Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bundle (Vic Fallon Mystery Series)

Tim Smith
eXtasy Books (2011)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views

Ex-cop Vic Fallon quickly finds himself in way over his head when he reluctantly agrees to bodyguard a celebrity. He agrees to do this to pay back a favor to her lawyer, who is his friend. The pop singer Kimberly Daniels has come to Cleveland to promote her latest album.  She is also returning to the place of her roots.  Expecting her to be shallow and demanding, Vic is pleasantly surprised when he discovers that she is not. She is very beautiful, sexy, and appears to be quite attracted to him.  He is fine with this part of the job, however, shortly after her arrival things get tense when she receives a death threat from a stalker who seems to have a connection to her estranged family.

Vic finds himself using his detective skills and former professional connections to try to figure out who and why someone would be after Kimberly.  As he investigates the case, he sees a connection between an extortion attempt by someone threatening to reveal secrets from her youth, and the person stalking her now.  He and Kimberly also explore their attraction to each other while engaging in some very explicit sensual scenes. 

When the extortionist gives Vic 36 hours to come up with a million dollars, Vic is under the gun to keep Kimberly safe while he solves this mystery.  He also has to figure out what to do with his feelings for a woman who lives far away and who he knows will complicate his comfortable life of solitude.

I totally enjoyed reading "The Bundle." The author Tim Smith has done a great job creating characters that are very realistic, yet also unusually appealing. Vic is portrayed as a rugged ex-cop who demonstrates that he has some values. Kimberly is seen as an attractive woman who has had a painful past that she has not allowed to weaken her.  Nor has she allowed her fame to ruin her. The sensual scenes between the two are beautifully written, and perfectly illustrate the evolving attraction and emotion between them.  There are other side characters in the story that help set the background and provide some comic relief. 

I also found the mystery aspect of the drama to be well written, and very well thought out.  I appreciate how Tim Smith connects different aspects of the heroine's life to tie the clues together so that Vic is able to discover their connections as the he also learns about her past.  

I highly recommend "The Bundle" to readers who enjoy some romance and sensuality mixed in with a good mystery.  This was the first novel that I had the pleasure of reading by this author, and I know for sure it will not be my last.