Cold Case, Hot Bodies (Harlequin Blaze #355) - Jule McBride

It's difficult to finish a book when you realize you don't like any of the characters.

The prologue starts out a century past when a man and his mistress are in a carriage accident. Of course, this is after their son's wedding. She dies. You find out later that apparently he did too but...

 

There's this argument about who owns the former brothel that she once lived in/behind/something. Two who are after it are... the descendent of the man and his mistress (the h), the descendent of the man and his wife (the slimy developer), the family whose ancestor ran the place (the "H" is one of these), and the creepy curator of the sex museum who obsesses about the place...and the mistress.

 

Everyone is out for themselves.

 

The slimy developer has hired arsonists to burn down properties in the area so he can buy them cheap. The only reason this one hasn't been torched - yet - is due to his somewhat tenuous claim to it.

 

The family is one of those stereotypical Italian families where everyone is in everyone else's business. They convince the "H" to do things like oh, use police surveillance equipment for their own gain. He of course, has no hangups about using this, any more than he has using his badge to gain access to the h's motel room where he more or less solicits her for sex - if she wants to look for the family jewels that belonged to her ancestress and which are supposedly hidden in the house.

 

She wants the jewels, presumably to sell so she can reestablish her business.

The museum curator wants to restore the house and, one suspects, have her as its prize occupant.

 

I read the ending of course. I know her ex husband was snooping around, looking for the jewels. I know a fire was started but they happened to be there and were able to get help. I also know they caught the arsonist.

 

What I wish is that it had ended a chapter or two earlier - after she disappeared, without her attempting to negotiate a deal with the H's dad, and with him feeling screwed over. After all, he WAS the one who forced his way into her motel room and coerced her to have sex. Jerk.

 

And somehow, I think the author was angling for humor with this. Hard to laugh when you want to punch someone in the balls.