Review: Run the Risk by Lori FosterRun the Risk by Lori Foster
Series: Love Undercover #1
Published by Harlequin on September 25, 2012
Pages: 379
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend’s unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her…

Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new “construction worker” who’s moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer’s crosshairs?

I like this series a lot, but I’m not sure I liked this book as much as some of the others. I also have mixed feelings on Logan and Pepper (which by the way, Pepper and Mr. Stark? Really? Really? I guess Iron Man is an inside joke for Lori Foster?). However, on the whole, I loved the cast of characters.
Quick summary, Pepper is hiding from some bad dudes, and Logan is hunting a friend’s killer. He thinks Pepper’s brother knows something, so he’s going to seduce dowdy, frumpy unattractive Pepper to get to her brother Rowdy. Unfortunately, Pepper is the one who witnessed the murder, so by using Pepper as bait, Logan basically put a target on her back.
Getting to the meat of the review, I had a hard time approving of Logan’s methods, and in this case I don’t feel the ends justified the means.
What if he hadn’t fallen for Pepper, was it ok that she was collateral damage then? I feel like purposely going undercover to use Pepper and purposely seducing her to get to her brother was a dick move. It almost ruins it, though Pepper is the one who finally makes the moves. Although I love how she bailed on him and he was left feeling used. I wanted to high five her.
She should have made him suffer, and I guess using him for unemotional unattached sex is her way, but I didn’t like how Logan was like “I’ll take anything you can dish out because I know you’re hurt and I know you’ll forgive me at some point.” There needed to be a better apology or something.
But I don’t get why it was so important to hide her body from him during sex, this is a big part of the story, which is why it boggled me. She is hiding from some pretty bad dudes, so she changes her looks, dyes her hair, wears clothes that would look better on the homeless (her words, not mine), and all in all tries to look forgettable and unattractive. Logan begins to see past it and then begins not to care how she looks as he really cares for Pepper, weird hobo clothes and all. But the only reason I can think of as to hiding her body was to allow her to have the sassy made-over “this is how I normally look” scene where she’s all pissed and telling him he’s never gonna get it.
She had every right to be mean, and I love betrayal plots so much, but I felt like she should have made him grovel. She held herself away and wouldn’t let him talk, and she still used him in bed. It was a new angle, that’s for sure.
I don’t know, I liked the plot, but I really had a hard time liking Pepper because we don’t really get to know Pepper until she gets to look hot again. Even as her undercover self, she’s not a fun heroine. And unfortunately that lasts like half the book, if not longer. She can’t even concentrate around Logan, and I’m all for lusty thoughts and sexual tension, but if she can’t even look at him without zoning out on his abs and chest, then how can I believe she’s competent enough to go through her day-to-day routine without zoning out every time he’s shirtless?
I had really mixed feelings about this one, as I liked the cast of characters, and I actually liked Logan, I just hated what he did, and how quickly Pepper let it go, like “oh well, I was undercover, in a sense, too. So it’s okay.” I wanted to yell, it isn’t okay!
But once Pepper changed (both her appearance and her personality), the plot picked up and her focus shifted from Logan’s abs for more than 5 seconds, it was much more action-packed and more entertaining.
I’ve read Rowdy and Dash’s books, so the last one for me is Reese (it’s out of order, I know, I know), but I liked Reese, and his neighbor, so I’m really looking forward to it.
So, final verdict, it was good, but I couldn’t condone Logan’s actions. Really, what if he hadn’t fallen for Pepper, would it just be a-okay for him to seduce the neighbor girl, use her to get to her brother, and then find his buddy’s killer? I’m not okay with that.