Friday, April 20, 2012

"Laurel Heights"

Review - "Laurel Heights" by Lisa Worrall

Dark, edgy, funny, sexy, fantastic

Very Highly recommended

It's tough when you work with jerks.  That's what Detectives Scott Turner and Will Harrison think, and are constantly taunting each other about how rigid Will is and how much of a ladies man Scott can be.  Will has a long-term girlfriend and it irritates him that Scott is such a man-slut.  And Scott thinks Will should have the stick removed from his butt.

When there's what appears to be a murder/suicide at a gay housing community - think Knot's Landing cul-de-sac - the case is initially closed.  But some who live there think it's too...handy.  The guys were in love, not fighting, no depression.  It just doesn't track.

So Scott and Will are ordered to go undercover, as lovers, to investigate.  Holy. Hell.  No way, they think.  Neither wants the other to know he's really gay.  So this is their worst nightmare.

When the guys get there and meet the residents, they realize they have to make it believable.  Hard line to walk when you're trying to keep a secret.  And of course, it explodes over - they really have an attraction.  A passion for each other.

Can the two guys discover the many secrets being hidden at Laurel Heights?  Will they be able to go back to being just partners?  Or will it prove to dangerous in more than one way?

Lisa Worrall has stepped out big time and written a funny, sexy and romantic mystery that succeeds on so many different levels.  The characters are well drawn and believable, the murder mystery puzzling, and the action hot and steamy.

Scott and Will are fantastic guys.  Manly, hiding in the closet, but truly nice guys at heart.  And both so afraid to be all of who they are.  It was only a matter of time before their not-so-friendly bickering flamed into something hotter and deeper.  They share so many similarities, and are so truly blind to each other.  And their snarking at each other?  Priceless.

This is a deeper and darker cut for Ms. Worrall, and it's hugely successful.  Many of her works are so delightfully lighthearted, and much of her success is in her innate ability to draw out the heart of her characters and make us like them first, then love them.  She layers that in this story with a here-to-fore unseen dark edge that I really, really like.

There's a huge twist in the last few pages that will work some folks up int a frenzy.  I loved it.  I like to be left on the edge of my seat, making up my own endings.  And I'm told by the author, there won't be a sequel.  Hooray!

Fantastic job, so well done!


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