The Grifter by Kimberly Kincaid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Eight years ago, Shawn and Francesca (Frankie) were police partners and lovers. About ready to go public to the department with their affair, a tragic call suffers a major injury to Frankie and rips their relationship to shreds. He feels guilty for not protecting her, she became addicted to painkillers, they quit communicating, then she moves far away for rehab.
Now, Frankie shows up in the Intelligence Unit’s department to catch a bad guy that she has been tailing for months. Now the nasty narcotics dealer is in Remington and she needs Shawn’s Intelligence Unit’s help. They end up going undercover as a couple looking to hook up with a dealer – forced proximity brings them closer to the way they were as partners. Begins platonic and then inevitably moves to the sexy times.
Frankie is passionately involved with bringing down this dealer as he was responsible for the overdose killing of a friend. Don’t forget her own addiction recovery plays into the emotion. Frankie is a strong heroine – always speaks her mind, including about her past demons – thanks to some healthy therapy and her Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Shawn is not so open about his feelings (part of the reason they may have drifted apart) but he still finds he has strong feelings for Frankie. Not to mention he’s the hot, broody, quiet type that makes us swoon. AND Surprise! Shawn finds out that he is insta-Dad to a three-year-old daughter after her mother passes away with never having told him. Got to tell you, this was my fave part of the story. Watching this little Isla slowly fall for her dad…..and Frankie.
Ms. Kincaid gives us the POV from the sociopath Beck and wow is he a POS. Getting his internal dialog about how much he enjoys killing people – either by cutting off fingers and limbs or by lacing their drugs with fentanyl – you are anxiously awaiting his demise. Of course, there is some drama that he instigates that has our whole Intelligence Unit coming in to save the day.
The Grifter is so well-written and the suspense is off the hook. Every time our couple mingles with that baddie, you are waiting for something to go horribly wrong. Shawn and Frankie get their second chance romance with a bonus daughter to boot. The Grifter is the third story in the Intelligence Unit series but is totally readable as a standalone.
I was given an advanced reader’s copy from the author for an honest review.