Review of Rescue Me, by Michelle L. Teichman

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This is basically an attractive but tediously extended romance plot combined with a sometimes distastefully violent thriller story (the boxing match between Kristen and a really nasty male cop who was much heavier was hard to believe as well as painful to read). Rescue Me led to my thinking again about the whole matter of requesting Advanced Review Copies. The problem is that when you get them, you have a moral obligation to read them all the way through and to write a competent review. Both can be difficult even when you actually liked the books. And when we don’t, they’re an enormous chore, especially for a book as obviously well-intended as this one. Michelle Teichman is never pretentious or silly—the two vices that license release of my inner wasp-nest of snarkies. The description in the blub made this book very appealing to me both for characters and setting. Ashleigh is an EMT—a discipline I enormously respect and admire—and Kristen an undercover police officer, my very favourite kind of main character, in this case a RCMP sergeant disguised as a newly seconded constable to ferret out corruption in the Toronto metropolitan police force. And as these days I read crime fiction as much for the outcome of the relationships as for the solution to the mystery, and Ashleigh and Kristen are such attractive characters, I expected to enjoy this one very much. The problem is not in getting them together; it is that the author creates seemingly endless blocking situations and misunderstandings to keep them apart. Practically right out of the chute there’s enough chemistry between them to make BSAF look like a damp squib in comparison. Ashleigh’s problem is that she’s had but one previous relationship with another woman and was badly burned by getting the el dumpo. Kristen has a terrible reputation for turning her lovers over so fast her hook-ups could be timed with a stopwatch. In order to stretch the book out, tho’, the reader has to wait till about half-way through to find out what it is in Kristen’s past that made her so afraid of emotional commitments and to feel herself unworthy of a caring and lasting relationship. And we are exactly 2/3 through the book before their attraction reaches consummation. Then after that we get a thriller ending and find out who the crooked and repulsive Toronto cops are and what they were up to, though by then I didn’t much care. But I had done my duty and finished the whole book.

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