Review: Meghan Maslow – Ride Along (States of Love)

51235EKfIhLAuthor: Meghan Maslow
Reviewer: Natalie
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary:

Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.

Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.

It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.

Review:

Meghan Maslow is a new-to-me author and I’ll be looking for her again. This was a likable and interesting story, about a mystery writer, Drew, and Josh/Joao, the cop he wins a ride-along with at a writer’s convention. Dreadlocked, ginger-haired, adorable Drew and an irritable, possibly homophobic, drop-dead gorgeous Josh, get a bad first impression of each other that slowly shifts over the course of the day and by that evening, they’re tearing up the sheets! Not abruptly, since the author uses that day together to have the characters open up and begin to exchange personal information, really getting to know each other. Together, Drew and the reader also get a tour of Baltimore, local cuisine and the colorful, fun HonFest held there, a tribute to the show and movie, “Hairspray”.

Written in third person, the alternating POV’s gave insight to their backgrounds and the causes for insecurities that drove their actions. I really liked the way the relationship developed and that mature conversation and discussion kept it thriving. I have to say, the POV switches were sometimes a bit choppy, not as well transitioned or quite as distinct as they could have been. It didn’t become too confusing but I did have to reread things a couple times to determine who had begun speaking. I was also looking for more…oomph, for lack of a better word. Scenes that seemed to be leading up to some conflict were actually easily resolved. With one particular conflict that Josh was facing, I expected more of a confrontational resolution but it all occurred off-page. A satisfying epilogue was included though.

That was rather minor, really, because the romance and relationship, and the strong secondary characters, were a pleasure to read. If you want a moderately steamy, no-angst book, with equally well-characterized MC’s, and a low-key plot that still holds your attention, it’s hard to go wrong with this little gem.

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