Recruit officer Kiley Gibbons has walked in her twin sister’s shadow her entire life—born two minutes after, she’s five inches shorter with curls gone wild and the exact opposite of her outgoing, athletic sister. But that’s exactly why she’s the one woman who caught Walt Raynham’s eye, and threatens his future in the tactical unit.
Officer Raynham is everything Kiley needs to distract her from the daily grind at the police academy, too bad his drop dead gorgeous body is wearing the uniform of her boss. And when the academy is finally behind her, Kiley must find the strength to walk away from the man she shouldn’t touch.
But when her friend’s death leaves Kiley with two children to raise and a custody battle she just might lose, there’s only one man strong enough to step in and fill the role of her fiancé. Now Kiley’s not sure she wants to resist the temptation Walt causes, and he’s not so sure a family would be such a bad thing. Together, they discover love and an engagement of convenience could be unstoppable force for happily ever-after…until a killer has another idea that may cost them everything they didn’t want.
HANDLED BY OFFICER grabbed my full attention right from the beginning and never made me sorry I decided to come along for the ride. Author Kym Roberts did a fantastic job of not just telling the story but drawing this reader into the full experience of what was happening to her characters. Never doubt there is an incredible love story at the basis of HBO, but while she’s teasing us with that she’s putting us at the center of the very real-to-life trauma and tragedy being played out as the domestic violence in one of the character’s lives is constantly raining down on the lives of everyone else who cares about her and her children. Which is exactly how it plays out in these situations. I felt Ms. Roberts handled the subject deftly without allowing these scenes with secondary characters to overtake the feel of the entire book.
The real heart of the story is the magnetic force of deep attraction that hits Police Academy Training Officer Walt Raynham right between the eyes the minute he sees Kylie Gibbons. She’s the beautiful, vivacious, curvy, new Academy Recruit with the silky blond curls that stops every sane thought in his head and replaces it with a desire to run his hands through her hair and pull her up against his body. His instincts and his body immediately recognize Kylie as the perfect woman for him, but he fights it and not just because the recruits are off limits. Walt is convinced his career, which has been his dream since he was a small child, is too dangerous to bring a family into the mix. He lost his police officer father at a young age and has sworn to never have a wife or a family to leave behind. Kylie tempts his resolve at every turn and has him breaking his own rules despite his long-standing ability to keep women at bay.
Kylie has her own issues that keep her walking away from Walt when every cell in her body craves him. One being Andrew, her long-term boyfriend, who she has always been able to rely on for security, stability and comfort. How can she walk away from a man she’s loved for years for a man that fills her with lust every time he’s near. A man who is off limits as her superior officer and could get her kicked out of the academy. Kylie describes Walt as a Viking God with a deep sexy voice. Tall, broad-shouldered, lean-hipped brick wall of a man with hard, rippling muscles everywhere that oozes sex appeal and sensuality. Add in the uniform and I couldn’t keep the picture of my favorite sexy cop fantasy man out of my head as I was reading. That kind of visual doesn’t usually happen for me, but Ms Roberts writing worked it’s magic.
Handled by Officer is in turns light-hearted, funny, sensual and erotic, then also mysterious, suspenseful, and heartbreaking. It’s well-paced and strikes a fine balance with the plot which kept my interest throughout. There are several twists, a lot of love, a vindictive and violent bad guy, and then a touching HEA ending. In honesty the only issue I had with the book was there were several secondary characters brought into play, never really fleshed out, and then pretty much gone from the story. My tenaciously curious mind wanted to know more about why they were gone and it distracted me a bit. Even though none of them were all that important to the story. Obviously, lol. To fill in details would probably have bogged down the perfect pace. 4 stars
~Complimentary copy received in exchange for a honest review.
CONNECT WITH KYM
KYM ROBERTS BIO:
Three career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood: a detective, an investigative reporter, and…a nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys—they were the spice of life she couldn’t deny.
In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym’s pursuit of a career in law enforcement—even if she had to duct tape rolls of coins to her waist to meet the weight requirements to be hired.
Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk—a badge. Promoted to sergeant Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head.