Good Girls Don't (Hqn)

Good Girls Don't - Victoria Dahl Tessa Donovan shows up at the family brewery at the request of her youngest brother, Jamie, in response to a break-in at the business. She discovers he's spent the night with the daughter of Roland Kendall, the businessman with whom they are trying to finalize a big contract for the brewery...Roland saw Jamie leaving his daughter's place and the deal is now in jeopardy. Older brother Eric, who orchestrated the deal, already thinks Jamie is a screw up and this just might be the thing to sever their tenuous relationship permanently. Tessa decides to keep Eric in the dark about the turn of events until she has some time to salvage the deal.Meanwhile, Det. Luke Asher is assigned to the robbery of the Donovan Brothers Brewery. He and Jamie were in college together and share a history of good times. When he finally gets a good look at Tessa, he's more than interested and she isn't shy about taking up with him. Luke has his own baggage stemming from his partner's Simone's mysterious pregnancy and his divorce a few years ago. Needless to say, Eric and Jamie aren’t happy with Tessa and Luke seeing each other.Tessa is a good girl...she will do just about anything to keep her family happy and present a positive, sunny attitude, to a fault. She has no problem scheming or lying when it's for a good purpose. Luke has a sensitive side, also to a fault. He's willing to be perceived in a bad light in order to protect those he cares about.The relationship between Tessa and Luke just sizzles off the page. There are some pretty steamy moments between the two and there is definitely a strong connection. This is one of the strengths of the book, in addition to Dahl's fast-paced storytelling and quick-witted dialogue. Their relationship is also one of the weaknesses. Things progress very fast physically with not so much time devoted to really getting to know each other. But, even that adds a nice tension as this catches up with them later in the story. Most of the characters are very likable and have just enough flaws to make them realistic and evoke some sympathy at times. Tessa's lying can be exasperating but you know this shortcoming is driven from somewhere deep within and you're willing to go along for the ride to figure this woman out. She's got too much going for her to behave as she does. Luke is extremely appealing, though he suffers a little too much from the need to rescue the women around him. Eric needs a life and Jamie needs to grow up. Victoria Dahl is a new writer for me and one that I want to continue following. The dialogue is crisp, witty and snappy and the story never drags. She doesn't get bogged down with the secondary storylines and they are a compliment to the main plot. And, Dahl knows how to write extremely funny scenes, the belly-laughing kind of moments. This book kept my interest and I was given enough information to deduce the resolution to some of the mysteries. I was rooting for the romance, even when Tessa wasn’t looking so great. I liked that she wasn’t always the perfect heroine. The book doesn't end with everything neatly wrapped but concluding sufficiently where needed. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.An ARC was provided to me by NetGalley.