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Whiskey in the Jar Romance

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Guest Reviewer at:  Reading Between the Wines book club

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"She thought it over, but couldn’t see any immediate loopholes other than the threat of her inner slut emerging, and she could darned well control that little bitch."— Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Law and Disorder by Heather Graham

Law and Disorder (The Finnegan Connection) - Heather Graham

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kody Cameron is only at home helping at her family’s historical estate in Florida for a couple weeks before she returns to New York to continue working at a Pub and as a live actress. When masked men come in waving guns and demanding she tell them where a decades old treasure is hidden she thinks it's a joke, until the guns fire very real bullets.
Nick is undercover trying to capture a career criminal but he recognizes Kody right away as the woman in New York that he briefly saw but can't stop thinking about. With a little boy hidden away and new hostages to worry about, he can't put an immediate end to the criminal gang he's infiltrated plans.
Kody and Nick will have to fight criminals, the everglades, and their attraction if they want to stay alive.
 
First in the Finnegan Connection series, Law and Disorder starts us off with Kody and Nick. Kody works at Finnegan's pub and Nick is friends with Craig who dates Kieran Finnegan. The beginning thrusts many characters at you, a lot of side characters that only get their names mentioned and some that linger on; it was extremely overwhelming and gave the story a chaotic feel. While I very rarely mention editing mistakes in arc copies, from about 20-40%, our heroine's name frequently changed from Kody to Dakota and this made it even harder for me to keep everyone straight.
 
The plot has Nick working undercover trying to catch a career criminal. The gang wears masks and goes by old gangster names like Dillinger, Barrow, and Capone. I think there were 5 or 6 in the gang but the leader Dillinger and Barrow (Nick) are the only two really focused on while the rest weren't given enough life and more so clogged the story. Dillinger kidnaps a mayor's kid and hides him without telling his gang while they think they are just taking hostages at a historical site to look for a hidden treasure. Here is where the story is both interesting and overly convoluted. The author gives great history about this area in Florida and its mob background but kind of info dumps it before you have a chance to get to know the characters and become involved with the story. Dillinger's motivation and idea to have Kody find a hidden treasure that no one has found for decades and not even proven to exist was side-eye unbelievable and the shaky suspense foundation lead to disheveled and flaky actions by the characters.
 
Kody came off a bit foolish with her mouthing off and fighting a man with a gun; she was borderline TSTL. Nick's character came off more believable with trying to keep the situation under control and still work to capture the bad guys. With the author working in the mobster historical details, hostage situation, and treasure hunting, there was not a lot of room for romance. I never felt or saw why or how our couple fell in love; their connection was pretty non-existent for me.
 
This felt like a very rushed story where characters and fun historical snippets were thrown at me and story structure and character development were forgotten.