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Lust, Money & Murder - Book 1: A Female Secret Service Agent Takes on an International Criminal Kindle Edition
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Lust, Love & Murder by Mike Wells is the first part of Elaine’s life, taking the reader from her underprivileged upbringing, through Secret Service training, and then into her first two assignments as an agent. The author does a great job of showing Elaine ‘growing up’ without getting too bogged down, but the story doesn’t really get started until she arrives in Bulgaria for her second assignment.
There is enough technical detail to enable readers to ‘see’ the action, without long-winded techno expositions, and the angst Elaine feels at this point in her life—for instance, the fact that she entered college as a virgin with no prior experience with the opposite sex, but a determination to ‘correct’ that situation—is shown very well.
Elaine’s feelings for her unconventional supervisor in Bulgaria is handled reasonably well, but that character could be developed more which would add to the sense of betrayal she feels when she learns that he’s under investigation for illicit activities.
The book ends on one hell of a cliffhanger—unfortunate really—with too many things left hanging. That is my main issue with this story. It’s a tense page-turner that ends too soon, and without adequate warning. While it makes me want to read the sequel, just to see what happens next, I felt a bit cheated that there was no warning that it would end on such an unresolved note. I give the author kudos for the way he handles language, but have to subtract a little for the ending.
When Elaine reaches adulthood and heads off to college the reader becomes more in tune with her personality through a series of fumbling sexual encounters. We have our first laugh out loud moment when she shares her experience with her roommate. After college Elaine is selected to become a Secret Service agent and we follow her on her difficult journey through their rigorous academy. There is a hint that we may now see some action when she has to take a martial arts exam however the action in that scenario is anti-climactic. I would say that my one complaint about the story is the lack of action. I can say from personal experience that the life of a law enforcement officer is much more mundane in real life then portrayed in the movies or on TV. But, since this novella is a fictionalized version of what law enforcement officers do I was hoping for some edge of your seat thrills. Her first assignment goes horribly wrong and she is transferred to Bulgaria where things heat up. It’s on this assignment that she really gets to do her job and show off her talents. This is also where she meets a fellow Secret Service Agent named Nick who she proceeds to fall madly in love with.
I did enjoy this story overall. Elaine is a smart girl who you come to care about. Her journey is easy to relate to and you want to know what will happen to her in the future.
"Lust, Money & Murder" is an interesting and engaging read. The author ended it in just the right way to intrigue a reader into wanting to read Book 2. I can guarantee that Book 2 will be added to my TBR list. I just have to find out where Elaine Brogan goes next.
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