Privately Investigated by Melissa TerezePrivately Investigated by Melissa Tereze is a somewhat angsty age gap romance between two women who have long been unlucky in love.

Hired by a rich and haughty woman, Natalie Barker tails the woman’s wife. She’s supposed to find out who the wife has been cheating with, but instead Nat finds a warm and beautiful woman. She quickly quits the job, convinced the woman is completely innocent, and then can’t help but grow closer.

Having just left her controlling and unattentive wife, Katherine Hammond meets a gorgeous androgynous woman in her favorite coffee shop. Before long they’re spending a lot of time together and she feels completely safe with Natalie, who is the complete opposite of her estranged wife.

But what happens when Katherine finds out that she met Natalie while she was working for her wife? What happens to the trust that she craves and thinks she has found in Natalie?


The author is very good with shoes. A reader can see the shoe, dangling, close to dropping. Eventually, the shoe does drop of course, but the waiting is delicious tension. Set up with a harsh dilemma, the lead characters both want a lot and have a lot to lose if things don’t go right. There is also the simmering danger of nasty action from the hopefully soon to be ex-wife that lends an extra layer of tension to the story. Even with all that to worry a reader’s mind, it never became too much to bear.

I don’t normally comment on this but the cover, credited to the author, is really hot and very nicely done.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

It’s obvious from the start that Natalie and Katherine are each exactly what they needed in their lives, even if they didn’t realize it. The premise is juicy and tough to figure a way out of, that trust is what Katherine needs more than anything but how can she trust her paid stalker? The dilemma is super tough for Natalie, who falls in love with the woman she was investigating and who she knows needs trust more than anything. Yes, the not communicating important facts as a way to up the tension in a story has been done a lot. But I was all in watching Natalie wrestle with knowing she should do the right thing and not being able to pull the trigger.

This author typically writes very sexy books, and this one has some very sexy scenes. I’ve never been so affected by sexting before. The core of the book is about trust issues and what to do if you’re messing up a relationship that is great for both women. The balance was great between Natalie knowing she needed to tell Katherine why they met and being too afraid to end the first perfect relationship she’s known. If it wasn’t for the huge dilemma, I would consider this a very sweet romance.

Heads Up

Unending mean behavior from an ex.

The Conclusion

Natalie is hired by a rich woman to investigate her wife, who is trying to leave the cold and empty existence. It doesn’t take long for her for Katherine and Natalie to begin seeing each other and decide they are perfect for each other. But how will Katherine react to finding out that Natalie was hired to stalk her?

Normally I have a tough time with the suspense of characters, both of whom I like very much, needing to tell something vitally important to the other before it’s too late. The author does a very nice job of balancing the characters falling in love with the possibly impending doom of the truth and I was comfortable on the edge of my seat. There are a few sexy scenes, but this story is very much about falling in love with someone you’re afraid to be totally truthful with.

Excerpt from Privately Investigated by Melissa Tereze

Taking two cappuccinos from the counter, Nat slowly made her way back to Katherine, placing one down for her on the table. “Here. Get that down you and take a few breaths.”

“Thank you so much.” Katherine’s voice no longer trembled, nor was there any sign of tears. “Sorry about that. I was just having a moment.”

“Is…everything okay?”

“God, I hope it will be one day.” Katherine sweetened her coffee. Nat couldn’t take her eyes off her soft hands and her delicate wrists. She was well-kept but not overly so. This woman was probably used to being the best dressed if Bridget had anything to do with it. “I’m having issues with my ex-wife. Trying to get a divorce from her is like trying to get a letter from God.”

“I’m sorry.”

“And I’m just tired. She sent me a video this morning of what clothes I had left at the house…burning in the back garden. I don’t understand how anyone can hate another person so much to do that. I simply asked for a divorce months ago, and it’s just escalating. I’m worried that she’s going to do something to my car or my home next. She thinks I’m having an affair. I’m not.”

Oh, Nat knew she wasn’t. And if Bridget wanted to continue destroying Katherine’s property, Nat would step in. She didn’t care if she was contracted to Bridget and her ridiculous line of thinking; Katherine was where she wanted to focus her time and attention. “You need to call the police if you don’t feel safe.” Nat felt terrible for being a shoulder here. She was calling off her contract with Bridget this evening, but the fact she was ever snooping into this woman’s private life weighed heavy on Nat’s mind. Katherine was trusting her here, confiding in Nat, yet she hadn’t been honest about who she was.

“I think she has someone watching me.”

Nat’s heart sank. Katherine knew she was being watched, and it was Nat who was doing that watching.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1-915242-33-4

Publisher: GPC Publishing

Melissa Tereze Online


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