In Hot Pursuit by Kate McMurray
Hard-working NYPD cop Noah Tobin didn’t even want to go on vacation. But it’s been a tough eighteen months since the death of his lover, so he’s determined to make the most of it. On his first night in sunny Florida, a chance encounter with a handsome man in a bar bathroom jumpstarts something in Noah that’s been dormant for all those months. Then the man disappears.
Noah’s vacation is thrown into upheaval because he can’t just let it go when he learns that the mysterious man who turned his life upside down went missing. He volunteers to help with the manhunt for his mystery man, a wealthy restaurateur named Harrison Knowles. But finding Harry is only the beginning of Noah’s hot pursuit.
In Hot Pursuit is a decent fluff read with some hot sex, a splash of mystery, definite eye candy, and a happy for now romance between interesting characters. The story drags in the middle yet is mostly a quick read with a lot of sex. This is the kind of book that’s great for a beach read yet you’re likely forget it as soon as it’s done. The ending is good for the characters and fitting yet leaves room for more if the author chooses to revisit these two. I didn’t mind reading this but it’s not one I’d read again so I’d recommend it for readers looking for something light, easy, and empty.
Noah Tobin is struggling to resume his life a year and a half after his partner was tragically shot. As a NYPD cop, Noah’s deeply in the closet and spent almost all his time ensuring the man responsible was put behind bars. Now Noah is sent on a forced vacation to relax yet a one night stand with the sexy Harry turns into a complicated mystery and Noah is quickly in over his head emotionally. Noah decides to help figure out who’s trying to kill Harry but their sexual chemistry just won’t stop.
The plot is kind of loose and relies on a lot of coincidences. This isn’t necessarily bad here yet does require the reader to just go with where the story leads. Noah happens to be a cop on forced vacation that happens to have a one night stand – which he never does – and Noah happens to see the news showing that guy is now missing. Since Noah is a missing person’s cop, he can’t stop himself from getting involved. Since the cops are perpetually short handed, they eagerly take Noah up on his offer of help. From there, the mystery evolves into a complicated drug scandal with distant king pens that aren’t really important or related. The focus of the story is really Noah and Harry’s relationship as they move from hot sex to love. The mystery aspect is not entirely throw away but not that well developed and takes several leaps to keep the action and pace moving. Again not horribly bad but you have to be willing to ignore the problems.
The characters are decent with Harry as an older playboy millionaire, rumored to screw any cute boy in his path, but also getting involved in this complicated drug trafficking problem. The fact that Harry has a quickie with Noah in a gay bar is pretty in character for the man, just as his taking advantage of Noah’s bodyguard protection is. Unfortunately beyond the sexy and wealthy playboy image, there is not much to Harry. He seems to fall in love with Noah but the basis for this is difficult to pinpoint. Harry clearly sympathizes with Noah’s struggle to get past his dead lover but Harry seems to alternate between being the perfect rich boyfriend and kind of sleazy club owner. The juxtaposition gives an uncomfortable dichotomy that doesn’t entirely work.
Noah is better as a workaholic cop struggling to get past his grief for his dead partner. The story plays on this well known stereotype but throws into the mix that Noah is a pretty determined bottom of the pair. He’s deeply in the closet at home but seems very at ease telling the Florida cops he’s gay. He gets involved with Harry pretty quickly, which helps since if Noah had refused to have sex for too long the book definitely would have gotten boring quick, but again you kind of just have to go with the few leaps it takes. Noah’s a classic character in a lot of ways and the story relies on his emotional development to carry the romance. Once he’s over his dead partner, he can love again and falls for Harry’s kindness in the face of his grief. It makes sense and is decent, yet nothing especially moving or intense, which keeps with the theme and tone of the story.
The writing is ok but the descriptive quality is lacking. The vibrant south Florida atmosphere never really comes alive and the contrast to the cold, dreary New York is never solidly translated. There are hints of the culture and vacation vibe but nothing that stands out and gives the story a unique flavor. There are also random characters that move in and out of scenes for no real reason, which is distracting and slows the story’s main focus. Instead the light treatment of the setting extends to all aspects of the plot and characters, making the story easy to read fluff. Not bad but not memorable. So if you’re looking for a quick, easy story set in Florida check this out.
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2 thoughts on “In Hot Pursuit by Kate McMurray”
Great review, Kassa! This one sounds like fun. I have to admit, though, that I’m getting increasingly turned off of the millionaire club-owner type of character in m/m fiction, mainly because his money seems to ease the plot past every realistic obstacle. Not that I think that’s what’s happening with this book, but even the mention of such a character made me realize how often he shows up in m/m fiction. However, if a book has enough good points going for it, I’ll read it and put up with that type of character.
I will have to say that this was extremely fast and fun to read. It’s not great fiction but it had a pace that kept you wanting to read (which is not always the case even with books you end up loving).
As for the millionaire club owner, he is a cliche and used her but thankfully the money aspect is almost completely absent. There’s one solitary case of using money but that’s it so that should help you be able to get past the overused cliche. I’d say pick this up if you’re looking for something fast, easy, and fun on a lazy afternoon.