>> Wednesday, October 26, 2011
TITLE: Hotter Than Wildfire
AUTHOR: Lisa Marie Rice
PUBLISHER: Avon Red
SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Romantic suspense
SERIES: 2nd in the Protectors series, follows Into The Crossfire
The world knows her only as Eve...The premise of the Protectors series is that the heroes are a group of friends whose really awful childhoods have led them to dedicate their lives to protecting women from violence. They own a high-end security company together, and the profits from that subsidise the project they really care about: the Lost Ones Fund. Basically, the fund helps women in need get away from the people who threaten them and stay away safely, providing them with the practicalities, such as new documents, financial help and advice.
Though her songs have sold millions she is an enigma, a bewitching mystery. But to former Delta Force operator Harry Bolt, she is an angel whose sultry, smoky voice brought him back to life after the nightmare of Afghanistan. Nothing else matters.
And now a scared, helpless beauty has walked through the door of his San Diego private security firm, running from something secret, something deadly . . . and Harry knows immediately that this is the woman who saved him. He is the last hope for this intoxicating siren without a past—not even in his hottest dreams did he imagine that the lady Eve could be so tempting, so achingly desirable. But though she burns to lose herself in Harry's powerful arms, Eve is wary of trusting this tough, haunted ex-soldier who promises to protect her. Surrender could mean sweet ecstasy or certain doom. Can she open her heart, even if it means risking her life?
As with many refuges for abused women, knowledge of the fund is spread only by word of mouth, and that's exactly how Ellen Palmer finds out about it. Ellen is on the run after being a bit too good an accountant and discovering that her very scary boss, who's also been showing a creepy personal interest in her, is a very dangerous man and up to his neck in illegal business. Ellen runs for her life and hides out in a nightclub, where she's not able to resist the temptation to sing. And she's got such an amazing voice that it doesn't take her long to be noticed and offered a deal, leading to the creation of the mysterious "Eve", the singer everyone is dying to find out about.
Unfortunately, Ellen's voice is so distinctive that her former boss recognises it, forcing her to make use of the card one of her fellow nightclub employees once passed on to her, with the details of the Lost Ones Fund.
And it's not just the bad guy who recognises her voice, so does our hero, Harry Bolt, as soon as she comes into his office. Harry suffered really bad injuries in Afghanistan, and it was only the voice of a certain mysterious singer that kept him alive...
I feel I always write the same thing with LMR books, but here goes: if you've tried this author and didn't like her, don't bother with this one. It's got the same things that would have bothered you in previous books. There is one exception to this rule, and that's if you read the couple of books with the amoral heroes and this was what you didn't like. Harry and his friends are honorable, good men, so you'll be fine with this book. The over-the-top sex scenes and the hero's almost-creepy obsession with and adoration of the heroine, however, are all here. Me, I love this about LMR's books, and so that was a Very Good Thing and I really, really enjoyed this.
What this one also has is a heroine who's more proactive than many of the previous ones. Sure, Ellen's in a really bad situation and needs help, but she's not one to sit around wringing her hands. She's already rescued herself once, and is smart enough to realise when she's in over her head and needs help. She's also smart enough to ask for that help.
The suspense wasn't the greatest I've read from this author. It's something I've felt is underappreciated about LMR, but she's often got suspense plot which feel more original and different than the usual Romantic Suspense fare, and her villains are quite interesting, which makes spending time in their point of view pretty good. It wasn't bad here, but she's done better.
MY GRADE: A B+.