Playing Dead

Playing Dead

by Jody E. Lebel

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Court reporter Renee Rose found out the hard way that hooking up with a cop is like a bikini wax--it starts off hot, turns painful, and ends in tears.

But when her best friend receives an e-mail, supposedly from her long-dead fiancé, demanding money, Renee knows they need help. Too bad help comes in the form of Detective Anthony Graciano, an annoying, bossy cop who somehow manages to haul Renee's libido out of dry dock.

Police work is more than a career to Anthony, it's an obsession. He specializes in cases involving female victims, which leaves him no time for anything else. Until he meets Renee, a delicious mystery he yearns to explore.

As danger closes in, Anthony fights to keep Renee safe despite her tendency to plunge headlong into danger--and her doubts about him. Can she learn to trust his love before it's too late?

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014207119
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: 04/08/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 258
File size: 804 KB

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Playing Dead 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
2Schnauzers More than 1 year ago
What a great read! From the first page 'till the last it keeps you entertained! Ms. Lebel's writing style is both humorous and refreshing. This story is not bogged down with legal scenes and the workings of a courtroom, so even if you don't know a darned thing about court reporting you will enjoy this romantic tale. The main characters (Renee and Anthony) are adorable in their 'fumbling' around each other. The story has twists and turns that will keep you reading until the wee hours of the night!
JoyaFields More than 1 year ago
Playing Dead is a page-turning suspense with fun and realistic characters. Readers will fall in love with the main characters, Renee and Antony, as well as the secondary characters. Jody Libel has a fun and humorous writing style that makes readers want to sit back, relax, and go along for the ride. This story had powerful twists, a strong and believable friendship between Renee and Liz, and a romance that makes you cheer for Renee and Anthony as they discover their feelings for each other and work together to solve the mystery about a trail of strange emails. I’ll be watching for new releases from author Jody Libel.
ZaBeth More than 1 year ago
I really had a hard time getting into the suspense novel, Playing Dead by Jody Lebel. While the suspense plot line of the book had merit and some interesting twists, I found that I couldn’t get past a heroine who I realized I didn’t like. Renee Rose is a court reporter. She has seen the low of the low and unfortunately even married a scum bag who happened to be a cop. Needless to say she has steered clear of men in blue since her divorce but she finds herself immediately attracted to Detective Anthony Graciano who is assigned to help her best friend, Liz, who is getting emails from her dead husband asking for money. That sounds like a good story. And it is, except for two things. First, Renee’s reaction to her attraction to Detective Graciano is to pick a fight with him every time he opens his mouth. While I like a couple who aren’t afraid to do some verbal sparring, constant bickering while secretly lusting after a man seems incredibly childish for an independent woman. Even for a woman who still has emotional scars from her last failed romance. Second, Renee is babysitting an exchange student who is supposed to be staying with her mother. I found the stereotypical portrayal of the ignorant foreigner a little over the top.  While the story does attempt to explain some cultural differences, Detective Graciano’s instant dislike for Hanif is too unfounded to be believable.  There are some good moments in the story which prove Lebel’s talent as a novelist even though this offering didn’t always hit the mark for me on character actions and emotions. I look forward to reading Lebel’s future novels and I predict that as she refines her craft she’ll be an author to keep an eye on.
EJ_Findorff More than 1 year ago
Awesome character development. This is key in enjoying the hell out of this novel. You could feel the sexual attraction oozing off each paragraph. The plot is solid and well written, although depending on a couple of coincidences that are easily forgiven. Each time I stopped reading, I looked forward to picking it back up. If I don't find that in a book, then its not worth reading. Great job! E.J. Findorff, author of Unhinged.
Richard_Bunning More than 1 year ago
This is an action packed short-novel, aimed primarily at a female audience. I actually enjoyed it very much, despite my genitalia. The plot revolves around a fairly classic shake-down for money, with enough invention to be interesting and enough tension to be gripping. Actually, the plot was perhaps more convincing because the details of brutal excesses were left to one’s imagination. Many authors pack in so much gratuitous blow by blow violence that the balance of the story can be lost. Books like this show us that there is something to be said for leaving readers some freedom to pour in the quantity of blood they require. This is of course equally true of sexual content. If the male hero has a rather overplayed touchy feely side for me to easily identify with then this only provides a bit of balance to all the bloodthirsty books I have so often read. Yes, you must bear in mind that I am not a regular reader of romance. I will not attempt to deny that I have all sorts of built in prejudices against the genre. All the female characters are very well rounded and totally believable. The only character in the book that doesn’t quite fit together is the male exchange student. He provides a good twist to the plot, but his naivety about the life-style of North Americans is possibly overplayed. One small flaw that may well only reside in my head is hardly serious, amongst such a great cast. In my opinion Lebel has a particularly observant eye on male bad eggs. Perhaps that is simply because bad egg is the default form. Despite fashionable brevity Lebel packs plenty in, this is a there aren’t very many wasted words. Her feel for dialogue is particularly good, and has a lot to do with making this such a good read. For those who like to know there is a 66,000 word count. I am not against the conclusion that it seemed so short to me simply because I enjoyed it so much. Romance is the broad genre, but this book has enough non-romantic action to keep a wide variety of readers happy. I might call it a gritty, police drama, romance. Lebel has built some very interesting characters, some of which have huge scope for further development, which makes me wonder whether any of them are going to emerge again. It would be a waste if they didn’t.
kjwrites More than 1 year ago
Superbly Entertaining! When I finished reading Playing Dead by Jody E. Lebel I had to stop and think why I enjoyed the book so much. And I did enjoy it. I ate it up. Yes, the writing is witty and engaging, the plot interesting and fun enough to keep me turning the pages. There’s mystery, suspense and romance–all things I love--and even a couple of plot twists I didn’t see coming. But what I like most about this book is the relationships. Renee and Liz are girlfriends, and Lebel does a beautiful job of portraying how these two interact and care for each other. The friendship feels authentic and characterizes the heroines beautifully. And Detective Graciano, with his mismatched socks and pathetic ties, is a hero waiting to be loved. A little rusty in the dating game, but he gets up to speed quickly once he meets Renee! Renee is the perfect mate for him. And, oh, the chapter headings! Clowns on the Wedding Cake, One Black Sock, One Blue. What fun. I’ll be on the outlook for more books coming from this author.
ChristineWarner More than 1 year ago
This book started out quick and the pace didn't stop. I enjoyed Jody Lebel's voice and writing made for a smooth read. All of the characters were interesting. I liked the heroine Renee and her feisty dialogue and internals. I LOVED the hero Detective Anthony Graciano and how he was portrayed as not being the typical "perfect" hero. He wasn't always clean shaven, he might be rumpled in appearance and at times made odd wardrobe in, but Renee couldn't deny her attraction. Even though she'd sworn off dating anyone in law enforcement after a disastrous marriage that ended in divorce. All of the secondary characters were awesome, from Hanif (my fav secondary character and foreign exhange student), to Liz who was dealing with the death of her fiancee Steve, to Liz's sister Monica who had issues mostly caused by her own hand, but I still felt sorry for her at times. Even Detective Graciano's partner "Slicky" Grace Slikowski was a person of interest....and I couldn't forget the bad guys either...they were done well and I truly disliked them. I enjoyed this light-hearted romantic suspense with snappy dialogue and an interesting mystery woven in between memorable characters. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to finish a book with a smile on their face!