by Merline Lovelace

April 2005
ISBN: 0-7783-2164-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

The First Mistake by Merline Lovelace starts off a new trilogy featuring personal security specialist Cleo North. After serving in the Air Force, and discovering her dislike of copious amounts of paperwork and such strict rules, she is now much more satisfied with life in her new career. However, when she is approached by Jack Donovan, who works for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, to accept an assignment working for the government again, she can’t turn down the job.

The last thing she wants to do is provide security for actress Marisa Connors as she’s worked for the pampered socialite in the past and isn’t eager to deal with her attitude and her tendency to ignore what she’s been told. This job is almost guaranteed to be more difficult since her latest film is so controversial and has several groups up in arms. The reason Cleo agrees to this assignment is so she can gain access to a man she believes is connected to a ten year old case she worked while in the Air Force - a murder-suicide for which she feels partially responsible.

Since she doesn’t have the security clearance or the access to all the files the Air Force has on Alex Sloan, she has to do her own investigating in person. She ends up with more questions than answers and is caught off guard by Sloan’s twin brother Marc. Added to the mix is her attraction to Jack, and the memory of a previous sexual encounter with him.

The series is off to a great start. While the mystery part of the story is concluded by the end of the book, the personal side of Cleo’s life leaves us curiously hanging and wanting to know so much more. Thankfully the next installment of this trilogy is only one month away.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Jackie.

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