Conflict Of Interest by Jae takes a very significant approach to the traditional cops and docs trope. In this story, Jae gives us a view into the world of sex crimes. We see two women who are on the road to romance, then have to alter course when one becomes the victim of the crime she always prevails against.
Detective Aiden Carlisle is workaholic. She has no time for love and definitely no time for a law enforcement seminar when she should be out serving and protecting the public. But when she lays eyes on the first speaker, Psychologist Dawn Kinsley, all thoughts of sneaking out are smothered instantly. When the two women meet, they both feel a spark. But Dawn isn’t interested in getting involved with another cop. So, the two women go their separate ways with little chance of crossing paths again. Then Dawn is sexually assaulted in her own home. The case lands right in Aiden’s lap. From the beginning the lines begin to blur between professional courtesy and personal interest. Aiden tries to keep her distance, but all she wants to do is protect Dawn, and that poses a threat to any possible conviction.
Can Aiden keep herself from crossing a line? Or will this brutal crime keep Aiden and Dawn apart before anything can truly begin?
I think the smartest characteristic Jae gave these two women was their professions. Each of them works in the same sector, yet they approach it from different angles.
Aiden works as a detective in the sex crimes unit of the Portland PD. She sees victims after the worst experiences of their lives, yet her role as an officer of the law requires her to have a semblance of detachment. Dawn, however, is allowed to show the compassion that Aiden is not permitted to express. Where Aiden has to be unbiased in the eyes of justice, Dawn is able to sympathize and help victims heal. When Dawn is attacked, they are able to utilize what the other brings to the situation to help them through the trauma. Aiden draws from Dawn’s compassion to help her heal. And Dawn draws from Aiden’s ability to detach to allow herself to view it as a crime and keep herself away from the darkness she knows can envelope her at any time.
Above all else, both women draw strength from the other, which permits them to trust each other, accept this new reality, and move forward together.
The Writing Style
Jae gives us a an in-depth look into how the recovery process after a brutal crime is more of an on-going process than a quick fix.
When the story begins, we get the initial introduction of Aiden and Dawn, and we see their attraction. Then, this terrible assault happens to Dawn. From there, it’s really a test of strength of the human spirit and the effects this event has on Aiden, Dawn, and the people around them. Dawn’s career as a psychologist really allows us to experience the victims thought process after such a traumatic event. There is PTSD, self-accusation, and a lot of triggers that accompany such an ordeal. Jae illustrates this by showing how much Aiden wants to be close to Dawn physically, but certain actions will prompt Dawn’s memory of that night and cause her to recoil. It’s so truthful to what happens to women in these situations, and I love how Jae doesn’t shy away from it. If anything, it allows us to have more empathy for victims of this type of crime and understand patience is necessary for recovery.
Protagonists are only as good as their supporting cast, and Jae does a good job of giving us a diverse group of amazing women that support Dawn and Aiden. Whether it’s the assistant district attorney, a law enforcement friend, or the family matriarch, these women that are just as interesting and as important to the story as Dawn and Aiden. They feel real and touchable, and they belong in Dawn and Aiden’s lives. Most importantly, they intrigue us enough to look forward to their own personal stories in future novels to come.
While Jae does not show us the physical attack on Dawn, there are some very descriptive scenes given by Dawn after the fact. It’s very clinical and detached as if Dawn is trying to look at it more as a psychologist than a victim. It’s kind of disturbing to hear her recount the assault, as it should be honestly. However, it is also very important to understand exactly what transpired and how it will affect not only Dawn but her relationship with Aiden.
Good books teach us about the hard things in life as well as the enjoyable things. This is one of those books. While some of the events that transpire are difficult to read, they are important for all of us to know and understand. Aiden and Dawn are two of the best to share their story and show us how important support, patience, and understanding are for all women. Because together, we will prevail over these senseless and heinous acts.
Excerpt from Conflict Of Interest by Jae
Dawn sat in a rocking chair across from Aiden and nodded toward her mug.
Aiden didn’t ask how Dawn knew her coffee preferences. She seemed to have some sort of sixth sense concerning police officers.
“So, have you recovered from all those attempts to bore you to death?” Dawn looked at her over the rim of her mug, a smile in her eyes.
Dawn shook a finger at her. “Oh, come on, Detective. I’m well aware how ‘eager’ most cops are to sit in a chair all day and listen to some academics tell them how to do their jobs.”
“Yeah, we just love it,” Aiden said with a grin. “But actually, your lecture wasn’t half bad. You’re not just an academic, are you?”
“No. Maybe I’ll go into teaching someday, but for now, I’m pretty happy with what I do.”
“I counsel survivors of rape and sexual abuse,” Dawn said.
Aiden looked down into her mug. “That has to be tough.”
Dawn shrugged. “As tough as being a sex crimes detective, I would imagine. But sometimes I feel that I really make a difference for some of my patients, and that makes it worthwhile.”
Aiden nodded. Their jobs had a lot in common. Silence grew between them, but Aiden didn’t find it uncomfortable.
“I have to admit that I didn’t invite you up without an ulterior motive, Detective.” Dawn didn’t beat around the bush.
Aiden swallowed. “And what motive might that be?”
“I know we hardly know each other,” Dawn said, “and I normally wouldn’t do this, but…”
Aiden’s eyes widened. Was this a come-on?
“I have a favor to ask,” Dawn finally said.
Okay, so it’s not a come-on. Aiden laughed at herself. Sleeping with a woman like Dawn couldn’t be considered doing her a favor.
Get This Book On Amazon
(this link works for Amazon UK, US and Canada)
Conflict of Interest
Next of Kin
Change of Pace
Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955331092
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
Note: We received a free review copy of Conflict Of Interest by Jae. No money was exchanged for this review. When you use our links to buy we get a small commission which supports the running of this site
If you enjoyed this book then you should also look at
The Killing Ground by Syd Parker https://www.thelesbianreview.com/killing-ground-syd-parker/