A Review by Wendy
3.5 Figuring It All Out Stars
* * * 1/2
* * * 1/2
Anne Calhoun knows exactly how to draw a reader in. She has taken me on many a ride with well constructed stories and unique characters. In Under the Surface, she gave us a conflicted undercover cop and an owner of an up and coming club.
Due to a money laundering scheme the main characters, Matt and Eve, have been brought together under tricky circumstances. Eve was approached by an old neighborhood thug to use her club, Eye Candy to clean the drug cash. She listened saying she would think on it knowing all along she would go to her friend on the force. She tells of the set up and will work with them in her own way. Little does she know they are bringing in Matt as the bartender to watch over the bar and gather evidence for the bust.
This is the major conflict of the story. Matt understands how to do undercover...he has been doing it for too long. He has been in many situations similar... but this time... all the half truths, the playing the game with Eve doesn't feel right.
Eve is nothing like what Matt is use to... she is something very different. She is extremely strong... she had to be. Having parents who were part of the church meant they never expected or approved of their daughter to be involved in the nightclub/bar business. Eve just happened to fall into it while going to college and before she knew it , she had worked her way up to events and special projects. All of this experience gave her the way to contribute to the community she loved. Her dream was to bring the Eastside out of the dark despair and provide a positive way for it to flourish. By her helping the police bring down the drugs and crime, it could be a first step.
Both these two meet and sparks happen. What is surprising to Eve is the reluctance of Matt when Eve lets him know she is interested. Because he is "on the job", he is trying to play it careful and not cross the line. However the chemistry between these two, is just too much for them to fight.
With the attraction and the danger...the story is multi-layered.
I happened to like Eve and her strength quite a bit. She was a woman who found herself and knew what she wanted; her club to be a success, her community to be safe and rid of threats and crime, and she saw a man she wanted to share herself with. She made no apologizes for who she was and handled herself well.
Matt was more distant and brooding. His attraction for Eve was plain yet he was torn... always trying to do what he felt was correct and right. I got where he was coming from... yet I never really warmed up to him. I think it was a me thing.
Overall, this brings romance and suspense together with the strong talent of Anne Calhoun.
A gifted copy was provided by St. Martin's Press for an honest review.
After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, I found myself living in the suburbs of a small Midwestern city. The glamour of various cube farm jobs had worn off, so I gave up making a decent living to take Joseph Campbell’s advice and follow my bliss: writing romance.