I love trilogies and series, and I'm obviously not alone, as romance publishers have been cashing in on this idea since at least the 1980's. Harlequin's latest foray stars experienced, popular authors writing about emergency services personnel in a California seaside town called Courage Bay. A total of 16 novels are set in this town under the byline of Code Red.
My first Code Red experience, Next of Kin, was a winner. The story begins as emergency room nurse, Jackie Kellison, zooms down the Pacific Coast Highway in her new car on her way to work. At the same time, patrol cop Casey Guthrie is on his way home after a shift. Casey witnesses a car accident and subsequent pile-up ahead on the road. Jackie's new car gets totaled, but she's okay, and she and Casey help the other victims. One victim is just a baby, and needs medical attention quickly. Casey and Jackie rush her to the hospital, and discover a strong and sudden attraction to one another. Fueled by this attraction, they begin working together to restore the baby to her family. Something is hinky with the family, though, and Jackie and Casey keep searching for clues to the truth. The author does a great job of keeping the story moving, regularly dropping clues along the way. The romance is more of an aside than the main story, but that was fine by me. I don't need pages and pages of longing looks and pounding pulses. The mystery is what this story was all about. There was an unexplained explosion that may have been a red herring, or could relate to another Code Red story. Guess I'll have to read the other 15 books to find out. If this book is any indication of the quality of the rest of the series, that will be no hardship.