Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun #Review

Posted May 30, 2016 by Shari in Reviews / 18 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun #Review
Under the Surface

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
three-half-flames

Series: Alpha Ops #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by St. Martin's Press
Released on May 31, 2016
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

Get it at: add to goodreads

Well, I went into this book thinking it was the start of a new series. It was new to me, but actually the 4th book in the series. Not knowing this I can honestly say you can read this as a stand alone and not feel confused. If there were past characters in the book, Anne did a great job of introducing them to me as new characters and I love the fact that I didn’t have to have a huge history with the book.

With a name like Eye Candy, what can you expect in a nightclub? Of course sexy men bartending with a funky beat to get the women dancing. While the club is all about women and getting hooked up, it also is a place where customers can relax and no hanky panky is allowed on the premises….unless you are the boss. An opening at Eye Candy sends “Chad” (aka undercover Detective Matt Dorchester) in to interview for the bartending opening. Not even the owner Eve Webber knows that she has an undercover cop working in her bar.

Eve is the owner of Eye Candy, a dream that she worked hard for after getting out of cubicle Hell. With a pastor father and a devoted mother, she constantly is battling their idea of what a woman should do with her life. Obviously it isn’t being a nightclub owner. Located on the East side of Lancaster, she is hoping for a revitalization project to help bring her dreams to reality, but when a childhood friend steps in to ask her to launder money, she goes straight to the cops.

Detective Matt Dorchester is an undercover cop sent into Eye Candy to watch things and protect Eve, without her knowledge. The police chief doesn’t trust her even after he too went to school with her. Matt is always doing things for other people without thought of what he wants in his life. He has stopped feeling, but when he meets Eve, he knows she is something special.

Circumstances bring these two together more and more as the drama escalates to a point where Eve is on a hit list. While I found this to be a good story, I had some problems with how the undercover cops handled things. Matt went home, to work and to Eye Candy without much in the way of hiding. Just a change in names, a fake FB account and fake job, it alls seemed like it could be easily found out if any bad guy just looked closely.

Matt is closed up and a hard worker. He was in the armed forces when his parents were in a fatal accident that paralyzed his much younger brother. Medical bills, outfitting a house to a wheel chair and getting a steady job have occupied Matt’s life. He is willing to help out his brother, but never accept help back from anyone. So he feels closed off when it comes to Eve. While she is just a job, he can’t seem to keep it in his pants.

Eve is a pretty dominant personality. She isn’t afraid of her sexuality, but also isn’t jumping every guy. I kind of didn’t like some of the double standards she seemed to have. She fires a bartender for meeting up with a customer in the parking lot, but it is find for “Chad” or Matt to do her in the stockroom. Her rules mostly surrounded what the staff can do with customers, but still, I wanted her to have a few standards in this instance. Eve fights a good fight with her family. She is loyal to her family and neighborhood, but stands up for what she feels is right.

These two are combustable when they come together, but you feel like Matt is holding himself back to not get involved with his heart. Eve could sense this and wanted the real man. It culminates into a climax that makes them both think and quickly come to an end. That is something that bothers me. Quick endings.

The story was intense and frightening at times with enough bedroom time to keep me on edge. I recommend this for anyone who likes closed up men with sticks up their asses or strong women, who go after what they want.

Challenge Info:

New to Me: Series
Literary Pickers: Business Suit

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Angela @ Simply Angela
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I turned this one down because I wasn’t sure if it would work as a standalone. Now I wish I would have read it.

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

Sorry to hear that. I made the mistake of thinking it was the first book, but I didn’t have problems following it. I like the set up for the next book too.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Glad that oopsie with the series turned out well for you. Looks like there is a lot going on with this one between their pasts, the suspense, and the hot romance.

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

The suspense felt cheesy in the fact that the undercover part didn’t feel authentic and something happens to prove my point. The story was good for the most part, but at times these two just fustrated me.

Quinn's Book Nook
Guest

Yeah, I think I would have a hard time with Eve. But I’m glad you did enjoy this one.

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

She had a good heart, but I often got irritated with her, but then again so did I with Matt.

Blodeuedd
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Good to hear that it works as a stand alone, that is important

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

Yes it is.

Lover Of Romance
Guest

oh this does sound good!! I do like the sound of the hero though.

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

He was dreamy at times!

Braine TS
Guest

I need to get over this romance slump. I can read most anything except for romances. I don’t get it!

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

I get you. I am on vacation starting tomorrow, so I won’t get to read much. That will help me get over this slump I have had with reading in general.

Alyssa Susanna
Guest

I’m not sure if I’d like Eve, but I know I would LOVE Matt. 😀 What an interesting club. You have me curious about the intensity and the steaminess of this book – I may have to give it a try.

Fantastic review, Shari!

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

She rubbed me wrong a few times, but her heart was in a good place. Matt was a typical hero who stuffs his emotions deep. It’s pretty good, I just am not into local bad guy kind of stuff.

kimbacaffeinate
Guest

Matt sounds yum. This is a series I could see myself enjoying.

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

I might have to go back to the beginning, but it doesn’t feel like I have to. Not sure what the series is about as I didn’t feel lost on who everyone was.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

I’m glad to see you enjoyed this one. It seems hit or miss for a lot of people. I had a good time with it too and agree with you on the double standard. I didn’t love that bit or how hard she pressed him at the very start. But the rest was good.

Since you didn’t read the 3 previous. They have a very different feel than this one did I think. They were shorter reads and more sexy/erotic/light compared to this one. They were a lot of fun though 😀

Shari Delighted Read
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Shari Delighted Read

I will probably still skip the first 3 books since my TBR pile is larger than I will ever get through, but it was a so-so book for me. I liked it, but also poked so many holes through the plot.