Bland Characters Gun Each Other Down in Gunning For Trouble

Genre: Contemporary

Page Count: 217 Pages

Average Goodreads Rating: 3.79 out of 5 stars

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Caleb was in a dead sleep until his phone alerts him to a break-in to his apartment. Immediately his defensive instincts — honed by his dangerous work of tracking missing persons and protecting witnesses — surface and he springs out of bed with his gun to tell the would-be burglar they have chosen the wrong apartment. But he ends up pointing the gun at Avery Walters, his former boss and ex-lover.

To Caleb’s irritation, Avery is on an assignment from Caleb’s boss about a string of murders in the witness protection program. Now dangerous people are after her and the only person she could turn to was Caleb. Despite Caleb’s resentment and anger toward Avery, he still feels the need to protect her. While they work together to stop the murders, old anger and mistrust rises between them, but so does the lust they feel for each other. Can they move forward and learn to love each other, or will the past always hold them back?

This book was awful. Caleb and Avery have the chemistry of fifth graders in their Drama Club rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

Caleb is a complete jackass. He protects Avery but it’s clear he doesn’t want to do it out of anything other than a sense of duty. Not only is he angry about her waking him up in the middle of the night– you know, just because her life is in danger. She should stop whining, right?– but he constantly makes her feel stupid and makes it clear he resents the shit out of her. He says she fired him so she could get a promotion, when in reality he was a loose cannon who deserved to be fired.

Even his friends and coworkers think he needs to tone down the anger.

“Haven’t heard you apologize to her,” (Zach, Caleb’s friend and coworker said).

“For what?”

“You tell me.”

“I was blindsided by what she did back then.”

“Any chance you had tunnel vision?”

Caleb is also so hot-headed I wouldn’t be surprised if he took steroids on a regular basis. Even someone like Avery, who has little more character than a stock photo, deserves better than that.

Caleb does eventually realize he’s been acting like a PMSing Neanderthal and “forgives her”, still thinking he did nothing wrong but wanting to put it behind him.

Avery isn’t as bad as Caleb, but Avery isn’t much of anything at all. She probably goes down in history as one of the least interesting protagonists ever created.

I might have cared more about the characters if I understood and liked the plot. But even that was a hot mess. While I get the gist of the situation– someone is selling names of people in the Witness Protection Program– I can’t make sense of the finer details. A hailstorm of minor characters were dumped on me at once and I couldn’t even keep them straight, let alone focus on what they were saying.

On top of that, there are a couple of times Avery seems to just “get” stuff and the reader is supposed to just “get” it too. But these aren’t obvious things, nor are they minor.

These things are like why Avery is too dangerous to be around Caleb’s coworkers’ wives. Avery just accepts that it’s reasonable she would put the wives in danger, but it’s not.

Even after reading the entire book and going back to skim parts of it for this review, I still don’t understand the plot that well.

If you are looking for a good Harlequin Intrigue book, you would be better off reading Scene of the Crime: Black Creek by Carla Cassidy. But don’t waste your time reading a half-assed story like Gunning for Trouble.

What romance novels have you enjoyed lately? Let me know in the comments.