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Monday, April 30, 2012

Over My Head by Wendi Zwaduk

Over My Head by Wendi Zwaduk
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (62 Pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

What happens when two opposites realise they have more in common than expected?

I’m a dancer…and a damn good one. I work at the Silver Steel Gentlemen’s Club. My hard and fast rule? No freebies and no office dating. Except for Slade. Hard, fast, slow, gentle...I don’t care. I’ll take him any way possible. But he’s not that into me.

Or so she thinks. I’m a bouncer at the Silver Steel. Astra doesn’t realise I see her—I can’t help myself. She captivates me every time she’s on the stage. I want her, but I have a...problem. I’m not at the Steel to pick up chicks or even work the room. I’m there to stop the influx of drugs into the community. Yeah, I’m a cop. But if the job means sampling the dancers... Well, as long as I keep my heart out of it, I’ll be fine.

I hope.

Sometimes, the unlikeliest people find the most in common. Months of undercover work by Sergeant Randy McCall, as bouncer Slade McMann at The Silver Steel Gentlemen’s Club, should soon show results. Trying to stop the influx of drugs has led right him to the club and its owner, Salazar ‘Tiny’ Balthazar. But six months undercover still hasn’t produced results, and Randy/Slade would love to get back to his own life once more. Astra Lee is a dancer at the club, one that Slade should stay away from, but she's his one weakness. Astra senses that Slade is different from the men she's usually attracted to, and believes she can trust him with her secrets and maybe even her heart. But can these two have a chance at happiness, when there are so many secrets left untold between them? Can Astra trust the handsome bouncer, or is he just another of Tiny’s goons? Can Randy/Slade protect Astra when things start getting dangerous, or are these people just too different to last?

Over My Head is a dark and dangerous romance, with secrets and peril around each corner. This is reminiscent of pulp fiction or noir, with an atmosphere of earlier times and places. The characters are well developed, and the situation is fraught with danger at every turn for out intrepid hero and heroine. I like the gritty reality Ms Zwaduk has injected into this story, and found myself holding my breath at times waiting to see the outcome.

Astra Lee is determined to make a better life for herself, and wants to get away from her former lover, Salazar Balthazar and all he embodies. She wants to feel safe, but she has more than just herself to worry about now. And she's worried about putting someone else, namely Slade, in danger from Tiny and his goons. I liked Astra, and her sense of self preservation, and her courage in standing up for herself in the face of danger. And I liked that, deep down, there was that tiny spark of hope that she could get out and find a new life.

Sergeant Randy McCall/Slade McMann is the strong, silent and protective hero in this. He wants to do his job and get back to his old life, but he feels drawn to Astra and wants to help her in any way he can. I liked his honesty, his loyalty and his determination to protect the innocents while taking down the bad guys. I also appreciated that he was willing to accept Astra as she is, knowing her past with Tiny and accepting the inherent danger that it may cause.

Wendi Zwaduk has built a dark and dangerous world in Carrington Falls, one where drugs and bad men abound. But she has also provided the strong and sexy hero to fight the good fight to save the day. I enjoyed the edge to this story, and the secrets that are slowly revealed as the story moves to its inescapable conclusion. If you prefer your romance to have a dark and dangerous appeal, and your happy ever after hovering on the edge of doubt, this one is for you.

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