Review: On the Scent

on the scentReviewed by Janell

In this romantic suspense, Hannah, a nurse, inherits a cat, a dog, and $10 million from her elderly patient. After someone breaks into Hannah’s new house, she hires Zach’s detective firm for some security and investigation. Zach used to pretend to be a psychic for a reality tv show, but he’s not really psychic. He doesn’t want to handle Hannah’s case for personal reasons, but everyone else in the firm is busy, so Zach’s the man for the job.

After Zach gets hit in the head by an intruder, he starts hearing what the dog and cat are thinking. The dog is all, “Treats, pee, treats, hello man,” and the cat is all, “You idiot, we’re all going to die, give me some tuna fish.” The cat ends up giving Zach some helpful hints, so the mystery slowly gets deeper and then gets solved.

Of course Zach and Hannah are hot for each other. They’re both single and attractive, and they’re spending time together in close quarters. I didn’t track the timeline of the book, but I think it takes place over a week, maybe two, so they can only fight their hormones for so long. Zach straight up tells Hannah that they can’t have a relationship because she’s his client, and he has rules, so she tells herself to be patient. But then it only takes one more kiss and he carries her off to bed, patience and policies be damned!

I don’t usually read suspense because I find that it gets in the way of the romance. That’s my own personal reading preference. In this story, there’s the question of who’s after Hannah, plus Zach’s sudden psychic powers and his disbelief of them, interfering with the getting-to-know-you stage. It does force them closer, but I wouldn’t have minded a little more chit chat and a little less, “You’re in danger, let’s keep you safe” talk.

I also would have loved more talking animals. Zach didn’t believe what he was hearing at first, and then he tried to hide it. I would have had fun if he told people what the animals were thinking, because it was pretty funny stuff. Plus, why not let other people think he was crazy? It could have been a visible chink in his armor.

This book is the first in a series, I assume the other books will be about the other detectives in the agency. Zach’s story had a few loose ends, so I’m curious about how they’ll be handled. And, like I said, I would love if more psychic stuff was incorporated. Overall this was a fun read, but a little light on the romance for my taste.

By the way, the author has committed to donating half of her author royalties from this book to her local animal shelter’s Second Chance Fund, if that influences your purchase!

Grade: B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

On the Scent
By Angela Campell
Release Date: July 25, 2013
Publisher: Harper Impulse

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