I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Deadly Trouble (Entangled Select Suspense) by J.L. Hammer
Series: Vegas Vixens,
Published by Entangled: Suspense on August 18th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Mystery & Detective, Suspense
Pages: 294 Pages
Source: Entangled Publishing
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
A handsome doctor, piña coladas...and murder
Las Vegas embalmer Lily Sanborn's vacation at the remote retreat in Belize should have been heaven...if her idea of heaven was a gazillion degrees, humidity, and enough mosquitos to require daily transfusions. Just as she decides to make the best of her tropical destination, she stumbles upon a murder, witnesses a kidnapping and meets the most attractive man she's ever seen.
Dr. Cooper Deforest is seriously attracted to this stunning woman with a razor-sharp tongue. In fact, he is having the damnedest time trying to keep his hands off Lily. But when murder, kidnapping, a drug cartel and police corruption intrude on his peaceful jungle world, Cooper wonders just what sort of person Lily is. Even though their chemistry sizzles, Lily's trust issues get in the way. As much as Cooper wants this woman, he can't get over the fact that wherever Lily goes, death seems to follow...
Deadly Trouble by J. L. Hammer is the second novel in the author’s Vegas Vixens series. In the story, Lily Sanborn is a Las Vegas embalmer who winds up alone on a vacation in Belize. Instead of relaxing, Lily gets pulled into a murder mystery and attempts to help retrieve a young kidnap victim. Along the way she meets the charismatic Dr. Cooper Deforest who is working in the country. The chemistry between the two sizzles instantaneously, but Cooper immediately realizes that Lily is trouble, and if he knows what’s good for him he’d stay far, far away.
Cooper and Lily never can seem to get along, yet they find it difficult to stay away from each other. The entire time I read this book I kept wondering when or if they would finally get together. With all their bickering, it appeared neither would shut up long enough to get things going. I found this made the story unpredictable, because it wasn’t the usually “love at first sight” story. However, the more I thought about it I realized it was reminiscent of many adventure films from the 1980’s.
One aspect of the book I liked was the drug cartel and how they do business in Belize. As I was reading the book I couldn’t help but think about the 1984 film Romancing the Stone with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Cooper is a guy used to living in Third World countries, and has spent much of his life working in Belize. He understands the politics at place, and how corruption works. Lily, on the other hand, is naive to things. The two clash, but also desire each other, and like Romancing the Stone’s Joan Wilder (Turner), Lily’s naiveté causes more problems than it solves. This similarity to one of my favorite films growing up made Deadly Trouble seem familiar in all the good ways.
Lastly, I really loved the fact that Lily is Asian. Chinese-American to be specific. Diversity is severely lacking in many genres, and romance has always been one of them. Not only did this book feature a minority lead, but the secondary characters were also minorities. In fact Cooper, his research assistant, and a few other characters were the only Caucasian characters in the entire book.
While I spent the majority of the time praising the book’s diversity, I spent the other yelling (yes, literally) at Lily. As mentioned in the synopsis, Lily has huge mistrust issues that kept her butting heads with Cooper. While I enjoyed the majority of the bantering between Cooper and Lily, there were times where Lily’s issues irritated the hell out of me. Honestly, I was almost rooting for Cooper to abandon her. She was that irritating.
Do I Recommend?
I would recommend this book to fans of Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone, and all other romantic adventure films. The story was exciting and kept me invested from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed the story’s conclusion. Like most romantic adventure stories, Cooper and Lily’s relationship definitely follows the Slap-Slap-Kiss trope, which can wear thin after a while. If this genre of film is one you enjoy, they I think you’d enjoy reading Deadly Trouble.