Recently I have been reading a new series by Debra Webb. There are 5 books planned for this series and I have so far been lucky enough to read 3 of them. The series centers around a couple who were together towards the end of high-school and then college but split due to mitigating factors. Their dynamic is wonderful and my hope is they end the series firmly as a couple with the past far behind them.
Book 1 – Obsession – 4 stars:
We start this series off with a bang, Jess has been called to Birmingham by her former lover who is now the Chief of Police to investigate the disappearance of multiple young women. These women are not the type to have just run away but instead are women who care deeply about their families. She is still smarting from the disaster she has left with the FBI which is about to get her fired from the Bureau. You see she got a little too involved in a case with a serial killer and went outside the lines to gather evidence which is now going to set the man free. Unfortunately this makes others think she has gone off the deep end since not only did that happen but she is also smarting from the breakup of her marriage. She is a smart woman who’s only crime I think is wanting to do her job to the point that she won’t always look before she leaps.
Jess is a brilliant profiler who can see things noone else notices. She immediately takes over the investigation and pushes the task force to look outside the box. She is also still in love with Dan which you see in this book but the tension between them is palpable in this book. They split in college when Dan wanted to go back home to Birmingham and she wanted to go to the FBI like she thought they both planned. They ran in to one another 10 years ago and had a memorable night together. The chemistry between them is not gone and will not leave them alone. They are a great match for one another but things just keep getting in their way during this book. She pushes the team in this book to the point where they aren’t sure if she is truly sane or not but the results she gets give everyone a happy ending.
Dan is conflicted… He wants this case solved because his ex-stepdaughter is one of the missing. He sucks it up and calls Jess because he knows she will be able to solve this case. He still harbors feelings for her even though it has been 10 years since that memorable night and 20 since they were a couple. You feel for him since as the series progresses you understand more of what drove them apart originally and truly like him and them as a couple.
This story was a lot of fun and ends on a bang that sets up the next book perfectly. So go grab it and the others….
Book 2 – Impulse – 4 stars:
Impulse starts with the realization that Jess’ past has come back to haunt her. Spears (The Player) has been released and Lori Wells (detective from case in Obsession) has been abducted. Jess knows this has something to do with Spears even though others don’t completely believe her. The FBI has basically called her out on her bizarre behavior and is implying that she may be making things up. Not to say that Lori isn’t abducted but they do not believe that it is the Player but is instead a copy-cat. Tension is high in this book and many others are hurt as the action ramps up. We lose a couple of side-characters but if they had listened to Jess maybe they would have survived. There also isn’t a 100% resolution to the Spears case but Jess gets her good name back.
In this book the focus is on getting the case that ruined Jess’ career solved plus we get a bit of release of the sexual tension that exists between Dan and Jess. You get to see that she never truly got over him and he never got over her. This is a couple that is meant to be and I find myself cheering for them to get thru all the obstacles and find the love they deserve.
I loved the side characters in both Obsession and Impulse which add a depth to the story you wouldn’t have otherwise. Chet Harper and Lori Wells are a wonderful couple and I was extremely happy with the fact Lori decided to face her fears and open her heart to Chet. Watching them in the series is just as much fun as seeing Dan and Jess come together.
This book ends with Jess being named Deputy Chief of a new division which means Dan will be her boss. We have some ground rules set at the end of this which I had to laugh at since you know they won’t be able to follow them.
Book 3 – Power – 4 stars:
Jess is trying to get her feet under her again and start to lead her new division at Birmingham PD. Chet Harper gets a call out to investigate the death of a ballet instructor which at first glance appears to be a horrible accident but things just don’t add up to Jess. The case is pulled from her team and assigned to another division by Dan which pisses Jess off. He gives her another case of a missing teen who got written off by others at BPD. While she is pissed about losing the other case she puts her mind to investigating this disappearance.
The teen’s disappearance quickly escalates as the girl he was trying to help happens to be deeply involved in MS13 (an extremely dangerous gang) and Jess crosses all sorts of lines to get to the bottom of this. She ends up getting targeted by the gang which ends this story in a huge bang.
Jess also stays involved in the other case even though she isn’t supposed to and of course figures it out even though there is pressure to close the case and write it up as accidental. Also the victim’s ex confesses to killing her so why not let it go. The twists in both cases make this an interesting read even without the Dan/Jess story.
We get to see more of the tension between Dan and Jess as they try to not only figure out their professional relationship but deal with the fact that neither wants to admit their true feelings for one another. Dan makes some major first moves in this as he finally admits why they split 20 years ago and then in an aside to his ex admits that he wants Jess. Jess ends up calling her ex for information on MS13 and we get to see him make an appearance at the end of this book which sets up some interesting conflicts for this next book. Jess doesn’t know that Dan has confessed to his ex what he wants so she is still trying to act like his closeness with her doesn’t bug her even though it makes her jealous. They really do love each other and each of these books reinforce the fact that they need to figure this out for themselves.
Overall this has been a great series to read and I am waiting for the final 2 books in the series.
Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Grand Central Publishing for letting me read these in exchange for my honest review.