For a tough as nails Dom hunting a sadistic serial killer is nothing compared to losing his heart.
Rome Carino is hunting a predator. One who likes to hurt submissives and the most popular BDSM club’s patrons are being targeted. With each fresh kill, he gets more brazen. Rome knows he just needs one little break, but before he can make headway, the FBI shows up. Worse, the uptight, buttoned-down Special Agent Maria Callahan suggests a plan that is dangerous, but worth it because it might just catch the killer. If Rome can keep his mind on the case and off the beautiful FBI agent, he'll be just fine.
Maria is still trying to step out of her legendary father's shadow and knows just how to do it. Luring the killer by posing as Rome's new sub seems like a good idea. That is, until undercover becomes real life and she finds herself tangled up with a man who amazes and scares her at the same time. Her growing attraction to the Honolulu Police Detective is a little too much to handle. Even knowing that, she can't help falling in love with the tough Dom and losing herself in the games they play in the bedroom.
Rome is overwhelmed by his need for Maria. He has never had a sub respond to him the way she does and no matter what he does, he feels himself slipping off that cliff into love. As their relationship starts to unfold, he realizes that he will do anything to win her heart, to convince her to become his sub for a lifetime. But before he can do anything, the killer turns his attention on Rome and the one thing he holds dear: Maria.
This is the sixth installment in Ms. Schroeder's Harmless series and is a great addition to an already well-written series of books. The mix between eroticism and mystery is nicely balanced in this story with plenty of suspects to keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the end.
Rome Carino is a great hero with just a bit of baggage. The killings going on around him are related to the BDSM club he inhabits and some of the women being targeted have a history with him. This leads to a lot of guilt on his part and frustration. He's desperate to find the killer. When the opportunity to go undercover with tough as nails FBI agent Maria Callahan comes up he's at first leery because of a bad experience in the past with a corrupt partner of his. Once they start working together portraying a BDSM couple the initial sparks between them really start intensifying. Once Maria gets in harm's way Rome is finally forced into admitting the truth about his feelings for her and uses his Dom personality to get her to admit her true feelings too.
Maria has her own baggage living up to her father's reputation as a famous profiler. She's been forced into the world of serial killers since she was a child being taken to crime scenes by a father who found this a good way to bond. It's not the life she wants though and she eventually finds the strength to admit that with the support of Rome. She's a tough woman in the male-dominated world of the FBI but is more than willing to let Rome dominate her in bed. They bring out things in each other, show a different side that they normally keep hidden and this made them a great match.
The mystery surrounding the killer is actually a good one with some believable red herrings thrown in to keep the reader guessing. The pace of the mystery blends well alongside the romance with an ending of whodunit wrapped up nicely. The sexual interludes are well paced and intense. There's a lot of chemistry between Rome and Maria from the very beginning which makes their sexual interludes believably erotic and loving. Considering it's in the world of BDSM though I found the sexual interludes a bit light when it comes to dom/sub play. So those leery of strong BDSM elements will find this just right.
There's plenty of intriguing secondary characters showing up from previous books with a new one or two that has me longing to see more of them. This book can be read on its own but you'll definitely want to catch up on the series after discovering how entertaining this installment is. Add in a very likable main couple and you have a book that I was immersed in from page one until the very end. For those who like a good whodunit with a nice bit of spice look no further than A Little Harmless Submission.
My rating for this is an A.
*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion.