Partners In Crime by Anne Stuart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
From the book blurb:
Sandy was up to no good.
As Jane Dexter scrambled to keep a secret formula from falling into the wrong hands, her hired accomplice proved useless as a jack-of-all-illegal-trades. Convinced that a gloriously sensual woman lurked beneath Jane's ho-hum outfits and non-nonsense manner, Sandy Caldicott lost all interest in illegal activities as he singlemindedly campaigned to reform Jane.
While Jane was breaking and entering with Sandy in Princeton, New Jersey, the awful truth penetrated her muddled brain. The way things were going, she was bound to end up in the arms of the law - or in the arms of a lawless, dashing, dangerously deluded criminal.
Alexander "Sandy" Caldicott was a rich and successful lawyer who was feeling a bit bored with his current life. Not even the prospect of a nice vacation in the tropics was exciting him. When mousy and plain Jane Dexter approached him with her "unusual" proposal, it was like a godsend gift. Goodbye, boredom! The thing is, due to a misprint by the newspaper, Jane believed he was Jimmy the Stoolie, an arsonist Sandy had just gotten acquitted of more-than-deserved charges. You see, she was in dire need of an arsonist because she wanted him to help her commit arson! The right thing for Sandy to do was set her straight and advise her against her criminal plan, but it had been a long time since he had so much fun so he kept the charade going. Before he knew it, he was falling in love with Jane and couldn't not help her.
I really liked Sandy and Jane. They were smart, entertaining and had great lines. He kept the deception about his true identify a little longer than I liked, but it was funny to see him try and cover his slips of the tongue - after all, he wasn't an accomplished liar... Oh wait, he was a lawyer! (LOL)
The plot twist at the end came as no surprise to me, and I still don't understand how Jane didn't see it coming. Maybe I've read too many books and I'm jaded. The villain's final act was also a bit of a disappointment. After everything that he'd done, I was braced for a big showdown, but all I got was a dull resolution.
All things considered, this was a very fun and enjoyable read marred by a somewhat unsatisfying ending.
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