Cara Hartley and Michael Marsden had a smoking hot one night stand but three months later they pretend it never happened. Now Mike has returned to town to take over the Chief of Police position while his father is recovering from cancer and Cara is a cop that works for him. Mike has never been the stay in one place type. When a previous girlfriend started making noise about marriage he up and left her, moving to the big city to work as a detective. Cara knew the score going in, knew the relationship would only last that one night. But oh what a night it was. How will Cara and Mike handle being around each other so much without giving in to the crazy feelings that brought them together in the first place?
Mike was a bit of an arse in Perfect Fit. The pair agree to “see” each other on a temporary basis while Mike is working there. He never makes any promises to Cara but he definitely sent out mixed signals. He made it clear that once his father was better, he would be returning to his old job. He even kept his apartment in New York. If that doesn’t say detachment, I don’t know what does. Mike has some serious daddy issues because his biological father left him before he was even born. This colors his thoughts and feelings about almost everything including his ability to stick around for a solid relationship.
What I didn’t understand is why Mike gets so possessive over Cara. When they are at a family dinner talking about connecting with old boyfriend’s Mike about loses it when Cara mentions two men. As the reader we realize Mike is in deep and has no hopes of getting out, but how can he justify his jealousy? That section of the book finishes up with him brushing it off and saying that he will return to New York soon anyway so it is not a big deal. I have never been a fan of the man denying what is so obviously happening right under his nose and Mike had many pages of such denial.
Cara is a study in confusion, for me. Having grown up in an abusive family she is very sensitive to being in a relationship where she is not happy. She volunteers at a woman’s shelter and is very close to some of the residents. I think she accepted things from Mike that no normal woman would. At one point, Mike puts Cara in the path of one of his ex lovers and even chooses the side of the woman when a question is asked. He does it for a case they are working on but afterwards Cara has a very minimal reaction to the scene. It is almost like she has such low expectations of a relationship that she was willing to accept being treated on a sub par lever.
I like how Ms. Phillips can write flawed yet likable characters. Cara displayed a level of strength despite having grown up around abuse. And Mike, even with his wanderer tendencies, when his family needed him he was there to help. The characters might have issues but the core is strong and that makes for an enjoyable yet complex read.
There are several other plots flowing through the overall romance. Cara/Sam (Mike’s brother)/Mike are all working on a cold case that might involve Mike’s biological father. It is more of a side plot than anything. Cara is also involved in the lives of some of the shelter women causing interesting moments with some of the abusive spouses.
We get to see glimpse of previous Serendipity couples and a fun scene with Tess. I think Tess, when she gets her book, is going to be hell on wheels for the man in her life. I look forward to that time as I think she is one of the better characters in this series. Final Grade- B-
“Look at that,” she murmured. “It’s a perfect fit.”
He couldn’t help but grin. “Just like us.”