Kissing Mr. Bellamy

Kissing Mr. Bellamy - Lori Villarreal Not marked, but book #2 after "Whispers in Time" (IMO)This book felt... uneven. I got the idea that I should have read "Whispers in Time" first, because even on the cover, the book indicates that Roger and Emily are from that story. And Emily's/Roger's story seems to take a hiatus every now and again to deal with the "Whispers in Time" story and characters. That was very confusing to me.Emily's uncle Tobias is dead - she believes he was murdered for an ancient Egyptian relic, a gold medallion. Neither Tobias nor Emily had the opportunity to study the medallion, having just returned from a trip to Egypt and being busy cataloging all of their finds. The authorities ruled Tobias' death as natural causes, since there were no apparent signs of murder or foul play. The only mark on Tobias was a bee sting behind one of his ears.Emily has stayed with her uncle since her parents died when she was young. She's studied with him, traveled with him, been his personal assistant, and even worked at the dig sites; she's 26, unmarried, and still a virgin. But Emily dresses like a dumpy old matron, hiding her beauty and figure from the world; one of her uncle's associates tried to rape her, and since then, she's covered herself up hoping not to attract that kind of attention.But Emily is desperate - she has no source of income any longer. And while she receives her uncle's things, there's not much valuable among them. Except for the medallion. If Emily can sell that, she'll be set.So Emily seeks out Mr. Roger Bellamy, a noted private inquirer/investigator. As in most romance books, there's a palpable connection when they first meet - one of those electric, sit-up-and-take-notice air shifts. And it hits them both, thank goodness.Mr. Bellamy is something of a mystery. He's got a scar from his temple to his mouth on the left side of his face. He seems dangerous and dark and mysterious. He claims not to be a gentleman, but he has gentlemen friends and knows his way around. And despite their overwhelming attraction, Mr. Bellamy reigns in his physical attraction to Emily, restricting it to kisses. And what kisses!But the thing is, for all the money she paid him for a retainer, the case doesn't seem to move very quickly. While Roger doesn't know that Emily needs the money from the medallion to live on until she faints from hunger, he just didn't seem that motivated to investigate the murder and find the medallion very quickly. Is that supposed to be because he wants to be around Emily? It takes awhile for him to finally know the color of her hair and discover her true beauty.... mainly because the two of them get side-tracked helping out Damon and Gabriella from the "Whispers at Midnight" story/book with a mystery surrounding Gabriella. Huh?Roger also has some woo-woo "powers", where he can not only sense when people are lying, but he can also pick up on their emotions and get pictures of their thoughts. This seems to be a new trend for the dark, mysterious men in romance books since the mid 2000s, which I find amusing. Do such men really exist? So Roger knows all along how attracted Emily is to him, and how often she thinks of kissing him... and other things. In fact, one of the most "erotic" scenes is when he's not even touching her physically, simply looking at her, yet she feels his kisses and his touches. Ahhh!When the story actually gets going and not stuck in the first book, it's a good story... a decent mystery, with a proper villain and a few surprises. I'm going back to read book #1 now - see if I can make heads or tails of it all....