Sunday, August 17, 2008

Loose and Easy-Tara Janzen

Loose and Easy
Tara Janzen
Dell, Aug 26 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780440244691

In Denver bookie Franklin Bleak informs art recovery private investigator Esmee Alden that her father Burt owes him over eighty thousand dollars in gambling debts that is due now or else. She knows what or else means to someone as bleak as this vicious bookie is. So the story of her life repeats itself with “Easy Alex” risking everything to bail her dad out of trouble.

Since she does not have that amount of money, she finds a source. Multi-millionaire Isaac Nachman is offering a reward that will cover the debt, her expenses and more. She must retrieve the 1910 Jakob Meinland “Woman in Blue” Expressionist masterpiece painting from Otto von Lindberg and give it to Nachman. Masquerading as a street hooker, Esmee begins her quest only to have her almost high school lover Johnny Ramos, back at home after his latest military tour in Afghanistan, recognize her. Shocked as she was the valedictorian at East High, he needs to know why. Soon after he challenges her, the pair finds themselves in double and triple crosses with the only persons to trust being themselves.

This is a fast-paced romantic suspense thriller that never takes a breather as Esmee fails to live up to her nickname; nothing goes right on this tour of the streets of Denver except for Johnny. The story line is filled with action although there is some repletion for the benefit of understanding (in terms of the reader and not the cast) as information is reiterated. Still Tara Janzen provides an exhilarating tale as Esme with Johnny at her side takes on a horde of thugs from seemingly all sides of the Mile High city.

Harriet Klausner

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