The Cop
by Sasha White, Alyssa Brooks, and Renée Alexis; contemporary (2006)
Aphrodisia, $12.95, ISBN 0-7582-1531-2

The Cop features three spicy contemporary stories united by the theme of having a cop as the hero. It starts out fine with Sasha White's contribution and it's nowhere but down from that point onwards.

Sasha White's Sex As A Weapon is fun to read since it features a cat-and-mouse game between the cop and his suspect, with the heroine Vanessa Logan giving it as good as she gets from cop hero Kane Michaels. Eh, what exactly is with the hero having a name more appropriate for the WWE? Anyway, Vanessa has learned a trick or two from her conman father so she sometimes performs "favors" for her employer such as seducing boorish men marked for some payback and then tying them up when they think they're in for some bondage game only to then rob them. Called the Risqué Robber by the press, Vanessa manages Club O, a club catering to people into BDSM of all shades. Kane shows up trying to compile a list of suspects well-versed in the art of bondage and Vanessa decides that actually acting on their mutual sexual attraction to throw him off-balance is the way to go.

I've always like Sasha White's stories because when it comes to the sexy stuff, she never compromises by making silly Harlequin Blaze type concessions to make the heroine come off as "good". Here, therefore, Vanessa is what she is - she can flirt and she feels that it is natural to act on a mutual sexual attraction with a good-looking guy instead of acting like she will die if she sleeps with that man. She's not some "good girl" virgin forced into running a sex club to make someone happy - she likes sex, she likes the sensuality in the world she lives in, and she even has bisexual tendencies that she is not afraid to own up to or embrace. In short, she's exactly the person to manage Club O well. Kane is a more familiar hot cop hero but he's a likable fellow too. He and Vanessa are too hot for words together.

I feel the story is probably too long though, as things get a little bit dull when those two start behaving like cow-lidded infatuated people moaning and sighing about why the other person don't call, and the story is resolved too neatly for my liking. Still, this story is lots of fun to read and it's easily the best story of the three.

Alyssa Brooks' Arrested is definitely way too long. The story feels really awkward and forced. I hate to say this but it also feels a bit like some Harlequin Blaze thing cobbled and modified for this particular anthology. Kirsten Montgomery has just walked away from a lousy marriage when she finds herself arrested in Paradise, Texas, apparently because her Corvette was reported by her lousy scum hubby as stolen. Reid Walker is the sheriff that takes her in and this story then takes the turn for the bizarre when Kirsten ends up staying at Reid's house because she can't be sent back to California... or something. Reid is a charming man, copping a feel when he's supposed to be arresting Kirsten and later justifying his sleeping with her as okay because it's just sex and it's not like he likes her or anything. Isn't he a darling? The lousy scum hubby turns out to be batcrap insane for the predictable climax. This story just goes on and on, full of ridiculous plot developments, and it doesn't help that the main characters are unlikable. She's a dim-witted putz and he's a complete boor who abuses his power because he's clearly too cheap to pay for sex.

Renée Alexis' Detroit's Finest is even more of an "Am I still on Earth?" material. Tracey Shane is a cop that makes an illegal turn so she's stopped by her fellow cop Troy Davenport who then drags her to court because he's apparently too "shy" to approach her and ask her for a date. His idea of breaking the ice is meeting her later to pay her back the fine she paid for her traffic boo-boo. Did I mention that his ex is their boss? Naturally he can't tell the ex to back off so this story ends up being a catfight between Tracey and Bitch Officer Daisha, with Tracey saying that clearly she can give Troy all the love Daisha couldn't. Clearly Tracey has issues because Troy comes off like a complete creep with baggages that make him even more unattractive. This story is as fun as being tended to by a blind dentist.

Sasha White's story is really fun while the other two stories are pure "You must be joking me, right?" material. One out of three makes this anthology somewhat of a dud. At the very least, The Cop is a far from arresting experience.

Rating: 52

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