Under the Surface by Anne Calhoun

Eve is a former cocktail waitress who now owns her own bar/club, Eye Candy. She is approached by a thug, Lyle, to use Eye Candy in a money laundering operation. Eve went to the police and without her knowledge, Matt (aka Chad) is assigned to Eye Candy to keep watch on the situation and to protect Eve. I did enjoy the plot being a suspenseful, contemporary romance. The problem that I had with the book was the lack of character development and depth. I guess if I had read previous books in the series, I might have felt more development in the character of Eve. In the first part of the book, Chad comes to the club to get a job as bartender. Immediately Eva and Chad feel a sexual tension when their hands touch. Sorry to say, I felt like there was no buildup to this moment and I barely knew either character. When I read this part, I felt no connection at all; no sexual tension, no sexual attraction. I really couldn’t understand the attraction of Chad to Eve. Chad was a strong, silent, brooding type of guy (policeman). My first idea of Eve was that she was a woman who had to dress in a provocative way to appear sexy. The hair that always seemed to cover her eyes kept me baffled. Was that supposed to be a sexy thing? I can’t imagine that in real life, Chad/Matt would have been attracted to Eve. I love stories with women who are in charge of their own bodies but it seemed that Eve had to literally threaten for sex from Chad/Matt. I can’t imagine ever doing that. My gosh, if someone doesn’t want to have sex with you, move on if you are a strong woman (without verbal threats.) I guess that I never really cared for the character of Eve, except that she was a good business person. The book did pick up toward the end, was more enjoyable and the action went much faster. Looking back, I wish that I had read others in the Alpha Ops series first.

The advance galley of this book was generously given to me to read by the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for a honest review.

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