Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Hero: Matthew Sanders
Heroine: Charlotte Court
Date of Publication: April 1, 2008
Started On: February 17, 2011
Finished On: February 18, 2011
Elizabeth Jennings is a pseudonym used by the very talented author Lisa Marie Rice who is one of my utmost favorites. I love her style of writing and definitely her heroes who are larger than life, who are besotted to the point of obsession with the heroines, who swoop in to save the day. But mind you, her heroines aren’t dimwits either. Though they won’t win any contests in the feminist department, what they are is feminine to the core with backbones of steel that guides them through the very rough and turbulent times the story takes them through. And I do love me a good Lisa Marie Rice novel anytime! So it was a delightful surprise to find out that Lisa Marie Rice has a couple of romantic suspense books published under the name of Elizabeth Jennings and this one has been sitting in my TBR pile for quite sometime until yesterday when I finally took the plunge to find out what LMR’s books are like under the pseudonym Elizabeth Jennings.
34 year old Lieutenant Commander Matthew Sanders (Matt) is an ex-navy SEAL who has served in the worst hell holes of the world to protect his country. A man who has led groups of special ops soldiers through the worst and stickiest of situations, Matt’s life in special ops is brought to a grounding halt when he is injured whilst on duty in Afghanistan. Matt takes his broken body up to Baja Sur Mexico to heal from injuries that had nearly taken his life and meets his guardian angel, the woman who changes everything in his life for good.
Heiress Charlotte Court is the uber beautiful and artist daughter of Phillip Court of the Court Industries. Charlotte had been away in art school in Italy when her father who is as down-to-earth and impractical as they come had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Leaving her carefree world behind to take care of her father, Charlotte is pursued by the ambitious and cunning CEO of Court Industries Robert Haine who believes that the vast wealth is wasted on the Courts who really do not appreciate money and the finer things in life that it brings along. Haine’s plan is a dangerous one, to seduce Charlotte into his life, marry her and in turn inherit the billions to her name once her father is dead and gone. But Charlotte who is just more than a pretty face ignores his attempts and finally drives Haine to take matters into his own hands to claim the ownership of the Court Industries once and for all.
On the fateful night when Charlotte’s world is turned upside down, in a span of a few minutes, she witnesses the murder of her father and takes a bullet to her shoulder before survival instincts kick in and Charlotte runs for her life. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, with the police on an all out manhunt for Charlotte in association with the murder of the most precious person in her life, Charlotte has no choice but to run – and run is what she does from upstate New York to the beaches of Mexico.
It is on her 3rd day in Mexico that she eyes Matt, struggling to put one foot in front of the other just by sheer force of will and this is how a fragile bond between two broken people are formed; two people who have already been to hell and back, forced to endure what would have brought down a normal person.
From the moment Matt eyes his beautiful and broken Guardian Angel, he is smitten to the extent that everything else that surrounds him ceases to exist. And when Matt gets his chance to get up close and personal with his Angel, the protective instincts that kick in full throttle takes him by surprise and Matt wouldn’t have it any other way. With Charlotte refusing to divulge why and who it is that she is running from, Matt does the next best thing – toughen his Angel up so that she would be able to protect herself if the need arises, though he has no intention of leaving her side even for a minute.
But Haine has a more cunning plan in effect as he deploys one of the most lethal weapons that the US government has trained to-date, to hunt and kill the lone woman who stands in his way of inheriting a company which he turned around from the brink of bankruptcy, a legacy worth billions of dollars which he figures rightfully belongs to him.
Similar to books by Lisa Marie Rice, what captured me the most even with this story is how she brings to life every single scene/moment in the story. From the larger than life hero Matt to the beautiful and fragile heroine Charlotte to the sizzling attraction between them, I couldn’t have asked for a more eloquent characterization nor description. And Matt proved to be just the kind of hero that anyone who is on the run for their life would want by their side. His strength which he tones down in spades for the woman he loves; and his firm stand on using whatever means by his side to protect her at all costs is something to be savored in any hero. And Charlotte’s art; I felt like I was in the room with her whilst she was lost in creating beautiful artifacts which would stand the tests of time, the detailed descriptions which I believe has got something to do with the fact that the author herself spent so much time in Italy amongst such talented people who were trying to make a name for themselves in the competitive world of artists.
Though the underlying story is quite the same where the heroine is beautiful, hero is besotted right from the very beginning and in the end love triumphs all, I still loved this story which grabbed me right from the very start. There are subtle differences however to the stories that are authored under Lisa Marie Rice to this one. Books under LMR tends to be more about the intense connection between the hero and heroine such that the air practically vibrates with electricity whenever they both come into contact. However in this story even though the romance aspect is not placed on a back burner, the suspense aspect of the story is given as much attention and time in the story making it balanced in terms of romance and suspense.
Recommended for fans of Lisa Marie Rice who haven’t tried out books authored under Elizabeth Jennings, and those who love their romantic suspense with a larger than life hero who would lay down his life to protect the woman he loves.