Run The Risk by Lori Foster (Love Undercover #1)
September 25, 2012
Reviewed by Helyce
I am a big fan of Lori Foster’s writing style. Her contemporaries are always written with just the right amount of everything I enjoy to make the story grab me from the first page, so much so that I do not want to put it down. Run The Risk starts her new Love Undercover series and introduces us to the leading men who will each get a book.
Logan Riske is undercover when he moves into an apartment building that he knows Pepper Yates is living in under the alias of Sue Meeks. His plan is to get to know her, befriend her and hopefully be able to catch her brother Rowdy when he comes out of hiding. Logan needs Rowdy to testify against Morton Andrews who murdered Logan’s best friend Jack Carmin. Logan believes that Rowdy was an eye witness and that is the one thing they don’t have in the case against Morton Andrews. Pepper, though, is wary and does not want to have anything to do with Logan. She’s been hiding out for a long time and she isn’t willing to do anything that might risk her being found or worse, put her brother in danger. But Logan is everything she likes in a man and she has been without for a long time. As Logan slowly but surely starts to pull Pepper out of her shell, she can’t resist him and they begin what they both agree will be a sex only relationship.
But like anything that starts with lies, especially one as huge as this, shit hits the fan when Logan gets what he’s after and Rowdy comes out of hiding. He gets his man, but has to give up Pepper-something he really isn’t prepared to do. When Pepper realizes that she was just a pawn in Logan’s plans she’s hurt and confused, but she pushes that all aside. She knows that she’s got to do everything in her power to save her brother and she quickly realizes that she has no choice but to join forces with Logan and his crew to bring down the man responsible for all this chaos, Morton Andrews.
Logan and Pepper are a great couple-even with the way they meet and the predictable conflict they incur because of it. Pepper (aka Sue) is hiding out after the incident where Jack Carmin is killed. She has totally uglified herself; no make-up, drab, baggy clothing, and she carries herself so that she gives off a vibe that says, “stay away, don’t talk to me, I’m shy, I don’t like anybody”. But Logan sees past all of that and he is tenacious in his pursuit of her. Yes, initially it was just to meet his end goal-find Rowdy Yates. But it is not long at all before Logan is looking forward to seeing Pepper and vice versa. When Pepper finally gives in and lets Logan get close, it’s one of the strangest and guarded sex scenes I’ve read-while still being really hot at the same time. Logan goes along with it because even though Pepper never gets naked and doesn’t let Logan touch her at all, the sex is like nothing he’s ever experienced with a woman. It was at that point that I really fell for Logan. He falls hard for Pepper’s Sue Meeks persona which was not an especially attractive woman. He saw her in spite of the packaging and I loved that about him.
When Rowdy comes out of hiding, things start to get out of control really fast. Rowdy is taken into custody and Pepper decides that it’s her turn to take care of Rowdy for a change and clear this all up once and for all. She discards her Sue Meeks disguise and when Logan sees her for the first time he is speechless. When certain truths come out and Logan realizes that he never had all the right information to begin with he realizes that he needs to take a different approach to the whole case. But Morton Andrews strikes out immediately forcing Logan, Rowdy and Pepper to again go into hiding.
This is where the story gets so much more intense because you do not know who else is involved. It’s clear that Morton is a really bad guy in every sense of the word and that he has dirty cops on his payroll, but when Logan starts to distrust his own partner, Reese, and also their Lieutenant, the author weaves it so incredibly well that I kept changing my mind on who the bad guy was almost as often as I turned the page. There is a lot of on the edge of your seat excitement here.
And there are surprises that will make you smile. Ms. Foster does a nice job of setting up the couple in the next book, Reese and Alice. Reese is Logan’s partner and Alice is a neighbor of Reese who gets a lot of page time when Reese gets a dog and realizes that he can’t leave it alone in the apartment all day while he’s at work. The fun part is that Alice is more than a little strange. She seems very careful and introverted, but she likes Reese’s dog even if she acts like she doesn’t really care for Reese very much at all. She is so much more than you know and the author gives us a huge hint towards this when Alice’s help is an important part of the final showdown.
The secondary characters have pretty huge roles in this book without taking away anything from the lead couple. The fact that Logan and Pepper meet under a false pretense makes the conflict they incur when she learns who exactly Logan is predictable, but because they both have to put the case and keeping themselves from getting killed first, this issue is handled quickly and in such a way that more focus is placed on the relationship moving forward than on anything negative. Rowdy, Pepper’s brother, is an exciting and unique character that is completely different from what you’d expect when he’s originally introduced. I believe he is the hero of book 3.
The story wraps up with the perfect ending, leaving me very satisfied and content; and also very much looking forward to the next book.