good basis for a relationship.

There were a lot of good things in this novel, including the realism of how everything was handled. You may think that's a little weird to say when you're dealing with a psychic detective, but everything was handled logically. If someone was doped with ketamine, they acted like it and didn't recover unnaturally quick. Someone gets shot? They can't charge into the fray and save the day, they struggle to remain on their feet. And, I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I loved the thoughts of the animals. The sarcasm and dry threats of the cat, along with the happy, not-a-care-in-the-world thoughts of the dog made me smile a more than a few times.

There were a few things that didn't work so well for me, like the secrets and drama surrounding telling them. This didn't used to be one of my hot-button issues, but I think it's become one. I get so tense waiting for the shoe to drop and then the not-talking thing to happen that it can almost ruin the story for me. Luckily, Angela Campbell mostly didn't do that, but because I kept waiting for it to happen it did take some of my enjoyment of the story away. The suspense part of it was also kind of ... tacked on, I guess. I'd say this is a light-suspense romance.

I'm glad I read On the Scent and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Grade: C+

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