Published: June 8, 2009
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Lauren Covington leads the perfect life, with the perfect parents. They live in the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood with great friends. Perfect. Only it's all a perfectly crafted lie to hide what happens behind closed doors.
Alex Convington, Lauren's father, is a brutal man who rules with an iron fist. He has everyone under his control. His family lives in fear of his wrath. Her mother suffers constant physical abuse at his hand, her brother suffers from severe mental abuse that is leading him down a path of self-destruction, and Lauren has lost the ability to trust men.
Then Lauren meets Jesse. He is everything she could ever dream of in the perfect guy: strong, tall, handsome, confident. And it scares the hell out of her. An instant, mutual attraction that quickly turns to love brings them together, but her father threatens to tear them apart.
Jesse, who once worked for Alex Covington, no longer wants to do his bidding. He's called it quits, but Alex doesn't let go of his possessions easily. Alex wants Jesse on his side, and if he can't have him, then Jesse would best serve him buried six feet under. Now, Jesse has to find a way to bring Alex's reign of terror down before he finds himself on the wrong side of a bullet.
This story moved at a steady pace, but felt a bit too long for me. I think it could have been condensed and been all the better for it. The main thing that kept me reading was the desire to see Alex Covington pay for his crimes. He was a deliciously detestable character, and probably the most interesting one, aside from his son.
I found Jesse to be a pretty strong voice, too, but the constant idiocy in which he just seemed to "forget" to watch his back, even though he knew full well Conington's men were out to kill him, had me shaking me head numerous times. Jesse constantly walked into glaringly dangerous situations as if he had no sense of self-preservation, got his butt handed to him and walked into a similar situation before the bruises even had a chance to heal. Similarly, Lauren kept putting herself in her father's path, thinking that, although he had beaten his wife right in from of her, slapped her brother around and berated him into a truly sad outcome, and she knew he had people knocked off before, that she was somehow beyond his wrath. How blind could she possibly be?
I finished this story because it does have that illusive something that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. Granted, it takes awhile to get there, but eventually it does. I found the entire scheme Jesse cooked up to be solid and, sometimes, brilliant, but, as I said, it took far too long to get there. The sheer intricacy of the plot, how many people were involved, the lengths they went to to cover their tracks, was definitely well thought out, which is something I can very much appreciate.
Overall, this was a decent read. I would recommend it for those who like a smidgen of romance heaped with a whole lot of sinister and a sprinkling of melancholy.
Playmates and Enemies is currently available for purchase on Amazon for FREE.