Cop by Her Side - Janice Kay Johnson

Series: Mysteries of Angel Butte (Book 4)

"Does she put her trust in him...again?"

Lieutenant Jane Vahalik is "done" with Sergeant Clay Renner. He messed up their romance when he dished out too much male swagger. She gets enough of that on the job to put up with it in her personal life--regardless of how hot Clay may be.


Then her niece is kidnapped, and suddenly he is the only cop Jane trusts to lead the search. The rush of attraction sizzling between them surprises her. So does his determination to prove she's wrong about him. It could be just the tense situation--or it could be "Clay"--but Jane's feelings for him are growing. Maybe they deserve a second chance....


Good story with some fast paced action and a second chance at romance. Jane and Clay had dated briefly a few months before, until Jane overheard him discussing their relationship with "the guys" in a manner she found totally unacceptable. She had really liked him, and his chauvinistic comments hurt her and made her angry. Clay knew he had screwed up as soon as he said it, but he doesn't know how to fix it.


Then her sister is injured in a car accident and her niece disappears. With Lissa in a coma and unable to tell anyone what happened, Clay is in charge of the investigation. As they work together on the case, Clay looks at it as an opportunity to show Jane that he has learned from his mistakes. Jane isn't sure that she should trust him again, but she can't deny that her feelings for him are growing.


I liked Clay a lot. He was working from a bit of a disadvantage, as his example of how a man behaves was that of his father. He was definitely old school, the woman belongs at home raising the kids, and certainly not working in a field like law enforcement. With Jane not only being law enforcement but also higher ranked, Clay had a little trouble dealing with it all. I liked the fact that he realized right away that he was wrong, and took a good hard look at himself and his attitudes. Once he figured out where it had come from, he was determined to change. He hoped for a second chance with Jane, but wasn't very optimistic, given the way she has treated him ever since.


Jane has some self-esteem issues on the personal side of her life. Unlike her younger sister, Jane is shorter, curvy, and in her opinion, very ordinary looking. She hasn't had very many relationships, as most men looked at her as a friend rather than a romantic interest. Plus, as a police lieutenant, she seems to intimidate many of the men she knows. She had really liked Clay and thought that they had potential, until she heard him make those remarks. 


Working together on the case involving her sister and niece, Jane begins to see a different side of Clay. He admits to his mistakes, explains where they had come from, and lets her know up front that he really wants a second chance with her. He stumbles a couple times, but he is obviously trying, and that means a lot to her. Jane has her own male-related issues, thanks to her father's relationship with her and her sister, and trusting men outside of work is something that is hard for her to do. The attraction between them adds another layer to the developing relationship. I loved seeing the fight between Clay's natural protectiveness and his pride and confidence in Jane's abilities. Jane also had to learn to accept that Clay could feel both. I loved seeing how it all came together at the end, and they were able to move forward together.


The mystery of the missing girl went throughout the book. It was really interesting to see how methodical Clay was in his pursuit of the clues. He had a bit of an uphill battle with Jane because of his suspicions about her brother-in-law and sister. She had spent so much of her life protecting her sister that she doesn't want to think she could be wrong. I didn't much care for her brother-in-law for most of the book, but he redeemed himself in the end. It was very nerve-wracking as the search went on and Brianna was nowhere to be found. The resolution was really intense and showed both Clay and Jane's strengths.