What happens when the orderly life of a CPA collides with the Russian mafia?
What happens when the orderly life of a CPA collides with the Russian mafia? A romantic suspense with an emphasis on romance!
If I pick up a new book by Susan X. Meagher I can always count that the book will be well-written and well-edited. I expect a good lesbian romance with interesting characters. Out Of Whack took me a bit by surprise, an entirely pleasant surprise. The first few pages lead the reader right into an encounter – and a very brutal one at that – with the Russian Mafia.
Darcy Morgan is a very dependable CPA who leads a very orderly and ordinary life. Due to a sudden fateful turn she finds herself bruised, battered, beaten on the streets of Brooklyn with no chance to go home and hunted by the police. Playing by the rules, her usual mode of life, won't work anymore. Without finding shelter somewhere safe and out of sight she won't even survive the night. When she meets Tess, a kind stranger, she needs to act totally out of character and ensure her own survival.
I was roped in from the start by the unexpected ordeal Darcy finds herself in. And no, Darcy is not discovering her super-woman powers in a pinch, she just remains your ordinary CPA. This makes her very real and I started to ask myself: what if something like that happened to me? The same with Tess, another ordinary woman, who meets Darcy by chance. What if?
Meagher does a masterful job of story-telling especially during the first third of the book where Darcy and Tess are nilly-willy thrown together: There are only the two of them, total strangers, they are holed up, nothing much happens on the outside, but there is a lot of pressure bearing on each of the main characters. Everything which happens has to come from the characters and their interaction alone. It is like a "Kammerspiel", a very intimate, close-up portrait of Darcy and Tess before they have to run for their lives. Very well done! When the story moves on, a sweet and tender romance starts between the two fugitives. To finally disentagle Darcy from the mobsters it takes help from surprising quarters, quite a few unexpected twists and more good story-telling.
This is a romance with a good chunk of suspense. It has Meagher's trade mark touch of careful, thorough character and story development with a leisurely exploration of attraction and love. Out Of Whack though a departure from Meagher's usual romances is a thoroughly enjoyable read.