Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.
Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.
It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.
I couldn’t tell until I really got into this story that the author has to be either from or living in my area where the story is located. I mean how many people know Greenbelt that intimately? Hell, how many people have even heard of Greenbelt outside of here? And the places in Baltimore? She has it all right down to the food (G&M crab cakes) and the traffic and the Hon festival. I often cringe when someone obviously not from here (and not having done their homework) writes about this region from the District, surrounding areas right to Baltimore and Northern Virginia. The mistakes are often howlers. But not here and I loved it!
Happily living in Greenbelt is Drew Nolan, a mystery writer trying to get around a writer’s block by attending a conference. At the conference? Officer Josh de Oliveira who’s in all sorts of trouble at work because of his ” ex-partner” gone bad and his sending the man to jail. There’s more, including his closeted status within the department. The two meet and its instantaneous miscommunication and rudeness amidst attraction. Told from Josh and Drew’s povs which is necessary otherwise Josh comes off as a complete jerk from the first moment the reader is introduced to him. Instead, from his thoughts, we get a totally different, complex picture of the man. I adored Drew from the outset. Masow did such a terrific job with the all the characterizations here that I connected with them all.
A ride along assignment courtesy of the conference puts both men together in Josh’s squad car. The reader gets a tour of the area, the men get to know each other and it works on every level. The men get to know each other in close surroundings and in situations that vary by the minute or hour. This is a very neat setup.
There is another important thread involving Josh’s department, the history with his partner and his current situation. I wish that had been fleshed out a little more. Much is made of the threat to him and yet I felt at the end, it just sort of faded away. Another chapter could have been used here to take care of this element of the story. Or maybe just several more pages. It just felt incomplete with no resolution, just an epilogue telling us what happened.
There are several big issues here. One is in Drew’s past but I felt that was handled beautifully including its effect on Drew’s family dynamics. In fact the entire romance was great and heartwarming, including the addition of Drew’s large Nolan family. I could see these two together and the bright future ahead. Put that together with a location I loved? Yes I can absolutely recommend Ride Along (States of Love) by Meghan Maslow for all you lovers of contemporary romance! Its a heartwarmer you’ll just adore! Plus maybe you’ll order some crabcakes or five! Check out the links I provided!
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh. Not a fan of this cover. Makes it look like there’s a mystery going on and there’s not. Very misleading. Drew writes mystery books but there is no mystery here. Plus this is a States of Love story! Where’s parts of Baltimore? Or even Greenbelt? Shakes head. A miss on every level.
ebook, 122 pages
Expected publication: June 14th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
SeriesStates of Love settingMaryland (United States)