4 Stars for Deception by V.K. Powell #Mystery #FF #Suspense

CoverTitle: Deception
Author Name & Publisher: V.K. Powell (Bold Strokes Books)
Publication Date & Length: August 16, 2016 – 240 pgs


DEA Agent Colby Vincent is working an undercover assignment in which homeless veterans are being used to deal drugs. She’s forced to work without the support of fellow agents or friends and is challenged by her attraction to a woman she suspects is involved in the case.
Adena Weber is trying to maintain her late father’s law firm and legacy, part of which is the homeless resource center Colby is investigating. She’s always followed the rules and adhered to her boundaries until a new homeless woman wanders into the center.
Colby and Adena choose to keep secrets that complicate their jobs and ultimately jeopardize the possibility of a life together.

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This seems like a solid story;  well-plotted, good characterization, well-written. Right up until the end when things seem to go slightly awry. I will say that I enjoyed the book thoroughly up to that point. The chemistry between Adena and Colby is tense and hot, both because they want each other, and because there are very good reasons why they can’t have each other. Adena doesn’t want to cross that professional and ethical line and date one of the people who has come to her for help, and Colby hesitates not only because Adena may be a suspect in her case, but also because she’s lying to Adena and knows that may be a deal-breaker. Both of them are walking a line, and there are many chances for them to cross the line. I think Powell does a pretty good job of showing how demeaning and isolating it is to be homeless, and showing how compassion and respect can have an impact. The case itself was interesting. It doesn’t seem like these veterans are doing much, but at the same time what they’re doing has a ripple effect on the streets. My problem with the end is that things seem to get really rushed. Although the resolution of the case is swift, that isn’t the part that bothers me. One piece of information can crack a case wide open. It’s the last few scenes between Colby and Adena that bother me. The sex scene, after all the build-up, seems rushed and almost awkward, and although they’re saying the right things, it gets pushed to the side because Adena already has dinner plans. And the fact that she just leaves Colby standing in her house as she leaves was a bit jaw-dropping for me. I waited the whole book for this to happen and it was almost a wham-bam-thank you, ma’am sort of thing. And I wasn’t left with the warm fuzzies of something special just having started. At the end of the book, I enjoyed it, although I was slightly less than satisfied. But perhaps others won’t have the same reaction I did.


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As a thirty-year law enforcement veteran, VK Powell brings a rare level of authenticity to her novels of romantic intrigue. Her career spanned numerous positions including beat cop, homicide detective, vice/narcotics lieutenant, and assistant chief of police. Now retired, VK infuses her writing with the wealth of experience she gained in police work.

VK is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Rainbow Romance Writers, and the Golden Crown Literary Society. She has penned several novels and short stories featuring strong women who struggle with the timeless question: can you really have it all?

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