Review: Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun

Reviewed by Elle

At 19, Riva Heneman locked eyes with a grad student across a crowded cafe. Their chemistry was instant. With the intent of taking him home, Riva goes to talk to him, but is bitterly disappointed when all he wants is to buy drugs from her. With the tension between them burning hot, she makes the deal. Only to find herself in a pair of handcuffs- and not the fluffy, fun kind.

Years later, Riva has turned her life around, and is on the straight and narrow. With a farm and a restaurant that teaches underprivileged youths, she’s a shining example of a good citizen. But she’s never forgotten the simmering tension between her and the undercover cop that she became a criminal informant for.

When her protege Isaiah is arrested, Ian and Riva’s paths cross again. She’s no longer his informant and the balance of power between them has evened out. But to get Isaiah off the hook, she’s going to have to put her life on the line again and bring down the drug lords she once worked for. And of course, Ian isn’t going to let her do that alone.

I loved the beginning of this book. The opening, with the tension between Riva and Ian in the coffee shop before he arrests her had me hooked from page one.

When we skip to present day and she’s turned her life around and is doing so much for these kids that work in her restaurant, I liked her even more. The way the two MC’s reconnected was different and natural and I was so into it that I even tweeted about how much I was enjoying it.

And then it all went downhill. The entire middle of this book is just…nothing exciting. It’s basically just a search for a laptop that seemed to get forgotten for 90% of their day, only to be remembered at the last minute. And them organizing a dinner party that never actually happened.

There was some great character building of Riva’s parents that I enjoyed, but there was also a lot of oooh there’s all this old chemistry between us but he arrested and used me, so we can never be together. Like ALOT of it. I never really felt that there was a time where they both went ‘yep we’re all in, let’s do this’. We just got a I love you, I love you too at around the 97% mark. Which was just so anticlimactic. I wanted to see them together as a proper couple! But I got none of that.

And speaking of anticlimactic, the ending….where was it? Yeah there was a scene where she saved him/he saved her and the baddie is brought down, and hey, that laptop magically appears! But it was just not big enough for me. It was over and done with in probably 500 words. I kept expecting a twist or for the baddie to pop back up or just, SOMETHING! But nope, that was it. And even after that, they still didn’t fall into each other’s arms and profess their love.

Also of note, this is book 6 in a series. I didn’t know that going in, but to the authors credit, it didn’t matter. Turn me Loose stood on its own two feet, and while I could tell there were other characters of the series getting updated, it didn’t bother me.

So overall, while there was a really strong beginning and some really great characters, the middle and ending fell seriously flat for me.

Rating: C-

*ARC provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon

Turn Me Loose
by Anne Calhoun
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

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