Dangerous Distraction

Title: Dangerous Distraction
Author: Mia Watts
Publisher: Total-E-Bound
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary Murder Mystery
Length: Short Story (47 pages)
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

A Guest Review by Aunt Lynn

One-sentence review: Even if the writing was pretty good, a closeted cop and an out ATF agent smexxin’ it up in inappropriate places and times made Aunt Lynn an unhappy camper.


Will a dare and amazing sex get Rook out of the closet, or will he lose the love of his life to fear or even murder?

An afterhours dare has Detective David Rook kissing the sexiest pair of lips he’s seen in a long time. He doesn’t expect it will shake his closeted lifestyle to the core. Now ATF Agent Nate Giamanti is working with him on a case, Rook can’t avoid his forbidden desires.

Nate challenges Rook with every encounter, but when Rook backs off, Nate doesn’t want the drama that goes with hiding his sexuality, even if it means he could have a lot more of the detective in his bed. When their suspect trains his sights on Nate, will Rook finally get queened or lose the game to a killer?


Dangerous Distraction is the first book by this author that I’ve read. Though it started off really well, this decently-written short tale went downhill for me with a few issues. More on that later.

David and his Seventh Precinct buddies are at their local cop bar when a group of guys from the Ninth show up with their ATF (US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) liaison in tow. Though he doesn’t care so much, his friends think the guys from Ninth are infringing on their territory and should be shown the door. David bets a month’s worth of beer that he can get rid of them. His tactic? Grabbing their “big dude” and laying a big, wet one on him. He doesn’t count on said big dude, Nate, returning the kiss with equal fervor. The trick ultimately works, but both men continue to think of the other and that kiss as the weeks go on. Now working a serial killer case with David makes Nate realize that David isn’t out, and regardless of how sexy and attractive the other man is, Nate isn’t about to go back into the closet for him or anyone else. And David, fearful about wanting more from Nate and what would happen if he came out, doesn’t understand why Nate won’t go for a physical relationship on the sly. If David really wants Nate, he will need to think about what he needs to do to make it happen before it’s too late.

What I liked:

As I mentioned above, this story started out really well for me. I thought the characters, who are generally realistic, likeable and sympathetic, had great, palpable chemistry. I bought their attraction. The smexxin was quite steamy and didn’t overwhelm the story.

I liked Nate’s partner, Derrick, who thankfully was supportive of Nate’s being out and even championed some for David and for them being together.

I thought the writing was solid, technically speaking. My problems came in with the plot, I think, more than anything.

What I didn’t:

There are parts of the book that really tested my ability to suspend my disbelief. When they had their first smexxual encounter on a job — essentially at a crime scene, no less — the story fell in my rating. It slipped further when they smexx it up while waiting for an imminent attack on Nate later in the story. Very implausible.

I also had a little bit of trouble with the almost insta-love aspect. They see each other three times in a little over a month for short periods of time — most of it fighting, smexxin it up and/or it being work-related — and yet they fall in love awfully easily and quickly. And for David, who has never been in a relationship before, this seemed even more difficult to swallow.

I thought the overall story could have been longer. I would have liked to have gotten some back story on why David was closeted as well as seen the protags interact more.

Related to this, the plot of the serial killer worked well as a backdrop early on, though I felt the length of the book prevented it from being well-developed. I also admit to some confusion later in the story over the who/what/where of the mystery angle. They find out a key player is named “Erik Riley,” yet that name is never mentioned again, and another name — Cizone — comes out after that. I think they are the same person. Maybe. And there is mention of a sister that made no sense to me and I wondered why she was even included. Like I said, I had some confusion over it.

Lastly, I am no prude and have a mouth on me myself, but even I thought there was too much swearing. It felt like every other word was “fuck,” “shit,” “bitch,” “ass.” It felt overwhelming to me, and that is saying something.


Regardless of the issues I had, I feel this decently-written book could be a winner among fans of the author and those who can suspend their disbelief enough to get past smexxin in inappropriate places and times. I liked the writing enough to be open to other books by Watts.



  • oh, it’s a shame. closeted cop and mystery is totally my cup of tea. But when I looked at the 47-page length, I know it’s going to be difficult and then your review proves it.

    • Hiya Eve. I think this would have been a much better book at, say, double its length, and if she would have had them wait until being off the clock to smexx it up. She’s not a bad writer.

      • Hey all,
        I do take your cons into consideration. The complication comes when the publisher has certain expectations of what the book will contain and where it will appear in the story. A short story that is purely relationship building tends to be static, yet the double plots make the story feel rushed. I’m usually pushing the line of the maximum word count permitted for the shorts that I write.

        My apologies that you don’t feel my work is adequate. I strive, with each new story, to meet the needs of my readers. For the most part, I believe I’m doing that. Can’t satisfy everyone.

        It’s the balance of the poor and exceptional reviews which fill out a rounded point of view. My recommendation would be two read reviews like Wave’s and Lynn’s, then the ones that are five stars and come to a middle ground. You’ll be better versed on what the work has to offer. Hopefully, a moment to think for yourselves will arise and whatever decision you make from that, will at least be well-informed.

        Happy reading and may you find a work more your speed.


  • Lynn
    I think that this author uses similar plot lines in most of her stories. They all strain credibility.

    I reviewed Bad Boys, Bad Boys several months ago which I rated 2 stars and here’s one paragraph in my review re inappropriate behaviour

    There were several scenes in the story which would test the credibility of any reader – in one instance these two officers, while waiting for the Chief who is not pleased that they let their target escape, start kissing in a conference room with the door unlocked, clearly unconcerned about losing their jobs<<

    What saved the story was the humour but I couldn’t go above 2 stars. Apparently she hasn’t learned.

    Thanks for your usual incisive take Lynn.

    • Hi Wave. The overall writing and the fact the rest of the story mostly worked is what saved it from having an even lower rating. And yes, one would think that an author could take away the “cons” reviewers and other readers bring up and help future books.

  • Short stories that combine a romance with a mystery/crime storyline often leave me disappointed. They are way to brief to do justice to either of the story lines. I have been disappointed so many times that I seldom buy this length of book. It seems few authors can pull off a satisfying story at these smaller word counts and these books can be expensive for what you get.

    • You’re right, Jill. Although the case is really a backdrop to the romance, I did feel that the length impeded a reasonable conclusion to the criminal aspect. Too much packed in 47 pages.


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