Improper Conduct, by Patricia Rosemoor

>> Friday, February 04, 2005

Patricia Rosemoor's Improper Conduct is the middle book in her Chicago Heat series.

Was it indecent...?
Nick Novak is shocked when gorgeous Isabel Grayson suddenly reappears in his life. She'd broken his heart once years before... now she suddenly needed his help? Nick's price is high -a no-holds-barred sexual fring with him. Maybe then he can get her out of his system.

Or improper...?
Isabel is shocked by Nick's "proposal". But she desperately needs his assistance to find her runaway sister. By day she'll accompany him on the hot streets of Chicago. By night she'll make love to him... in every way possible. Maybe then can get him out of her system.
I've read and enjoyed both of the other books in the series (Sheer Pleasure and Hot Zone). Improper Conduct shares with them a certain edgier, darker feel, a more realistic than usual urban sensibility that I very much enjoyed, but this particular title had too many negative aspects, and my grade is a C.

My first, and probably biggest problem was that I didn't like the premise of the book or think it convincing. First of all, the reason behind Isabel's sister running away made no sense. I understand that she'd be upset, but running away? Hmmm, I don't think so. And then there's Isabel's reaction to this. I thought it was inexcusable that she acquiesced to her father's wishes to keep it quiet and not bring in the authorities. The reason why she didn't bring in the police of a PI into it was not because the situation wasn't grave enough, because she was worried out of her mind about it, but to cover her father's political ass, and I lost most of my respect for her for not standing up to him.

I did like Nick and I enjoyed the romance, mostly. Rosemoor has a way with love scenes. They are rawer and darker than usual, and I liked that Isabel was no naive ice princess, but sexually confident. And also, I liked that there wasn't a sugary epilogue, complete with marriage and children. It wouldn't have gone well with the tone of the book.

The parts about runaways and life on the streets I was a bit ambivalent about. On on hand, they were interesting and felt realistic, at least the facts of it. On the other, I thought Nick and Isabel's reactions here felt a bit fake. As did the suspense subplot, which was just plain weird.

Oh, well, in spite of all this, I think I'd read Rosemoor again. She at least writes something somewhat different and original, and I know she can do better.


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