“Wife Beater Meets His Match”
In this suspenseful and entertaining novel by Darcia Helle, Alex Covington is a powerful attorney who beats his wife and terrorizes his children (his college student daughter Lauren is the protagonist). When Alex tries to add private investigator Jesse Ryan to his corrupt payroll, he finally meets a man strong enough to challenge his vicious ways.
The story begins as Lauren’s friends drag her to a nightclub where she meets Jesse, and their mutual attraction is tangible. I liked how it was unclear if Jesse was one of her father’s minions at first. Then I really grew to love Jesse. He and Lauren are excellent characters.
Lauren has a younger brother Stephen, and his storyline is heartbreaking. Due to his father’s harsh criticism and bullying, Stephen has immersed himself in drugs. Lauren wants to help him but doesn’t know how.
There were several unexpected developments that kept me on my toes. The Gina storyline shocked me. I was also surprised when Kara, Lauren’s mother, pulled some moves of her own. And, happily Darcia is not afraid to kill off characters!
I particularly enjoyed the banter between Jesse and his police friend. The story was a good balance between romance and suspense. I thought Alex’s character could have been more multi-dimensional, and I was frustrated by Jesse taking so many risks but I guess that’s the kind of hero he is.
Overall a great read—-one I’d highly recommend!