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Calculating Desires (Rockford Security Series) (Volume 4) Paperback – April 16, 2016
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I've never been to Vegas and don't especially want to, but it- and especially the Lucky Ace Casino-came alive for me. Exactly the right amount of details to make the atmosphere vivid!
And all the characters involved more than briefly were thoughtfully well-drawn. Alison is a skilled mathematician who adores math jokes- nice details that differentiate her from many romantic heroines. Owen is more typical, but not only doesn't mind that Alison is far better than he at math, but actually seeks to benefit from her expertise... and doesn't mind her math jokes, even though he doesn't understand most of them. These are the kinds of details that turn the main protagonists into vivid characters we're interested in reading about!
The other characters are good, and I am curious about their backstories. Particularly Henry the iguana, who I admit has nothing to do with the plot. An especial shout-out to Peaches the dog, who is not just a gratuitous puppy to make us say "awww", but is relevant to the plot in many ways. The secondary human characters were vivid, too! Faye, for example, needs a story...
All in all, a very fun light read!
Simple plot aside, there was no development of the relationship between Alison and Owen. They met once outside the Casino and that was by “chance”. There was one stop or two at an apartment. A change in scenery would have vastly improved this story because they are instantly in love and readers don’t know much about them. In general, the character development was extremely weak. She is on the run from her past so that is why the reader knows little about her. As for Owen, his investigation of her limits the information he gives her. This problem was never resolved. These characters are left unexplored.
Lastly, since so much attention was dedicated to the mystery, the build up to the ending didn’t have me in suspense as it should have. It was lackluster at best.
The new owners are proclaiming war on crime so the casino is not as busy as some of the places on the Vegas strip, when Blake informs them of a cheating ring, Owen feels he must put away the demons of his military life and Faith who betrayed him and find who is cheating the hotel.
Allison James who has become friends with Faye a blackjack dealer at the Casino is observed on video of winning. Could Allison be the cheater? Faye is aware that Allison has a secret but doesn’t know the depth of it. Allison is running for her life after being a whistleblower for a major pharmaceutical company, when she discovered the company was covering up an error which could cause patient’s deaths.
Owen is very suspicious of Allison’s actions when he observed her picking up an envelope under the bus stop bench. Accusing Allison of cheating she decides to trust Owen and tells him how she really is only counting cards to pay for food and rent. Showing Owen her math skills brings an idea to Owen that maybe Allison can help him find the cheaters.
As with the other books there are secondary story lines, Allison fearing the company would find her and kill her like the reporter she told about the pharmaceutical issue, Owen unable to trust anyone after the North Korean spy had learned top secret information from him, and of course Shelby and Chase with determination that everyone should have a pet.
Blake has a pet named Henry, there is mentioned every once in a while about Olivia, there must be a story there; and of course the authors bring back the characters from all the books in each of the new book. Stay tuned for more mystery and romance.
To really enjoy this series please read in order.