Off Limits, by Michele Albert

>> Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I always enjoy Michele Albert's books, whether she's writing under that name or as Michelle Jerott. Come to think of it, she is rather an autobuy author for me... Anyway, the latest book of hers that I read was Off Limits (excerpt). It's related to both Getting Her Man and Absolute Trouble.

Breaking All The Rules
Sexy and smart, Emma Frey is a by-the-books cop who knows there are certain men she should avoid -- and "bad boy" detective Bobby Halloran is a prime example.

But now she's been teamed up with the legendary heartbreaker, and everyone in the station house is making bets on how long Emma will be able to resist him. With Bobby turning on the charm -- and flashing his knees-weakening, million-dollar smile -- it's going to be hard for Emma to keep her mind on the job.

Despite his reputation, Bobby's got a heart of gold to go with his lady-killer looks. And when things start to get red hot on the mean New Orleans streets, the unwavering devotion and surprising tenderness of her delectable partner soon have Emma's head spinning. She has always lived by the rules, but some rules were meant to be broken. And though it could cost them both their badges -- or worse -- Emma can't help wondering if it might be worth risking everything for one sweet taste of off-duty passion . . .
It was excellent, just what I'm used to expecting from this author. My grade is a B+.

What sets Albert apart is the way her characters feel like real modern people. There are no stupid contrived issues, her characters talk to each other and react like normal people and their attitudes to life feel refreshingly modern. Also, there are often quirky little details, like Bobby watching Cowboy Bebop here, for instance.

Unlike what the cartoonish cover suggests (a romantic comedy with a ditzy heroine, maybe?), this story is darker in tone. Both the setting and the characters' issues were no light fluff, and I liked the way Albert dealt with them. I especially liked what she did with Bobby... no "love cures every problem" philosophy here. Bobby realizes he has a problem and will have to seek professional help. Yes, Emma will be there to support him, and that will help, but it's not enough.

How long until the author's next book, again?


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