Title: A Limited Partnership
Author: Elisabeth Stewart
Published in 2006 by Awe-Struck
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Mystery
Kate Sullivan is on the way to her car when she notices that someone is already inside and another man is about to enter on the passengerís side. After she yells at the thieves, one dashes off while another stays demanding the keys. With a gun pointed in her direction, Kate does not wish to be harmed so she tosses the man the keys. Now she is inside a police station being grilled about the accident. But what really irritates her is the fact she is mistaken with the line of hookers waiting in the police station. That does not sit well with her, and she is certain that the man who made the mistake is no doubt a pimp.
Kate is a bit shaken after facing car thieves. What she thought was a simple car jacking turned out to be possible members of a mob out to settle a score. It seems that their driver vanished when the hit took too long and the killer needed a get away car. Hers was the closet. While going through mug shots at the police station she learns that she will have to be put under protective care because they plan to use her as a lure. She is not too happy with that fact nor with the man they have assigned to stay with her. When she first met the detective he suspected her to be a hooker, then again she sort of thought he might be a pimp. Both had been wrong in their judgments. Now as they join forces to try to smoke out Dominick Palone, the two must come to terms on their close-knit quarters as they are forced to live under the same roof. One thing that none of the police know about Kate is she is four months pregnant. Her ex, Jeffrey had suggested an abortion, something she did not wish. She saw the man she married as inhuman and filed for a divorce. She will not inform the police she is with child. She keeps it a secret so they can catch the killer so she can once again go on with her private life of being alone.
Detective Michael OíConnor mistakes Kate for a hooker only to find out she has been involved in a car jacking and is lucky to have escaped. In his questioning he notices that she has scraps on her face and knees and insist she be taken care of properly in her wait. He is a dedicated detective that only thinks of his work. His wife had long left him when she could no longer deal with the long hours he had to work and never being home. Of course he liked living on the edge with no responsibilities toward anyone. If the women he dated started discussing things as if they were paired, he quickly retreated from them. After he sees who Kate really is and hears her story about the car thieves, he quickly apologizes for his abrupt error in judgment.
Michael is known for his cocky manner and he can tell that Kate will not be intimated by his behavior or anyoneís for that matter. He informs her that she will be put under his protection until they can find the killer. The only service he will provide is as bodyguard. He suggests that instead of her feeling like a prisoner she should think of herself as a partner. After they are settled inside the house, he looks around the place not to see if anyone has tried to steal anything but if they have planted any traps. There is more at stake when he learns she is pregnant. He becomes upset to learn that she put herself in a dangerous situation without telling him. He thinks she is crazy being a decoy in her condition. And he canít get over how her husband would leave her when she is four months pregnant. But when he informs his police chief of her condition, they are not concerned that their bait is pregnant, only Michael. Now his mission is more difficult with two lives to protect, especially when he begins having feelings for Kate that are hard to brush aside. And as Dominick comes after Kate, jeopardy takes on a different shape as Michael rushes to reach her before he loses her for life.
Kate does not understand why they are keeping her so long at the police station. She thought all she had to do was describe the men who were out to steal her car. It was bad enough the pimp thought she was a hooker. She could have slapped that manís face. When she is introduced to Detective Michael OíConnor, she realized that she was in error as so was he. Now Michael has to protect her even if she has to go into a safe house for eight months. Not able to identify anyone from the mug shots, he insists she go under police security, something that doesnít make her happy. Her testimony could convict the guys and possible get her killed. Since they had her purse and her identification they knew where she lived. Kate is not happy with the situation; this will mean she no longer has any privacy and especially more so since it is Mafia related.
After Michael is secure in her home, he learns that she is expecting a child. This makes him furious. One that her husband would leave her for being pregnant and two that she refused to tell anyone of her predicament; now he has two lives to worry over. Kate is forced to explain that she threw her husband out because he did not want a baby; in fact he wanted her to have an abortion. She finally saw Jeffrey for exactly what kind of man he truly was. The two of them work together as partners to bring Dominick out of his hole so justice can be served and Kate can once again have that life she desires. The only problem is now that they have shared the same space, their feelings for each other have blossomed into a budding relationship that both are afraid to act upon until Kate is put into further danger. Dominick Palone has to be caught and until he is, no one will be able to relax. When Dominick finds Kate she plays up to him hoping Michael will return even going as far as telling Dominick that he is not good at stealing a car or setting a bomb to go off. Yet there is one under the back porch and she can only hope Michael will return in time to save her and the baby. Michael hates that he left her alone as she rushes to her rescue. He has to reach her because more than anything, he knows now he loves her enough to marry her, but this time he may have waited too late for something so beautiful to spend the rest of his life.
A Limited Partnership is a story that sizzles. The compelling dialogue between the two characters is feisty. The plot is well-developed and the story moves along smoothly. I loved Kate and Michael. She has gusts and determination and doesnít allow anything to get to her. The sparing banter when they squabbled had such memorable moments that just made the story seem so believable. Neither of the two realized that their hearts would turn and bring love into the picture for them. The secondary characters are well- rounded and help to make the story complete.
Ms. Stewart pens a mixture of fighting words and battling hearts in A Limited Partnership. Two people, so desperate to reach out to each other, are afraid because of past things not working out in their life with other ones they thought they loved. I liked where Michael said it didnít matter that the baby was not his. Both their pain and joy could be seen through the pages as these two find their perfect soul mates in each other while luring the suspects out in the open. This is my first book by Elisabeth Stewart and it definitely will not be my last. A Limited Partnership is refreshing and remarkably rich in every way. It is a must read. Donít delay today, visit Awe Struck Books and pick up a copy. It leaves a feel good feeling all the way to your toes.
Sincerely good reading,