Friday, July 12, 2013

Open Book Society

Pleasant Lake P.D.
By Kelly Fitzpatrick

Author’s website:
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Vicki.
Welcome to Pleasant Lake where the scenery is picturesque, the fun is frolicking, the small-town mentality is comforting (read: stifling), the emotions are on overdrive, the crime is petty and the bad guys seem like good guys.
Alexandria Moreno has wanted to ‘tackle dirtbags, cuff ‘em, and throw ‘em behind bars’ her entire life. Unfortunately, her stints in Pleasant Lake Police Department’s Animal Control and Parking Enforcement have been a smidge longer than she anticipated. Officer Moreno, Meter Maid Extraordinaire, is constantly passed over for promotion, for one reason or another – but mostly because the Chief of Police doesn’t think she is cut out for the big guns… or a police issued 9mm.
Enter FBI Agent Kilgore, a stoic no-nonsense task-master with an undercover mission for Alex. She must infiltrate the inner circle of Miguel Diaz; a suspected crime lord and nasty piece of work. It soon becomes clear that Alex has been chosen for this particular mission because; unbeknownst to her, Miguel has taken quite a fancy to her. Miguel has been profiled as a chronic rescuer and due to Alex’s ‘basket case’ tendencies the FBI have decided she is in good need of rescuing. And the worst thing? Alex’s infuriating ex-manfriend-slash-sex-buddy-slash-colleague, the insatiable Roman Plow, is her new partner in crime fighting.
And so begins the wackiness.
As it turns out Miguel Diaz is charming, hunky, super generous and oozes sex-appeal. Alex struggles with her attraction to the supposed criminal from the get-go as well as her residual attraction to ex-sex-pest, Roman. She chalks it all up to her self-imposed celibacy and desperately tries to cling to her professionalism. A futile task indeed.
Whilst attempting to uncover Miguel’s dastardly dealings, Alex falls hopelessly head-over-heels in love; except she doesn’t realize she’s in love and is reluctant to even broach the topic because of her major abandonment issues. Also, there’s no getting past the sex-slavery ring that Miguel is orchestrating no matter how gray she makes it or how many times she asks herself: ‘Would it really be so bad to be in love with a crime lord?’
Kelly Fitzpatrick weaves romance and comedy with a healthy dose of dramatic irony. In Alex Moreno, Fitzpatrick has created a romantic heroine that the reader can relate to whilst appreciating the very unlikely screwball antics. The classic romcom themes and motifs are integral to the fast pace of the novel. And all throughout it seems as if Fitzpatrick is very aware of these stereotypical scenarios. Fitzpatrick embraces first person narrative and dramatic irony in such a way that the reader feels an eyebrow-raising-eyerolling-kinship with the author, as if to say: “look at these silly people doing silly things, let’s mess up their lives a little more…”
One specific theme that is presented incredibly well is the love-triangle. Fitzpatrick takes an unusual tack with a theme that is arguably hugely over-used in contemporary romantic fiction; there is no predictable winner, no clear good guy and hearts do get a little trampled. The realness of Alex is something that is palpable through the use of this theme. It can be said that Alex subconsciously encourages and manipulates the love-triangle, whilst trying to figure out who she actually wants to be with.
‘I’d never had men fight over me. I feared someone would get hurt. I also felt a little afraid they’d decide I wasn’t worth the battle and go grab a beer together.’
Shallow? Yes. Truth? Hell yes. I have no problem calling you a liar if you can say you wouldn’t have the same thought process if you had two incredibly hot guys trying to win your heart!
Fitzpatrick is extremely skilled when it comes to comedic banter. Her characters aren’t stand-ups they’re just regular people forced into an irregular situation; trading jibes and taking names. Unless your funny bone has been surgically removed you will laugh out loud on several occasions.
Pleasant Lake P.D. will be the perfect post-summer pick-me-up. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and I’m looking forward to reading Fitzpatrick’s other work. If you’re craving sexy romcom with a hint of action? Run, don’t walk to get this book!

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