Review: “The Grifter” by Kimberly Kincaid

Series: The Intelligence Unit, #3

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: October 19th, 2021

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CW/TW: Character in recovery from narcotics addiction, mention of drugs and abuse of drugs, violence and murder. I know that it’s implied it’s going to be slightly gruesome since it’s a romantic suspense and features a bunch of cops from the Intelligence Unit, but adding the trigger warnings just reminds people what’s at stake.

Only one person has ever rocked Detective Shawn Maxwell’s titanium composure.
Francesca Rossi, his ex-partner.
His ex-everything.

He hasn’t seen Frankie since she left him eight years ago
and now he has to work with her on an undercover case
that could break them both.

But when Shawn’s world is turned upside down by the news
that he has a three-year-old daughter,
Frankie stuns him by being an unlikely ally.

The more they’re together, the more the walls between them begin to crumble
and the less he can resist the fierce, beautiful woman he fell for.
But their past comes with wounds that run deep
and the present holds danger neither of them see coming.

Until suddenly, they aren’t just fighting for love.
They’re fighting for their lives.


This is my third Kimberly Kincaid book and the second in the Intelligence Unit series and it’s safe to say that I am head over heels in love with this gang. We met Matteo Garza in The Guardian and I absolutely loved his and Delia’s story. Kimberly writes very immersive books, so when these characters are on the run or fighting off the bad guys, you’re right there with them. And when it comes to romantic suspense, you really need to be deep inside the heads of the good guys so you hate the bad guys just as much as they do. But I was also absolutely in love with Shawn Maxwell as we saw him in Garza’s book, so when we got that sneak peek into book three I knew that I was going to love what Shawn had going for him.

Shawn and Frankie have a whole lot of history. They were once partners in the Remington PD and then lovers soon after. But when they respond to a call and it all goes wrong, their relationship is on edge. Frankie’s been in recovery for drug addiction after the terrifying injury that broke her and Shawn up, but she’s got only one plan in mind – bring down the man that’s trying to ruin the lives of other people with his narcotics. So when the case brings her and Shawn together to go undercover to close it out, what could possibly go wrong, right?

I love Frankie. She’s tough, she’s badass and she’s also soft in all the right places. She’s a take no shit kind of person and she stands her ground, especially when facing off with Shawn and his crew. What I loved most about Frankie is how determined she is and she’s not going to let Shawn or anybody else tell her how to run this operation. She’s worked too hard and too long to make something of this case and she’s not going to let anybody bring it down. Shawn is the broody, sexy and intimidating cop we all love. He’s got his soft edges too and when it comes to Frankie, he’s all soft edges. But he’s known for his work ethic and his undercover successes, so nobody messes with Shawn either.

And these two together are wild. Yes, they are incredibly hot because when they were together the first time, it was all about sheet-scorching orgasms. And now that they have to work together, all that pent up sexual tension and frustrations from being apart for eight years comes crashing down. So yeah, the steam is insanely hot and so so beautiful. One of my favourite things about their physical relationship is that Shawn knows Frankie’s still hurting, so he lets her lead the way. They communicate and talk, he asks her what she wants and she shows him what she’s been craving. And that scene…phew, that scene is so beautiful, but also so damn hot it took me a minute to come back from it.

“I do feel good, Frankie. Fuck, when you fall apart in my arms like that? I feel invincible. What I need, what turns me on more than anything in the goddamn universe, is this. It’s you.”

But it’s not just their physical relationship that is wild – they spend so much time talking, rehashing the past and understanding where everything went wrong. And it’s never out of anger, it’s out of the desire to understand how they could have done better. Both of them admit their mistakes, they sort through their guilt and the things that have been holding them back. They don’t sugarcoat any of it, because that’s not who they are. It just makes you love Frankie and Shawn so much more, because they want it to work, even if they’re not always saying those words.

Don’t even get me started on Shawn and his daughter, Isla, because that is truly the cutest thing ever. Shawn’s character development from the previous book and the beginning of this one to the end is just spectacular. He goes from being the gruff, broody big guy to being a teddy bear where his daughter is concerned and if that doesn’t make you love him, I don’t know what will. 

Since it’s a book about cops, there’s a whole lot of crime busting, lots of undercover work and really intense scenes where you’ll be sitting at the edge of your seat hoping like hell that everything goes right. It’s like watching a crime procedural, except all of it is in words. And that’s what makes it even better. And now, I cannot wait for Addison Hale’s book, because I’ve been curious about her for a while and that lead up teaser? SO GOOD!

Thanks to Kimberly Kincaid and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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