Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: Mysterious Millionaire by Cassie Miles

Title: Mysterious Millionaire
Author: Cassie Miles

Read copy: eBook
Published: March 1, 2008
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426814186
ISBN-13: 9781426814181

Liz Norton's part-time P.I. gigs were run-of-the-mill custody disputes - until she went undercover on the wealthy Crawford estate. Posing as an unobtrusive housekeeper in what was supposed to be a routine case, she soon found herself in serious danger. But with a dead body on her hands and feuding relatives pointing fingers, the only one she could turn to was Ben Crawford - an enigmatic, single father fighting to keep his young daughter. Except joining forces with the ruggedly handsome businessman only made her yearn to drop the charade, which could prove fatal, with a killer prowling the darkest corners of the mansion....

My rating:

Part time P.I. Liz Norton is hired by Victoria Crawford to dig up the dirt on her estranged husband, Ben, in order to circumvent the prenup and gain sole custody of their daughter. She even made Liz's job easier. Apparently Ben beside being a millionaire and a playboy also has a little drug habit.

Liz stakes out the dealer's house and truly catches Ben in flagrante. But before she can safely stash her camera and the photos, her partner is spotted, there's a shootout, and Liz's windbreaker with the camera in the pocket is gone...Which means Liz needs another angle. A party planned at the Crawford estate gives her the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the house. As a maid.

Her rather pathetic attempts at being a helpful maid fail miserably, but she manages to catch Ben's eye...And she doesn't mind doing a bit of ogling herself. The guy is a hottie.

But Liz definitely needs to put on the breaks. He might be a hottie, but he's also a druggie, though the more she gets to know him, the more bizarre that notion sounds (but she did see him making the buy). Not only that, he might also be a murderer. His grandfather's young wife has been found dead in Ben's workshop and a witness saw Ben carrying the woman.

Now, Victoria has a new assignment for Liz. Find out anything that might convict Ben...Liz is more than happy to venture in her first investigation, but with a different purpose entirely. She will do anything in her power to prove Ben's innocence, even at the cost of her own life.

Heck, yeah. Another HI winner for me. I absolutely adored this little gem of a story.

It had it all, a gorgeous millionaire, a headstrong P.I. with loads of attitude, a rich-people dinner party that ended up with murder, a battle for inheritance, lots of snarky dialogs (courtesy of the P.I. heroine), loads of chemistry (courtesy of the P.I. heroine and gorgeous millionaire hero), and a sniper thrown into the mix.

I loved Liz and Ben together. They somehow complimented each other. Liz with her 'tude and straightforward action-first mentality, balanced loner and silent type Ben out, and vice versa. And the sparks just flew off these two from their first scene together.

I had a bit of a doubt with how the author might explain Ben's drug addiction and the eyewitness seeing him carrying the victim into his workshop. The first alternative that came to mind was the evil twin, but there was no mention of a twin anywhere and he admitted buying the drugs to Liz.
But luckily he had a good reason for the drug-buy and the eyewitness was unreliable (the way most unstable people are).

The murder investigation aspect of this story was great. Nicely-written, nicely paced, keeping the reader guessing. Well done, Ms. Miles. Of course we knew who was behind it (okay, hoped we knew), from the middle on, we knew why, we just didn't know who cast the final blow.

Wonderful characters, good pacing, great chemistry and dialogs, and gripping suspense make this a truly great (and highly recommended) read.


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