Dash of Peril

Dash of Peril

4.3 58
by Lori Foster
     
 

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A no-nonsense female cop reluctantly teams up with the one man who makes her lose control in a deliciously sensual new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster 

To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret "Margo" Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole

Overview

A no-nonsense female cop reluctantly teams up with the one man who makes her lose control in a deliciously sensual new novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster 

To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret "Margo" Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole other kind of danger. Dash is six feet four inches of laid-back masculine charm, a man who loves life—and women—to the limit. Until Margo is threatened, and he reveals a dark side that may just match her own…. 

Beneath Margo's tough facade is a slow-burning sexiness that drives Dash crazy. The only way to finish this case is to work together side by side…skin to skin. And as their mission takes a lethal turn, he'll have to prove he's all the man she needs—in all the ways that matter….

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A red-hot page-turner." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole on When You Dare

"Bestseller Foster...has an amazing ability to capture a man's emotions and lust with sizzling sex scenes and meld it with a strong woman's point of view." -Publishers Weekly on A Perfect Storm

"A sexy, believable roller coaster of action and romance." -Kirkus Reviews on Run the Risk

"Foster rounds out her searing trilogy with a story that tilts toward the sizzling and sexy side of the genre." -RT Book Reviews on Savor the Danger

"The fast-paced thriller keeps these well-developed characters moving...Foster's series will continue to garner fans with this exciting installment." -Publishers Weekly on Trace of Fever

"Steamy, edgy, and taut." -Library Journal on When You Dare

"Intense, edgy and hot. Lori Foster delivers everything you're looking for in a romance." -New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz on Hard to Handle

"Lori Foster delivers the goods." -Publishers Weekly

Foster's writing satisfies all appetites with plenty of searing sexual tension and page-turning action in this steamy, edgy, and surprisingly tender novel."
-Publishers Weekly on Getting Rowdy

"Foster hits every note (or power chord) of the true alpha male hero...a compelling read from start to finish." --Publishers Weekly on Bare It All

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Bestseller Foster (Getting Rowdy) upends her tried-and-true romantic suspense thriller format for the satisfying fourth Love Undercover novel. Ohio police lieutenant Margaret “Margo” Peterson is devoted to discovering who is behind a series of videotaped sexual assaults on local women, so she goes undercover in bars when she’s off the clock, hoping to draw the predator. Her friend Dashiel “Dash” Riske wants to deepen their relationship, but Margo refuses to get romantically involved. When Margo is attacked and injured, Dash helps fight off the attackers and appoints himself to be her caretaker while she mends. But even Dash’s sexy charm and persistence may not be enough to break through the barriers created by Margo’s family dynamics, dedication to her job, and fear of vulnerability. Foster skillfully balances steamy seduction and police work as Margo and Dash learn to be a team in and out of the bedroom. Agent: Karen Solem, Spencerhill Associates. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460328637
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
03/25/2014
Series:
Love Undercover , #4
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
25,031
File size:
554 KB

Read an Excerpt


Frozen pellets of sleet carried by the icy March winds stung Lieutenant Margaret Peterson's face. The late snowstorm wasn't uncommon.

Welcome to Warfield, Ohio.

With one gloved hand Margo held her coat closed at her throat. The other hand, ungloved, remained in her pocket as she hurried to her new car parked in the lot across from the bar. At 1:00 a.m. the streets were dark with minimal traffic. A lone streetlamp lent an angelic glow to the beautiful pearl color of her Lexus.

Closing out a bar wasn't new for her; usually at times like these, in the quiet of the night after hours of being sized up by hungry men, she felt like Margo, not Margaret, a woman instead of a lieutenant. Despite her reasons for being at the bar this time, playing the game left her feeling sexier, softer, more vulnerable—the opposite of her kick-ass cop persona.

But right now, she was both soft woman and commanding lieutenant, balancing the image she needed to convey with the ability she'd honed.

For months she'd been unofficially undercover, hoping to glean information on the bastards who ensnared women, forcing them into seedy porn movies that included bondage, domination and some sick, sexually inspired discipline.

If the women had been willing, well then, she'd leave them to it. Who was she to judge? She wasn't a hypocrite; she believed in consenting adults doing as they pleased.

But abducted women? Abused women?

The first young lady who'd come to them had been disoriented, confused and so incredibly scared. The bastards had grabbed her, blindfolded her and taken her to a vacant building, where they'd forced her to star in an underground porno. Maybe they'd let her go because they knew they'd be cleared out by the time anyone would find their location.

And maybe, just maybe, they had planned to only do one video. But like most sick fucks, once they got a taste of their perversion, they wanted more.

Margaret detested all bullies, took great pleasure in bringing down criminals, but she had a very special, deep-rooted red-hot hatred for men who sexually mistreated women. It was the worst type of degradation, the most demoralizing thing that could happen to a female.

Her heart beat harder, faster, just thinking of it. Fury rivaled the cold, heating her from the inside out with molten hatred.

Eventually, one way or another, she would crack this case and annihilate the ones responsible—or die trying.

Hanging in local bars—the very locations where the women were often targeted—had seemed an ideal setup. For too many months, right through the holidays, she had spent several nights a week on the prowl…without a single nibble.

Others had given up. The captain believed the bastards had either shut down or moved their enterprise elsewhere. In her bones, Margo sensed they were still around. And then, just last week, a woman showed up at the station. Bruised, traumatized, hysterical, she had barely escaped.

That made four instances now, two of them fatal. Margaret was determined to get to the bottom of it, so on top of the reignited but routine investigation, she kept her eyes and ears open while trolling the "less respectable" bars.

Nothing new in that, really.

Being a female lieutenant with tough-as-nails notoriety complicated dating. And with her particular tastes…

"You shouldn't be out here alone."

Before she could register that deep voice as someone she recognized, Margo had her coat open, her loaded Glock in her hand.

The weapon didn't faze him.

Tall and handsome and far too carefree, he stared into her eyes. Even in the dim light through the neverending sleet, she saw his crooked smile and she felt his anticipation.

Well, hell. Spending hours in a classless bar amid nasty drunks had less impact on her tension than Dashiel Riske's half smile.

She didn't lower the gun, but she did keep her finger off the trigger. "Stupid move, Dash."

"Approaching you in the dark?" He stepped closer and, moving her gun hand aside, put his fists in the lapels of her coat and pulled it closed against the blustering wind. The position had his hands near her breasts—and caused her heartbeat to stall. "Would you shoot me?"

"No." She was trained enough to discern a threat before firing. "But I might slug you."

Taking liberties, he slid his hands up and under her collar to draw her closer. "Is that forthcoming?" He angled his face down to hers. "Should I duck for cover?"

"No." If he weren't so warm, she'd have pushed him away. Maybe.

Dash was such a player, never taking anything seriously—most especially not women. Where other men hesitated, he forged on with sensual confidence born from success.

For a while there he'd hung at the bars with her, specifically Rowdy's bar, Getting Rowdy, the closest to where the women had been grabbed. He'd adequately allowed her to use him as a prop in her scam. With Dash, she could pretend to be an easy drunk and easier prey.

Even though she'd sometimes sat on his lap, kissed his neck or ear—even felt him up—other women had come on to him. She didn't like to think he'd done without during their ruse.

But she hated even more to think of him hooking up.

When she'd started to feel jealous, she knew she had to cut him free.

At first he'd objected, but then the holidays had come and the department had given up on finding the sick fucks responsible….

"What are you doing here, Margo?"

After a glance around, she tucked the Glock .40 back into the specially designed inside pocket of her coat, where she also kept another fully loaded magazine. "What are you doing here?"

"I vote we sit in your car out of this ice storm and then I'll tell you."

It beat freezing to death, so Margo turned and, with a touch of her hand to the driver's-side handle, released the autolock. Sliding into the leather seat, she pushed the keyless ignition button. Dash walked around the hood and folded his big body into the passenger seat. The small, sleek car fit her perfectly. But Dash's muscular frame looked a little squashed, making her almost smile.

"You can move the seat back," she told him.

"Thanks." He adjusted it, which allowed him to stretch out his jean-covered legs a few inches.

The interior felt like a meat locker from having been in the dark, bitter cold. She turned up the heater, set the climate control for both heated seats and relocked the doors.

"New ride?"

"A gift to myself." But she didn't want to talk to Dash about that. She'd spent too many months blocking him from all personal thoughts.

He studied her in silence. "How long were you at the bar?"

Far too long considering it had turned out to be a waste of time. "Why?"

"Just wondering if you might have had a little too much to drink."

"Of course I didn't." He'd done this routine with her enough times to know she never let herself get tipsy. She had the slightest buzz—but was as rock-steady as ever. "A few beers, that's all."

"Beer, huh? Longnecks?"

"Of course." She varied her routine from one bar to the other, just in case her drinking habits factored in to the minds of the psychopaths preying on their victims. She showed up at each bar pretending to be already drunk and then added to that perception by her loose behavior.

"I suppose you're as good at holding your liquor as you are at everything else?"

Was that a condescending tone she heard? "I know my limit." Anything she did, she did well. It was sort of family law—if you weren't going to excel, don't bother.

Tapping her fingers on the steering wheel, she said, "Well? Let's hear it. Were you following me or will you claim this is happenstance?"

"I didn't follow you, but I was looking for you."

"Scouring bars?" And why now? Months had passed without him seeking her out, when she'd been almost positive that he would.

Not that she was bitter about it or anything. She'd ended things for a reason—a reason that still existed.

Dash gave an infuriating shrug. "Before you gave up, this is the night we would have met at Rowdy's."

"So?"

"Call me sentimental, but I miss it." After the slightest pause, he added, "I miss you."

"Really?" She refused to be sucked back in by his charm. The holidays had been almost intolerable—in part because she'd spent too much time thinking about him. Spring was upon them, and with it came a renewed sense of purpose, a purpose that didn't include Dashiel Riske.

"Don't you?"

"What?"

In that warm, teasing voice of his, he said, "Miss me." He shifted, sending electrical awareness into the air. "Just a little maybe?"

Fond memories made her fight a smile. "We did have some fun." Rowdy's bar had quickly become her favorite hangout. Getting Rowdy was a clean but comfortable place that served simple meals, good drinks and fun entertainment, like pool and darts, and a dance floor.

Best of all, badass Rowdy Yates stayed around to run the place himself. That was incentive enough to turn the staunchest teetotaler into a booze hound.

Though Rowdy and his bartender, Avery, had married over Christmas, he was still a sinfully gorgeous hunk surrounded by an aura of danger and sensual menace, more than worth a fantasy or two.

"Admit it," Dash murmured, watching her with probing intent. "Admit that you missed me."

She reluctantly gave her attention back to Dash—and wanted to groan. A lonely streetlamp gave faint illumination to his features, but she knew every nuance of his gorgeous face. No, he didn't have Rowdy's bad-boy rep, but his razor-sharp sensuality and construction-worker physique churned up a different type of fantasy.

Too bad she knew they'd never suit.

"Maybe," she agreed. "Just a little."

"I'm wounded—especially considering I wasn't your first pick."

No, he wasn't. She'd initially wanted Rowdy to play her counterpart in the role of bar trollop, but Avery Mul-lins, now Yates, had already staked a rock-solid claim. Not a big deal because she knew she never would have gotten involved with Rowdy anyway, not beyond a one-night stand.

"As I recall, you offered."

"More like insisted."

She inclined her head in agreement. As second choice, she'd accepted Dash's help with her cover, help she needed to give her a reason to hang around the bar without getting hit on by every lonely sap alive. She wanted to look the part of helpless, vulnerable, female boozer, but she didn't want to appear too pathetic.

The first woman who'd escaped had initially been at the bar with a boyfriend. They'd parted ways at the door, and she'd gotten snatched right off the street.

So Margo set herself up as easy prey by following the same scenario—with Dash.

"I'd love to know what you're thinking." Dash looked her over in a way that felt far too physical.

That I missed you so much, too. Blocking that response, she asked, "What are we doing here, Dash? It's getting late and I've had a full day."

His gaze narrowed, proving she'd hit a nerve. "If you wanted to start back at the bar scene, you should have given me a call."

"I'm a big girl. I can handle it alone."

His gaze moved over her face. "Do Logan and Reese know what you're doing?"

Oh, now that just pissed her off. She settled into the corner of the seat, getting comfortable for this long-overdue confrontation. She would have preferred somewhere less…confined, maybe a location where his presence didn't fill every inch of her space, where she didn't breathe in his scent, where his tall, ripped body wasn't so temptingly close.

But all she had was the here and now, so she'd make her point and then send him on his way. "You're confusing yourself, Dash. My detectives answer to me, not the other way around."

He disregarded her commanding tone and clear umbrage to say, "So they don't know?"

"I don't answer to anyone, especially not you."

As if finally realizing her mood, he raised his brows. "You know it's dangerous."

"I can handle danger." Hadn't she spent too many nights being dangerously attracted to him?

"What if your ploy works and someone grabs you?"

"That's the plan." And yes, it was dangerous. Deep down, she knew it wasn't right. But deep down, she had so damn many issues….

"You need backup." Before she could say anything, Dash whispered, "Let me be your backup."

"You and I have different objectives."

"I want to sleep with you," he admitted without reserve. "You want to catch some creeps—so sure, our main objectives are miles apart."

Plainspoken Dash. Margo shook her head, denying what he wanted and how his brazen words affected her.

"But," Dash said with emphasis, "the two aren't mutually exclusive. I'd like to see the creeps caught, same as you."

He 'd like to see them caught. No sign of outrage or disgust at what happened, at what the men did—or what the women suffered.

Margo blew out a breath. If she involved Rowdy Yates, he would go after the bastards with single-minded intent.

Dash's brother, Detective Logan Riske, one of the most honest, honorable, driven men she knew, always attacked injustice. He was seriousness personified.

Funny how the two brothers were so dissimilar in personality.

Logan saw her as a sexless superior, not a woman. But Dash had been making his interest known almost from the moment they'd met. Unlike Logan, he played at life and enjoyed every moment.

In many ways, Margo was just like the rest of her family. Being a cop was in her blood.

But other things…other genetic ties.

"I'm pretty sure," Dash went on, interrupting her disturbing thoughts, "that you want to sleep with me, too."

A denial would be pointless. Dash knew women. Instead, she gave him the truth. "It won't happen."

"Because?"

"For one thing, I'm the lieutenant at a station previously plagued by corruption. I spent a lot of time and made a lot of enemies clearing out the trash." More than one bad cop had lost his job. Other, less conscientious cops resented her for turning out their friends.

Logan and Reese were two of only a handful of good cops who had backed her 100 percent.

With anything work-related, she trusted them both. Away from the station…she preferred they stay out of her business.

Sleeping with the brother of a lead detective would definitely blur the lines.

"It's important that I keep my personal life completely separate from work." Few would understand her personal life, and too many others would use it against her.

"You think I'd gossip with Logan?"

"Probably Reese, too." Logan and Detective Reese had been buddies forever; Logan and Dash were as close as two brothers could be. They all hung out together.

That made the circle far too close for her peace of mind.

"Seriously?" Dash angled his broad shoulders into the corner of the car to better face her. "You think guys sit around and share conquests?"

"Conquests?" Margo smirked. "Is that what you call it?"

"I might if I was the pathetic type to brag about how and when and with whom I had sex." Getting comfortable, he unzipped his coat, showing a black thermal crew-neck shirt beneath. "But here's a news flash for you—I don't screw and tell. At least, not since I was seventeen. And trust me, even if I was the type—and again, I'm not—do you really think Logan or Reese wants to hear about us doing the nasty?"

Curiosity finally got her attention off his throat and up to his dark brown eyes. She tipped her head. "Would it be nasty?"

Dash watched her for several seconds before replying. "Entirely up to you." His voice went deep and dark. "It can go any way you want—as long as it goes."

She imagined sex with Dash would be…fine. Satisfying, sure. The man exuded testosterone and confidence. But it'd be the same old run-of-the-mill bang-for-fun encounter. He'd be polite, a gentleman. Considerate. It'd take the edge off, but there'd be no real depth. No risk.

No danger.

Unfortunately, that just didn't do it for her.

Meet the Author

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She’s had top-selling books for Amazon, Waldenbooks and the BGI Group. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.

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Dash of Peril 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth title in the Love Under Cover series and it doesn't dissappoint. Dash and Margo are likeable characters and have great chemistry. A tough police leuitenent meets a easy going construction worker. Add bad guys, family tension, and some well meaning (but a little off the mark) friends, and you have a great story with an ending very appropriate of a Foster novel. You also get a look in on the other characters from the series, which I really liked. Overall a great read.
Luckylady More than 1 year ago
Loved this book.  Margo and Dash had to work through an awful lot but they showed you how it is done.  I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a book of suspense, sexual attraction, and friendship, respect and deceit.   
realreader More than 1 year ago
Great excitement!! Get Attaction!! Great Characters!! Love this series of books!! Really don't want it to end!
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Each book in the Love Undercover series can be a standalone book but I have found that they are much better when you know the background of the characters in the story.    Dash has been a favorite of mine from the first book, Run the Risk.   He is calm, collected, and oh so Alpha.   Knowing that the attraction to Margo was something that had been stewing for a while and that he had not been able to get over it made the sparks that were flying that much hotter and brighter.   Having Margo not want to give into those sparks and making Dash work for it made their relationship so real.     I do have to share that if my husband hung over my like Dash hung over Margo, all the time, I would probably go nuts.   Sometimes a woman needs some space to deal with life, not always needing a man to step in and take control.  Lori Foster is an author that I never pass up.   Her Alpha Males are always hot and sexy.  Her females are tough and not pushovers who just drop at the feet of the males.   It is refreshing to have a female stand up to her male, not just fall into line.   The next book in this series, Cannon’s story, cannot be released soon enough.   Dash of Peril is a book that I just love, just might be my favorite in this series so far.   I highly recommend this book and the entire series by Lori Foster.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read great story line . I love a book about a girl who is tough and a super sexy guy gets under her skin love i love all of lori foster books soo read up cause you have alot of reading to do. :):):) <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JAB4422 More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed this series but this book wasn't as captivating as the others.  This story has Margo who is a police lieutenant and is not well liked in the department because she got rid of a lot of crooked cops when she took over, leaving some cops still wary of her. Margo is a very tough, take charge kind of woman who never shows weakness. It starts with Margo trying to catch some people who are kidnapping women and forcing them to film a porno. She is undercover at a bar acting as bait when she runs into Dash, the brother of one of her detectives. He's upset with her undercover job, so he's been looking for her to assure himself that she's safe. As they leave the bar it starts to snow, so she drives home slowly. On the way she is T-boned by the criminals who are kidnapping the women and want Margo dead before she finds them. Dash saw the accident because he was following her to make sure she made it OK so he ran over to help her. He finds Margo is injured but refuses medical attention, so takes her home. He doesn't want to leave her alone because of her injuries and because the crash was not an accident so someone could come back to finish the job. Dash decides to stay with Margo. Since he has had a crush on Margo for a long time, staying with her is not a hardship. When they start a relationship he has to learn to let Margo be a police lieutenant when she is working but a woman when they are alone. There were a lot of sex scenes in this book that didn't seem to help the plot along.  Their relationship seemed to consist almost solely on sex.  The sex scenes were definitely erotic and steamy but there was so much sex in the book that it shadowed the story line of tracking down the criminals who were abducting girls. As far as the characters go, I liked Dash's personality being strong but laid back. I didn't care for Margo at all and never felt a connection between these two.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Punched her in the face, threw her onto the ground and stomped on her ribs then walked out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Takes you out to tale res 1"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Okay."
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Loved this book. It was a tad long for my taste but I definitely enjoyed it. Dash was very sweet and sexy as hell. I loved how fiercely he wanted Margo. And her character was great as well. The way she was written as this tough cop, she could've easily been perceived as a (b) witch. However, Ms. Foster toed that line perfectly. Strong, capable, beautiful and vulnerable as well. Their chemistry was amazing. Once again I couldn't stand Rowdy. His character is repulsive. I AM however looking forward to Cannon's story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved Dash's story, Lori Foster has an amazing way of pulling a reader into the story and making you fall in love with the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
she never disappoints
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of this series this book won't disappoint! Didn't want to stop reading once I started. Great to see more of Lt. Peterson and catch up with past characters!! Highly Recommend!
Debby43 More than 1 year ago
Lori Foster is a writer you can always depend on to bring depth to the characters and story she is writing. Even though Reese is my favorite in this series, Dash is probably a close second. I love the dynamic between Margo and Dash, how patient he is in dealing with an Alpha female. I love that she is such a strong character. Would recommend this book or any in the series :)
Marquez More than 1 year ago
This entire series is FANTASTIC!!!!! Lori Foster is onne of my top 3 favorite authors and I have read A LOT of books!!! You have drama, action, compassion, humor and LOVE in each and every book!! Amazing book!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome ~ love Dash and Margo. Highly recommend!
GrrrGirl More than 1 year ago
This is just as good as the other "Undercover" books I've read. It's a full length book with well developed characters, steamy love scenes, a good plot and well written. I loved it from beginning to end. Lori Foster always writes a good book but The Undercover series is my favorite
TJLogan More than 1 year ago
Lori Foster does it again! Dash of Peril proves to be yet another stellar addition to Lori Foster's booklist. The fourth and final book in the Love Undercover series reintroduces us to Dashiel Riske who was in Run the Risk (featuring his brother, Logan Riske) and Margaret "Margo" Peterson, the tough police Lieutenant who was introduced in the same book. Because she works in the male dominated world of law enforcement, Margaret has always conveyed an aloof, tough persona, and a no-holds-barred professionalism around everyone who works with her. She grew up being told she wasn't good enough simply because she wasn't born a man. She's been trying to disprove that ever since; but inside she IS a woman; with a woman's wants and needs. Wants and needs that she keeps secret from everyone. Along comes Dash, who has been drawn to Margo, as he calls her, from the first moment he met her. He knows that Margo needs to maintain her tough-as-nails image in front of everyone else, but around him, he wants her to feel safe enough to let down her guard and give up control. He provides her with that safety and security to be herself and she allows him to take charge when they're alone. He's not threatened by her toughness, as a matter-of-fact, he finds it incredibly sexy. Dash further proves his trust in her when he makes it clear to Margo that he doesn't want to change her; that she can still be the tough Lieutenant while on the job, and he will be there for her when she needs to show her softer side. When Margo is almost killed, Dash takes it upon himself to become her personal caretaker. At first, Margo isn't sure she wants this; she's used to being alone, taking care of herself, and being in control. However, she soon realizes that Dash knows her and what she needs better than anyone ever has. Dash is a big-hearted, funny, passionately intense alpha male who knows when to give up control and Margo is a rigid law enforcement officer with a soft side that no one but Dash could ever see or accept. Their love scenes are so incredibly sexy and hot that they practically ignite the pages! These two characters are very full, rich and fun to be around, and they are made even more so by the inclusion of their relationships with Logan, Reese and Rowdy and their wives. I appreciated that all of these previous characters were an important part of this story. I also loved seeing Cannon Colter again and can't wait until his book, No Limits comes out; the first in The Ultimate Series! Can you say "preorder"!? I highly recommend this book and would encourage everyone to read the previous books in the Lover Undercover series. You really come to care about all of these characters and you will hate to see them go!