Kaje is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She writes about nice guys with real issues. These two fit their roles as detective and victim/witness like any police procedural, but in a way that is refreshing. Neither of the characters is angsty. MacLean is in the closet for a very good reason and this isn't GFY at all. That always drives me crazy. He's been out to himself all along, but he can't act on it and that's left him lonely and without ever having a relationship. Hart is strong and independent, and true to himself. Together they're dynamic and good. There is plenty of emotional suspense without the common traps of one person treating the other poorly.
The plot is good and can standalone even without the romance. The mystery isn't perfect but it's got a couple of layers and it worked for me. There is good suspense and action and it's mostly realistic. I particularly like that there is actual police procedure, i.e., legwork and interviews and scene investigation, etc. I like that MacLean stays rational and does his job even when he's terribly worried about Hart. He knows that the way to make Hart safe is to find the criminal not go all cave man. (Although there's plenty of him insisting Hart be safe.)
With this book, I've officially decided I will read everything Harper writes.