Changing the Rules

Montlake. (Richter, Bk. 1). Mar. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781542009911. pap. $12.95. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Claire Kelly has come a long way since her days as a student at Richter, an elite European boarding school-slash-assassin training academy. Now in the States working for a private security company, Claire goes undercover at a high school to take down a human trafficking ring targeting female students. Posing as a surly high school teenager is no problem, but it’s complicated by her partner, Cooper Lockman, who’s pretending to be the new track coach. Cooper has been in love with Claire since her Richter days, and as a supposed teacher, he definitely shouldn’t be putting the moves on her. The deeper the team infiltrates the school, the more complicated the stakes get, and the more difficult it becomes for readers to keep track of who’s who.
VERDICT The plot is more successful as a 21 Jump Street–style mystery than as a romance. Fans of Bybee’s “Richter” series may enjoy catching up with familiar characters in this spin-off, but the romance feels too underdeveloped to attract new fans.
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