When Sharon Kleve asked me to read and review some of her books, like I did before, I said yes since I loved the books I read before. She gave me these three short stories (about 150 pages each) about Sage McGuire.
Sage McGuire is a girl who seems to find trouble wherever she goes. In Chase Me, she meets Carter Morgan who is a Sergeant at the Portland Police Department while she’s out for drinks with her girl friends. She leaves with Carter and spends an amazing sex-filled night with him at his place. Waking up in his very impersonal house, she convinces herself he’s a serial killer, out to get the stuff he needs to kill her. So she runs outside and has her friend pick her up. When Carter returns (from bying breakfast) he finds her gone and decides to go looking for her once his big case at work is over. A week later, he runs into Sage again at a bar, and when she runs outside, he follows her. She accuses him of being a serial killer, at which point he says he is in fact a cop and they spend another amazing, sexy night together. Sage and Carter fall in love and spend almost every night together thereafter. But then Sage goes to another bar with her friends where she sees Carter in disguise and she figures out he’s undercover on an assignment (to catch a dangerous drug dealer). When the two suspects walk in and go into the next room with Carter, she notices their guns and decides to run after them. She jumps on one of Carter’s attackers and is knocked unconscious against the wall. She wakes up in the hospital to Carter admonishing her: his back-up was outside, he was never in any danger and she really could have screwed things up. Luckily, they managed to catch the guys, but Sage did get pretty banged up meanwhile. Carter makes her promise to be more careful in the future, to which she can’t agree since she’s planning to start a private detective agency.
In the second book, Love Me, Sage has just opened her private detective agency. One of her first jobs is getting back a dog that the mob stole as collatoral for an unpaid loan that the dog’s owner couldn’t pay back to the loan shark. Even when the loan is paid back, the mob guy refuses to give over the dog. Sage’s assisstant goes over there, trying to get the dog back, but fails and reveals her name and where she works in the process. In the meantime, Sage and Carter’s relationship is in trouble because of Mia, Carter’s crazy ex-girlfriend. Mia works for the FBI and invites Carter to an exclusive training seminar where she plans to win him back. She threatens Sage, who reacts by installing security cameras in Carter’s house (where they are living together). So when she sees Mia enter the house with an old key and breaking and throwing out all of Sage’s stuff, she rushes over there with Carter to stop the crazy ex. Mia manages to escape, but luckily she is caught afterwards and sent to a mental hospital. While Sage is recovering from that, she is ambushed by the mob trying to get the dog she stole earlier back. Luckily, Carter manages to intervene just in time, even though Sage ends up in the hospital again. Oh, and just a few days earlier, on Valentine’s Day, Carter proposed to Sage and she accepted.
In the third book of the series, Kiss Me, Sage is visited by her ex-boss in her dream (she was his executive assistant). He tells her he was killed by his young, beautiful wife who was only after his money and he asks Sage to prove it. She has the man’s son dig up his corpse to do an autopsy, which indeed reveals he was poisoned and that it was actually the poison which killed him, and not, as they suspected before, a heart-attack while bungee jumping. She tells Carter, but unfortunately, they can’t do anything without proof or a confession. So Sage acquires some drugs that will make her ex-boss’s widow tell the truth. She gets the woman drunk, gives her the drugs, and gets her to tell the truth and reveal where she kept the poison. Unfortunately, the woman’s accomplice walks in at this point, and tries to kill Sage. Luckily, Carter comes in, saving her yet again. It turns out that Carter had already gotten the accomplice to confess, and he was going over to the appartment to get the poison that would betray the woman. But hearing the woman say she was planning on using the poison to kill him as well (and not spend her days happily ever after with the guy and her dead husband’s money) sent him over the edge. Thank god that Carter was there, listening in, and able to step in just in time. Sage ends up in hospital yet again, but she did manage to prove that her ex-boss was killed and gets the culprits locked up.
I don’t really know if I liked the books or not. They were a little weird. I liked Carter and Sage’s relationship mostly. They have this instant physical and sexual attraction, that is then almost immediately translated into love – yes, that went quick, but with their personalities, it was believable. However, I just don’t get Sage. She throws herself into danger constantly, without any regard for her own safety. If she was a badass skilled at self-defence, or a good shot, or had really any way of defending herself, I would get it. But she doesn’t at all. She isn’t particularly fit, strong or imposing. Carter has to save her ass every time, and when he then asks her to stop throwing herself into danger, for his sake, she flat out refuses. Yes, I can respect that she doesn’t want to change herself for a man, but really, he is only looking out for her. They compromise with her taking self-defence classes, which does help a little, but she continues to throw herself into dangerous, and often illegal, endeavours. I mean, stealing a dog from a mob boss? Jumping on the back of a drug dealer holding a gun? Drugging someone to get information out of them? I don’t see how that makes her a good private investigator… Because logically, all the evidence that she comes up with, would never hold up in court since it was obtained illegally… But you know, logic often doesn’t figure in romance novels. And like I said, I liked their relationship, which is the most important part of a romance anyway. And since they are so short, it’s not like I was frustrated with Sage’s actions a lot or for a long time.
I would suggest the books for a casual, relaxing read. Since they’re so short, they’re perfect for reading on public transport for example. And you don’t need to read the books in order, or read all of them. Every book can stand in and of itself, even though they refer to the others briefly.
Oh, and for those of you who can’t get enough of Sage and Carter, according to the author’s website, more books will be following:
- Rescue Me, to be released in September 2017
- Mistletoe Me, to be released in November 2017 (with, I’m guessing, a Christmas twist)