(Take It Off #7)
by Cambria Hebert
Released: March 10th, 2014
My rating: 3.5 of 5 ⭐️
When after a long gang-related assignment, undercover Officer Brody West pops into the bank at the start of his much needed fishing trip, he finds himself in the middle of a bank heist. Just minutes before flirting with the gorgeous redhead teller behind the counter, he is now whispering at her to duck out of sight, while his mind is scrambling to take in all his possible means of action.
Even though fear is almost paralyzing, Taylor Shaw's anger is stronger and not about to let thieves get away with the money from the bank vault. But when her temper ends up getting her shot, it is the friendly customer who had told her to hide, who jumps to her rescue. Using his shirt to stop her bleeding, he reveals a tattoo that suddenly changes the demeanor of the robbers.
With Taylor in need of medical care, Brody has no choice but to play along with the gang of criminals and they end up being taken along. Normally not one to get attached, something about this girl has brought all of his protective instincts out in full force. He has to make sure she is taken care of, but first he will have to avoid being found out.
Taylor is grateful to find out Brody is in fact a cop, but realizes the predicament they are in. She has no choice but to trust him completely since he is taking care of her wounds and she is completely dependent on him. But he also makes her feel oddly safe, despite their dire circumstances and she can't help but wonder if it is their desparate circumstances that draw her to him.
Action right from the get go!!
A good quick read of a story that spans only a short timeframe, namely the back robbery itself and a brief period of perhaps a day or two thereafter for the most part.
By and large, the most interesting character is Brody, the undercover cop, who has gotten a little lost in his alternate identities and isn't quite sure who to be on his 'off' time anymore. Not a whole lot of time is spent examining the repercussions of undercover work in general and its effects on someone's personal life, but Ms. Hebert does give some strong hints that Brody's personal life has become, for all intents and purposes, non-existent.
Taylor was a very likeable character, spunky, sometimes more so than was wise. But definitely not a whiner or a weakling. We know she lost her mother at some point and her father largely raised her, but there is very little mention of how that may have shaped her, other than some suggestions that she may have some tomboyish tendencies. No deep subcutaneous digging here either, a slight skimming of the surface at most.
The chemistry between these two, however, was unmistakable and sweetly heated. They worked together, the edge of darkness on Brody, combined with the hint of innocence that clings to Taylor makes for a nice combo. I was a little disappointed in the lack of depth with these characters, I think I have come to expect a little more from Ms. Hebert.
The plot concept is fabulous, there is no question about that. The execution of the story line was less so, in that too much was left on the table in my opinion. With a plot this rich in potential, it seemed like not all the possibilites were explored. It felt a little like getting from A to B the most efficient way, instead of the best or most interesting way.
Overall the book felt rushed, as if not as much attention was spent finishing it properly, with the same attention to detail as previous books in the series. Things that would probably have been picked up by taking the time for a good round of beta reads or one more final edit.
Despite that, this is a fabulous series and TATTOO is still a very good representation of Cambria Hebert's style and worth a read.
✨Edgy intense action, with a splash of spice!✨