Possibly in series with Tall, Dark and Deadly; Strong, Sleek and Sinful
Long, Lean and Lethal is a book of mostly average devices with occasional extra-ordinary moments. Special Agent Noah Kayne is FBI, sent to Lincoln Nebraska to work with local police as part of a murder investigation there – or several murder investigations, actually. With a possible serial killer who seems to be targeting swingers that are part of a local club, the FBI decides its time to stop playing around and send in the big guns. Local Detective Rain Huxtable, however, is more than a little angry that her investigation is being taken over by the feds – even angrier when she finds out she has to go undercover with one of them, masquerading as his wife. Noah’s wife, more specifically. Rain does NOT like Noah, which is perfectly fine because Noah does NOT like Rain.
All is not well for this ‘married’ couple, but it does get better – and hotter. Noah and Rain have an angry, combustible relationship that leads to some great burn-me-up-sex. Noah has skillz, and Rain is more than appreciative even as she struggles desperately to hold on to her tough outer shell and dislike for Noah. While I liked both the characters, Rain and Noah fell a little flat for me and the transitions from angry and resentful to partner were a little too quick and convenient. Noah’s character was pretty good – compassionate, smart, and tough and Rain, for the most part, was consistent but she occasionally acted in strange and mysterious ways. I could’ve used a more emotional take to their romance, with a little more depth and a little less lust. I did like the strength Noah gave Rain, however. That was the part of their relationship I liked the best.
The secondary characters were mostly the other members of the swinging club that Rain and Noah infiltrate as part of their investigation. While amusing and intriguing (occasionally in a morbidly fascinating sort of way) I found that the dynamics of the club were never fully explained, so when the killer was revealed I was a little confused as to his/her motive. It also made the story seem like a series of snapshots – vignettes – rather than a fluid, connecting story where the characters were perfectly entwined in their world. I really liked the glimpses we got into Susie’s mind – I thought she was really interesting, again in a creepy way.
The suspense was only so-so. I’d figured out who the killer was about halfway through the book, but it was still pretty sudden how Noah and Rain found out. I also had issues figuring out exactly what Noah and Rain were discovering while undercover. Besides having really hot sex, what did they accomplish of value? Not much. The suspense had a lot of holes in it – so any true lover of suspense will find his/herself vastly disappointed in the plot. The book meanders around a half-there suspense plot which was find by me – but anyone who reads suspense regularly will have a harder time with the plot, since it’s pretty unrealistic.
God forbid she suggest he read the manual. And she was pretty sure it would be an even larger crime if she picked up the book and started reading it and advising him.
“Fuck you,” she grumbled.
“It crossed my mind.” (Noah)
“I always pay on a date,” he (Noah) informed her.
“Some date.” (Rain)
“You don’t think I know how to take a lady on a date?”
… “Just because it’s been a while doesn’t mean I don’t know how to show a lady she’s worth something.” (Noah)
“Sexy”ness rating: Hot. Very erotic power-struggle sex. Angry sex. Fun and yummy sex.
Overall Rating: B-
Bottom Line: A good book for people who like pretty light suspense and don’t mind a few holes in the plot. Great sex, good characters, a fun and easy read.
Published: September 29, 2009