Review – Run the Risk by Lori Foster

Run the Risk cover image

Publisher: Harlequin
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend’s unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her…

Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new “construction worker” who’s moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer’s crosshairs?
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I read and really enjoyed Foster’s previous series, The Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor (didn’t realize the series title was so long until I looked it up), so when I spotted Run the Risk on Netgalley I had to give it a try. I was expecting a romantic suspense with a strong heroine, strong hero, tricky villain, good supporting cast, and an engrossing plot. Unfortunately what I got was a very predictable plot and villain, laughable suspense and supporting cast, heroine who enjoyed doing 180 degree turns and a hero that well I never viewed as a hero.

The book starts with the very frumpy, extremely frumpy, frumpy to an extreme heroine, Pepper known as Sue, scuffing her way back to her apartment carrying her groceries. She knows the hero will be standing on his balcony staring at her, he is going to call out her name, and he will meet her inside in their mutual hallway because he ALWAYS does. To me this screamed stalker not hero. And then his stalkery tendencies continued as he waited outside on the balcony for her to give up and come out to grill her steak so he could invite himself to dinner. She continues her new tactic of giving into what the hero wants after a token resistance. Now the Logan’s behavior is supposed to be OK because we find out that he is an undercover detective, looking for her brother, Rowdy, who was the witness in the murder of a City Councilmen. Logan also promises himself that he will be oh so gentle and won’t hurt Pepper. He just needs her to lead him to Rowdy. As time passes Pepper gives into Logan’s charms. She is so extremely desperate for sex, years of inactivity, that with all the lights off, minimal physical contact she reaches insta-arousal, insta-ready for penetration, and then insta-orgasm. This happens more then once.

Of course Logan’s buddies arrest Rowdy when he breaks into Logan’s apartment to make sure he isn’t using Pepper. They knock on Pepper’s door because Logan is over there and Pepper finds out about Logan’s betrayal. She is furious, hurt and guilty because she betrayed her brother despite his warnings. Logan is so sure that all he has to do is tell Pepper he needed to talk to her brother and then everything will be just fine. Pepper escapes from the officers who are guarding her apartment and then goes through this incredible transformation and becomes her original blonde blomb-shell of a self…(180 number one). Then beautiful Pepper goes down to the police station to talk to her brother and warn him. Several events happen and Pepper ends up staying in the cabin owned by Logan and his brother Dash (who both have money) and Logan’s best friend Reece another detective. Pepper is feeling so mad, hurt, and guilty that she teases Logan for a while and then has lights on full contact passionate sex with him…(180 number two). Pepper decides that she can’t hold onto her hurt and anger at Logan when she over hears him talking about rescuing women who are victims of human trafficking…(180 number three).

The supporting cast of characters and their interactions with each other were actually pretty amusing. There was a crooked cop, I am guessing male, possibly Reece but never named who was meeting with the villain. Lieutenant Peterson, Logan and Reece’s supervisor, who wanted to know all the details and have both Pepper and Rowdy under her control. LT Peterson also didn’t trust Reece, she thought he was a dirty cop. Reece was certainly hiding something and he didn’t trust LT Peterson, thought she was dirty, or Rowdy. Rowdy was out shaking down his contacts trying to find the bad guy and he didn’t trust Reece but decided to trust Logan. Pepper didn’t trust Reece, or LT Peterson. Logan’s trust in Reece was swayed by Pepper and Rowdy’s suspicions. Even though Logan, Pepper, and Rowdy didn’t trust Reese or said they didn’t trust him repeatedly they still shared a lot of information with him.

There is a lot more that happens in this story to include the villain and his schemes but they were predictable. I found that the hero never experienced any sort of remorse for his actions in emotionally betraying Pepper and her trust in him. But then again he didn’t have to because she didn’t demand or expect it. Pepper was extremely cardboard and had to undergo abrupt 180s because she didn’t have the depth to transform over the story. The three stooges act of Rowdy, Reece, and LT Peterson was pretty funny but did not add to the suspense or believability of the story at all. When I was writing my notes for this review I laid out who I thought the couples would be the next few books in this series then I took a look at the author’s website. Based on the information provided I think I guessed them all which says a lot about the lack of subtlety in the execution of the plot. I didn’t buy into the romance between Logan and Pepper but I also didn’t think they deserved anyone else based on their lack of character. I was more interested in Reece and his neighbor, Rowdy and the waitress and LT Peterson and Dash. While I have enjoyed Foster’s writing in the past, based on this opening novel I am going to pass on the rest of the series.

I give Run the Risk a D

Links to purchase
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