All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Rules Of Engagement by Camilla Chafer

on January 1, 2018

Rules Of Engagement (Lexi Graves Mysteries #1)
Camilla Chafer
Self-published
2017, eBook
Purchased personal copy

Blurb {from Goodreads.com}:

When her fiancé is shot in an apparent assassination attempt, private investigator Lexi Graves’ world is thrown into chaos and turmoil. With the list of suspects growing by the minute, and the hit man still on the loose, there’s no way Lexi can sit idly by Solomon’s bedside and hope he survives when she could be out hunting for the person or persons responsible. 

After taking charge of Solomon’s private detective agency, Lexi enlists the help of her friends and family in her effort to bring the perpetrator to justice. Investigating, however, will lead Lexi into some areas of Solomon’s life that he purposefully left behind and unveil some startling revelations about the man she loves. With the situation becoming increasingly dangerous, Lexi has no choice but to unravel his past and ask a surprising source for help in her quest to discover why Solomon was targeted. Yet with her successive questions come some shocking answers and a conspiracy far bigger than Lexi could have ever anticipated. 

When Lexi knows everything, and the mysterious details of Solomon’s past become clear, she can only wonder if anything in her life will ever be the same again. 

Woo, finally!

This series has been one of my favourite discoveries. About two years ago, I went through a bit of a rough stage where a friend of mine was diagnosed with terminal cancer. We were about the same age, with kids the same age and it was just really one of those things that reinforces how fragile and unfair life can truly be. I spent a lot of that time trawling through iBooks and Amazon downloading every free cozy kind of read I could find. Usually a first in a series and I stumbled across this one around that time. I think there were maybe 7 or 8 released when I first started reading them and I’ve kept up with each new release, pre-ordering them. I didn’t find out about this one until about 2-3 days before it was released, which was good.

In my review of the previous Lexi Graves novel, I expressed a bit of frustration about how Lexi allowed Soloman, her fiance, to brush off her questions about his past etc and had revealed almost nothing about himself to her as their relationship deepened. Yes she knows what kind of man he is, she’s had ample time to observe him in many different situations and there’s no doubt that Soloman loves Lexi and makes her a high priority in his life. But he has a mysterious past with a lot of potentially dubious employment. He came by his mad skills somehow and Lexi has never really pressed too much for answers.

All that changes when Solomon is shot twice at close range whilst answering their door. Although doctors were successfully able to remove both bullets, Soloman remains in a coma to allow his body to heal and Lexi is desperate for answers. She wants to know how everyone met Soloman and what sort of things he may have been involved with in the past that could be coming back to bite him now. She takes over the private detective agency and grills everyone that knows Soloman on what they know about him. Even the smallest bit of information could be the break they need in order to find out who did this and remove the threat.

So Lexi and the reader finally get the answer to a lot of Soloman questions. And awkwardly, when the team are trying to come up with people or past scenarios that may have had an impact on this shooting they end up with something like 97 names in about an hour. Which gives Lexi a cold introduction to the sort of work Soloman has done in his past. He has background in both the Army and the CIA as well as loans to the FBI and quite possibly some other more shady less documented lines of work. Lexi has to process this as the trusted crew from the agency run their own investigation and her brother oversees the official police investigation. Soloman remains in danger – another attempt is made to harm him whilst he is still in ICU so they need to work even faster before someone succeeds.

I really enjoyed this (except for one small thing, but that’s kind of a spoiler). I liked the fact that Lexi really stepped up. She’s very upset about Soloman but she’s also very determined. She takes over the agency, begins making the decisions but she brings in the ones that she knows Soloman really trusts and together they all make quite a good team. Of course Maddox is brought in as well and he’s really the only thing that bothered me in this book. I just wish he’d kind of go away and stop hanging around. At least in this book he stops pretending and Lexi ends up realising the extent of the feelings he still has for her but the two of them do kind of cross a line here and I’m trying to ignore it because there are extenuating circumstances but both of them should’ve never placed themselves in this position anyway. Lexi you don’t need comfort from your ex-boyfriend. You have literally a cast of thousands in these books that you could seek out.

I think the author does take the ‘easy way out’ here and have Lexi discover this information about Soloman while he’s in a coma, rather than having him actually confide details of his life to her and make them participate in an open and honest conversation. But I’m happy Lexi does have more information about Soloman and his previous life before starting the detective agency. I think she will understand him better and it should help strengthen their relationship now that a lot of who/what Soloman is, is not so much of a shadowy mystery. Hopefully there’s a lot of resolution now – Lexi was kind of panicking about the wedding but now she’s ready to do it. I hope the next book gives us that!

8/10

Book #210 of 2017

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