Midnight Man, by Lisa Marie Rice

>> Wednesday, September 28, 2005

I knew within 15 pages of starting Lisa Marie Rice's Midnight Angel that I would be reading the rest of the series. Midnight Man is the first book.

Interior decorator Suzanne Barron's new tenant is the most dangerously sexy man she's ever met. Navy Commander John Huntington, a former SEAL (aka 'Midnight Man') works best under cover of darkness. Within hours of meeting him, Suzanne has wild, no-holds barred sex with John, then panics at the depth of her passionate response to such a powerful and dangerous warrior. Suzanne doesn't do sex like that. John is definitely someone she needs to avoid for her own peace of mind. But when killers come for her, Suzanne known she can turn to only one man. John will guard and protect her body. But who will guard and protect her body against John?
I worried at first that I'd goofed and got book # 2 instead of book # 1, because it looked like this was happening after the Midnight Run story (haven't read that one yet, but I knew who it was about), but I was reassured by other readers that this one is, in fact, the first, it's just that they take place more or less at the same time.

Anyway, I enjoyed MM very much. A bit less than Midnight Angel, mostly because of the hero, but it was still a solid B.

Like MA, this was a extremely intense, steamy read, almost claustrophobic in how fully the focus is on the two main characters. John and Suzanne spend practically every single page together, and the chemistry between them was enough to singe my fingertips.

Also like in MA (can't stop comparing these two, it seems), the hero is an alpha to end all alphas. But, and here's the reason I liked this one slightly less, John was a bit too much for me. Too dominating, too hard, too overprotective. I couldn't help but remembering a scene in MA when Suzanne is having lunch with her friends Allegra and Claire and tells them she would have wanted to wait to get pregnant until she'd managed to soften John up a bit, because he was going to go overboard when he found out about the baby. After reading this one, I can definitely say she had grounds to worry.

Another thing that was different was that, throughout most of the book, John was basically in lust with Suzanne, and without the appealing tenderness towards her that Douglas had when it came to Allegra. It was only very late in the book when he did start getting some softer feelings. Up to that moment, I was worrying that this wasn't really a love story, but only about lust. Overpowering lust, which was actually very fun to read, but just lust. When he became aware of some tender emotions towards her, it was lovely, but it was almost too late and there wasn't much book left. Almost, but it was just enough to make it work.

The author made perfect use of the interesting suspense subplot which accelerated John and Suzanne's relationship. The only weak point I found was Suzanne's late decision to be excessively civic-minded, which didn't really ring true. And John's easy acceptance of it, supposedly based on the fact that he was an officer and duty and honour were so important to him, didn't jibe with his later actions.

But that's a pretty small issue, and this was a very satisfying read. I'm going to try to hold out until the weekend to read Midnight Run.


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