The title: First Night
The author: Debra Webb
Publication: Harlequin, 2009
Got it from: The Bookworm, Westdale, Hamilton
It's been a looong time since I finished a book, although I've had about ten on the go for the past month. But in between visiting my baby niece last month and moving into our first-ever house, I haven't had any time to read. Luckily this book came into my possession at just the right time and provided the escape I needed for two evenings in a row.
First Night is part of the "Colby Agency" Private Investigators series, which based on my research currently has 1, 353 titles.* In this one, Merrilee "Merri" Walters is a rather different sort of PI - she's deaf and has to do her job entirely by reading lips. I found this to be an interesting plot device for the heroine - it's her one vulnerability, as she's otherwise tough as nails. Her story takes place just before Christmas, when one Brandon Thomas stumbles into the agency covered in blood and determined to prove that he didn't kill his roommate. And it seems that he may be hiding a secret of his own.**
Unlike most romances, the primary focus of the story is on the action and the mystery rather than the relationship between the protagonists. I actually liked that a lot. Sometimes it's hard to concentrate on a book when you've got a million things on your mind, and you just want stuff to happen rather than endless naval-gazing and angst. Plus, it gives you a chance to learn about the characters through their actions rather than their words. I loved the fact that the action was rapid and the pages turned lightning fast, with the romance jumping in for a cameo every chapter or so. Actually, it's a lot like your typical action movie. It's got car chases, fistfights, murder, sexy times. Why don't more men read these?
*I kid. So far there's only 29 in the series. But that's a lot.
**I don't want to give it away, since it's a bit of a secret. But it does rhyme with the ailment Zap Brannigan is afflicted with - "sexslexia, the sexiest learning disorder."