Fair Game by Josh Lanyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was only my second read by Josh Lanyon, but it was enough to earn him a spot in my (not so coveted, LOL) list of favorite authors. I just love his writing!
Elliot Mills is a former FBI agent who's trying to come to terms with his new life as a history teacher at Puget Sound University. After being seriously injured in the line of duty, he couldn't deal with the idea of a desk job so he chose to quit the Bureau - along with the man he loved, Tucker Lance - and leave his career in law enforcement behind. That was seventeen months ago - not that he's counting - and while Elliot likes teaching at PSU, he misses being a cop - and Tucker.
When PSU students start going missing on campus, Elliot finds himself involved in the investigation at the request of his father, who's friends with one of the missing students' mother, and his boss, PSU president Charlotte Oppenheimer. Imagine his surprise when he finds out that the FBI agent assigned to the case is none other than his former lover... Tucker doesn't seem to pleased to see Elliot again and begrudgingly accepts his help in the investigation, but when they start supecting there might be a serial killer behind the students' disappearances and Elliot might be his next target, they have to put their differences aside and work together to catch him before it's too late. Will they also be able to find a way to rekindle the love that has never been truly gone away?
This was a very good romantic suspense read, with an interesting mistery that kept me engaged throughout the whole book, a couple of thrilling action scenes, great character development and a nice romance. For those readers who prefer an even balance between romance and suspense in their romantic suspense reads, I must say that the romance takes a back seat to the suspense in this book. That doesn't mean that the romance isn't good - it is! - but the main storyline is focused on the missing students investigation. I love mysteries, so that wasn't an issue to me.
I really liked the whole cast of characters in this book. They were all well-developed, three-dimensional and added depth to the story. They weren't there just to fill otherwise empty spaces in the list of suspects. As I mentioned above, this was only my second read by Mr. Lanyon, but based on this book and the first one I've read, Icecapade, I think I can say that characterization is one of his strongest suits.
The entire story is told in third person, which I like, but the reader only gets Elliot's POV. While that worked very well in Icecapade, I can't say the same here. Considering how hurt Elliot was by Tucker's behavior when they ended things in the past, I needed to "hear" Tucker's thoughts to understand why he acted the way he did. I got the explanation near the end of the book, but it was a little too late to completely satisfy me.
As I'd been forewarned, Mr. Lanyon is rather (in)famous for the somewhat abrupt endings of his books. Fair Game is no exception to that rule, but I wasn't too bothered by that because the closure I got was good enough. Sure, a nice epilogue would have been great, but I'm not holding the lack of it against the book. Forewarned is forearmed! :)
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