Flirting with Disaster is the third book in the Camelot series, and it brings closure and a happy ending to Katie, the last Clark sibling. The previous book was a bit of a mixed bag, but this new installment worked much better for me, even if some of the same issues remained.
Katie is a people pleaser. She followed her husband to Alaska so that he could make his dreams come true, and in the process she lost herself and put her life on hold. So when her husband left her with nothing, she came back to her hometown completely defeated. Her brother gave her a job, which helped her get her life back on track, but she remains a work in progress.
Sean is back in town to sort his recently deceased mother’s affairs. It’s a deceivingly easy task, because although all he has to do is get rid of her clothes and sell her house, he’s also forced to confront the bad memories of a mother who was less-than stellar. He’s really bad at dealing with his baggage, though, and really good at ignoring them and hoping they will go away, which is why he’s staying in town far longer than planned.
That’s how Sean ends up helping Katie’s brother and partnering with her in an assignment that involves protecting a famous singer.
But wait, there’s more! Sean was in love with Katie during the time they were in high school together, and has been (mostly) pining after her. The problem is that he has a stutter that, after years of therapy, is somewhat under control. But he fears that the stress of being in town, plus the stress of being with Katie, will bring back the stutter, so he doesn't speak to her. Ever. So of course she thinks he hates her.
The conflict is mostly internal and not particularly epic (because Sean and Katie have issues, both as individuals and as a potential couple), which is perfectly fine. These are two people who must decide if they want and can make it work. In Sean’s case, he’s in denial of his need to find closure, but by having a relationship with Katie, all those things that need closure become front and center, and unfortunately for him, it’s impossible to get the girl without first dealing with the baggage. Katie, on the other hand, needs to learn how to hold on to her newfound sense of self. She finally learned how to put herself first, and now she must keep doing it. These are personal journeys that aren't entirely compatible with a committed relationship that demands negotiation, compromises, and sacrifices.
As was the case in the previous book, Flirting with Disaster comes equipped with its very own subplot and a secondary character that features prominently in the story. And just like in the previous book, the subplot felt unnecessary and intrusive. This character was quite charming, and I spent half the time thinking he was outshining the main couple, while the rest of the time I felt like he was invading the main romance. Worse, the suspense part was predictable and boring.
However, all the characters were full of life and personality. It’s impossible not to be immersed in their stories and invested in their happiness. It’s what Ms. Knox does best and the main reason why I keep coming back for more. Flirting with Disaster is not her best, but it is a good book.
Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.Flirting with Disaster: A Loveswept Contemporary Romance by Ruthie Knox
Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.
Loveswept. June 10, 2013.