Naked In Death

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Expected Release Date: January 1, 1995
Publisher: Penguin Publishing
Imprint: Berkley
Author’s Website: http://www.jdrobb.com/
My Source for This Book: Local Library
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, In Death Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Forced/(Semi)Public Nudity
Favorite Tropes: Class Barrier, Hero In Pursuit

Official Blurb:

It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion. 

When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. 

Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation.

What Worked For Me:

  • I loved that this was set in the future. (I started to write “slightly” in the future, but it was written 18 years ago, so I suppose it wasn’t “slightly” futuristic at the time).  Not only did I enjoy technology such as the AutoChef and cars with vertical lift (not to mention off-planet travel), but I think the fact that it was set in the future gave the author a lot more freedom for her creativity. By setting this series in the future, the author was able to make up her own rules for the procedural parts of the novel, allowing the reader to focus on the actual action and character development rather than getting stuck on the details that may or may not have meshed with what they’ve gleaned from years of watching Law & Order *ahem*.
  • On a similar note, I really loved that prostitution is legal and regulated in this world, with Licensed Companions taking the place streetwalkers and their pimps, and in some ways making it a safer and more acceptable profession.
  • The chemistry between Eve and Roarke was scrumptious, and the author certainly didn’t skimp on the love scenes.
  • I was also pleased that even though there’s no big fluffy ending, I still felt “secure” in the romance between Roarke and Eve. Not that I don’t expect them to have lots of bumps in the road in the future, but I still felt that their relationship was solid enough at the end that I don’t have to worry about them “breaking up” in the next book, or of there being some vapid love-triangle in the future, which is a relief. 
  • I really enjoyed the mystery elements. Even though I did figure out the whodunit before Eve did, the author still managed to make it a very interesting mystery with lots of twists and red herrings.
  • I loved that Roarke was the one in pursuit of a romantic relationship, and that while the romance was certainly one of my favorite parts of the story (I mean, I am a “Romanceaholic” after all!), it never overshadowed the suspense elements.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

  • Even though I was glad that the romance felt “resolved” in the end, the I Love You’s from Roarke came a wee bit fast for my tastes. Many romantic suspense novels feel this way for me, and I realize that the intense situations that the characters are in generally make emotions bubble over a bit more quickly than they would in another situation, but still, it took me aback a bit. 
  • I didn’t really care for the explicit details of one of the murders, and I’m still a bit on the fence about how I feel about the explicit details of Eve’s own childhood being included. On one hand this helps the reader get close to Eve and allows her character motivations to be fleshed out a bit better. On the other, I was pretty squeamish about some of the more unsavory details (which might have been the author’s intention), and that brought down my enjoyment quite a bit.

I’ve had people recommend this series to me since before I even got into reading romances and romantic suspense novels.  I always put it off, simply because I didn’t really want to “get into” a new series at first, and then later, because this series was so daunting (as of this review, there are 36 books, with book 37 to be released this fall) that I didn’t want to even attempt it.

At the encouragement of a friend and the fact that I spotted it on my local library’s ebook list, I went ahead and snagged it.

It turns out, I was right all along — I can very easily see myself getting sucked into this series for the long haul, and if later books are anything like this one, I can understand why it has such a rabid following.

Eve was wonderful, with her tough cop exterior hiding her more vulnerable roots as a result of her abused past, and Roarke, oh buddy. Rich, handsome, and unapologetic about skirting the law when it suits him, he was the perfect foil for Eve.

Overall, I can definitely see why so many of my friends have recommended this series to me, and I can easily see myself getting lost in it.

4half
4.5/5 Stars