Unexpected Partners by Michelle LarkinUnexpected Partners by Michelle Larkin is the story about finding love while catching a serial killer. But before you go – oh no, killers are just not my thing, – let me assure you that this book is heavy on the romance and light on the drama and action.

Dr Chloe Maddox is new to the Boston Police Department and specialises in behavioural profiling. She is invested in stopping the man who kidnapped and almost killed her but she doesn’t remember enough to really be of any help.

Detective Dana Blake’s wife was kidnapped, tortured and killed by a serial killer. They are pretty certain that the same man kidnapped Chloe making Dana determined to ensure Chloe’s safety in case this monster returns to finish the job.

In the middle of the investigation, Chloe and Dana find themselves drawn together but are either of them ready for romance? The one having lost her wife and the other having almost lost her life.

The Characters

This book is plot driven. Most of it is about their hunt for the killer and the cat and mouse game that ensues so don’t expect big character arcs.

The character work in this story doesn’t drive the story and it’s not particularly good or important to the plot. The characters are pretty standard and because it is a decent read you will want them to win.

Dana is sweet, strong and heroic while Chloe is smart, strong willed and feisty.

The best character in the book is Taz, the most adorable dog. If you love dogs then this book is for you.

The Writing Style

The story clipped along nicely and kept me interested from the first bit right through. It was an interesting audiobook and didn’t do anything I expected it to.

There were a few moments when unexpected events saved the day. If you can look past how convenient it all was then this is a sweet book.

The Narration

I enjoyed the narration by AJ Ferraro. Her different character voices allowed me to distinguish between the characters easily, the timing was good and the audiobook was worth a listen.

The Pros

I loved Taz. He had a large personality and was adorable. I loved his story and cheered him on.

The Cons

This is a bit of an odd book to try and classify. It straddles the line between suspense and romance and kind of ends up being a romance with a touch of suspense. I would be fine with that if the one main character wasn’t suffering from major PTSD at the hands of a serial killer who literally tortured her and beat her to the edge of her life. I find it difficult to believe that a woman who has been through such a sexual trauma would be able to fall in love that easily while also hunting the man who tortured her.

For sensitive readers there are mentions of women being raped and murdered. There is also a rather violent scene at the end.

The Conclusion

I enjoyed the story and am not sorry I listened to it. The characters, while not hugely memorable or indistinguishable from one another, were nice enough that I wanted them to get together.

The bad guy was terrible and I am glad about how it ended.

Taz is adorable and dog people will love the book for him.

If you do get this book then expect a lighter read. You won’t get the police procedural or deep research that often goes into suspense books.

Excerpt from Unexpected Partners by Michelle Larkin


Tantalizing aromas of blended coffee beans and fresh-baked cookies filled the small café. “Absolutely not,” Dana Blake said, sipping her coffee.

“But she checks all the boxes.” Maribel Murphy had been Dana’s friend and sole confidant for the past four years. She was unrelenting in her quest to set Dana up on a blind date.

“And what boxes are those?” Dana glanced over Maribel’s shoulder as the door swung open and another customer entered in need of their morning caffeine fix. Boston’s chilly November air drifted in and grazed her hand as she set the mug down. She’d selected a table with a view of the door, positioning herself with her back to the wall—a habit she’d developed from her time on the streets as a cop. Even now, as a plainclothes detective, it was a habit she couldn’t shake. She had already done her usual Saturday morning assessment of everyone in the café. She was off the clock, but these days you could never be too careful.

“Smart, sexy, athletic, and not a cop.” Maribel sipped her own coffee and studied Dana with a scrutinizing gaze. “Or a prosecutor,” she added.

“What do I have against prosecutors?”

“Chris Slater,” Maribel shot back.

She laughed out loud. “Seriously?”

“Everyone in the office knows he chased after you for years. You rejected him at every turn.”

“Not because I have something against prosecutors. I never went out with him because I’m gay.”

“I thought you were bi.” Dana frowned.

“How on earth did you get that impression?”

“You mentioned a boyfriend in college.” Maribel cast her eyes to the floor in thought. “Charlie. That was his name.”

“Charlie was a spring fling—”

“So you were bi.”

“And her full name was Charlene,” Dana finished.

“Oh.” Maribel leaned back in her chair. “So you really don’t have anything against prosecutors?”

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 9781635552034

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Audiobook Publisher: Bold Strokes Books Inc

Narrator: AJ Ferraro

Michelle Larkin Online

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