Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: Hooked by Polly Iyer

Top Pick Award!
Title: Hooked
Author: Polly Iyer
Release Date: 13 Dec 2011
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Pages: 323
Publisher: Parkwood Press
Format: ebook/Kindle
ASIN: B006M42IT4
Posted: February 2012
Reviewer: The Black Pearl
Rating: 5 Stars
Heat Level: 1


High-priced call girl Tawny Dell boasts a client list that’s part Fortune 500, part Five Families. With a PhD in art history and a tidy chunk of money stashed offshore, she hangs up her G-string with plans to retire to a Mediterranean island to open a gallery. Lincoln Walsh, NYPD sex-crimes investigator, has other ideas. He wants Tawny to work undercover at a high-class bordello to discover if a murdered call girl worked there. The club, nicknamed Upper Eighties, is owned by an ex-hedge fund manager who’d do anything to hook Tawny into his harem. In exchange for Tawny’s cooperation, Linc’s office, in collaboration with Treasury, will see she avoids prison for failing to pay Uncle Sam his share from years of illegal earnings. But Tawny gets more than she bargained for—another dead prostitute, a mob boss who’s an old client, and romantic stirrings for the hot New York cop sending her back into the world’s oldest profession.


I like to think of myself as a hard-to-please critic when it comes to my reviews of romance books. For a book in this particular genre to receive a 5-star rating from me, it has to be more than just good. It has to be over-the-top, brought-tears-to-my-eyes, oh-no-she-didn’t, laugh-out-loud, and you-gotta-love-him GOOD! Hooked by Polly Iyer met all of these qualifications and more! I don’t like to compare authors, and, to be honest, Polly Iyer can stand on her own as a very talented author, but for the sake of comparison, Hooked reminded me of a Jackie Collins novel--a much classier Jackie Collins novel with a dynamic plot and engaging characters where not only do you get the inside scoop on what the hero and heroine are thinking but you’re treated to all the inner workings of the other characters involved. I loved it, especially the characters!

Inexperienced or virgin heroines are a bit of a bore to me and rather redundant in most romances. I am all for the lady who knows her way around a bedroom and who wears her sexuality with confidence. Tawny Dell fits the criteria on both counts. This reformed high-priced call girl does not disappoint. I liked her. Simple as that. Then, Lincoln Walsh, Linc, was a great hero. Not quite alpha but definitely not a beta. He was the perfect mix of arrogant bastard and thoughtful gentleman. I adored him.

But the focus of this novel was not based on or around the romance. I repeat, it was not based on or around the romance between these two characters. Actually the romance placed a backseat to the plot of the story which involved a murdered working girl, a perverted brothel owner, his scheming wife, and a fatherly mob boss. I was so caught up in each of these characters and the roles that they played that I wasn’t disappointed when the story shifted away from Tawny and Linc. I would have liked to have read more on their physical relationship, but I can’t even complain there because, in all honesty, the book ended perfectly.

Reading more like a suspense/thriller with romantic elements, Hooked by Polly Iyer is definitely going on my keeper shelf! I’ve already recommended it to my two reading buddies. And this is before I even finished reading it! Highly recommended, this is a MUST-READ for romance and thrill-seeking readers alike.

Reviewed by The Black Pearl
Originally posted on Risqué Reviews Website February 2012

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