Review: Nightfire by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Series: Protectors, Book 3
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Hero: Michael Patrick Keillor
Heroine: Chloe Mason
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: February 7, 2012
Started On: February 11, 2012
Finished On: February 15, 2012

It seems like I have been waiting forever for the release of the 3rd book in the Protector series. If you like myself have read the 2nd book Hotter than Wildfire, you would know why. Hotter than Wildfire ended on a cliffhanger, leaving the reader in a serious state of anticipation for this book to come out. And though Nightfire didn’t live up to all my expectations, it still managed to deliver the sort of sensually charged read that only Lisa Marie Rice can deliver.

35 year old¬†Michael Patrick Keillor (Mike) is one of the 3 partners of the RBK Security Inc., one of the most successful security companies in the country. While his two brothers and best friends Harry and Sam had found their happily ever afters with wonderful women, Mike remains single, wandering as the restless soul that hides a wealth of pain deep inside of him. His home while stark, antiseptic and empty are a contrast to Mike’s emotions remain chaotic though he manages to hide it well.

28 year old Chloe Mason makes her way towards the building that houses RBK Security not for the usual reasons women seek them out. She comes to find out whether Harry could be her long-lost brother, hopeful and a bit apprehensive at the same time. Chloe is beyond ecstatic when Harry welcomes her with open arms, his fragile younger sister who had suffered and gone through so much in her life already. 

The attraction between Mike and Chloe is an immediate and an all encompassing one that flares to life right from the very minute the two of them lay eyes on each other. Chloe though fragile and delicate with zero experience when it comes to the opposite sex knows instinctively that Mike would never hurt her. However, after one very explosive kiss that burns hotter and brighter than any usual kiss, Mike’s less than stellar activities the previous night proves to be the reason why Mike takes a step back, though he doesn’t completely step away from Chloe’s life.

Story continues six months later, at the point where Mike is ready to bring and end to a promise that has kept him from completely claiming Chloe as he would have liked to do from day one of their “relationship”. And when Chloe’s life is suddenly under threat from ex-Russian military personnel, nothing and absolutely no force on this Earth is going to prevent Mike from claiming Chloe as his, and protecting her from any sort of harm that may come to her.

Nightfire combines all the elements that makes a Lisa Marie Rice book so memorable. Mike is alpha hero personified and Chloe is the delicate, beautiful and serene heroine who just makes you think of flowers and sunshine right from the very minute that you meet her. And the fireworks that bursts forth right from the very start is trademark Lisa Marie Rice, the heat and the off the charts sensuality always a reason to keep coming back for more of her stories.

There is none who can make a reader sweat right along with the hero and heroine as they dance around the heat that is between them, succumbing to the deep pull that is a constant throughout the story. Every single sliver of desire between Mike and Chloe was one I felt to my very bones, the reason why I loved this story so much. There were certain aspects of the story I didn’t like overly much, like the constant re-telling of emotions that seems to grip both Chloe and Mike until towards the latter part of the story. Yes, Mike has a story to tell, an immensely sad one at that too, but I wanted more action on the suspense side as well as the relationship that was fostering between Mike and Chloe to be the center of the story.

Even with all those little things that didn’t work for me, I still enjoyed the story of how Chloe and Mike find that special something with each other, the epilogue at the end that put a smile on my face the reason why I would rate this as a great read, recommended for any fan of Lisa Marie Rice.

Favorite Quotes

Her hand lifted without any volition on her part, as if it were the hand itself that wanted to be held by his. He gently grasped it in both hands, instead of the impersonal handshake she‚Äôd been expecting. His hands were as hot as a furnace. Slowly, watching her every second, he brought her hand to his mouth and‚ÄĒoh my God‚ÄĒkissed it.
Something inside her, something she’d never even suspected existed, pinged to life. Heat, excitement . . . desire. 

She whimpered, the sound lost in Mike’s mouth. She was entirely his, completely without willpower or volition. His mouth ate at hers, his shoulders curved in to her like some powerful wall of flesh. He moved his hips against her in short, stabbing movements, hands lifting her hips against his.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-book
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Midnight, Book 1
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: John Hunnington
Heroine: Suzanne Barron
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 12, 2004
Started On: June 11, 2011
Finished On: June 12, 2011

Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice is book one in her Midnight series. I have previously read and loved the third and final book in the series entitled Midnight Angel. This is my third attempt at reading Midnight Man, my previous two attempts halted somewhere in the midst of the first chapter due to one reason or the other.

Midnight Man tells the story of John Hunnington who is forced into early retirement from his career as a tough Navy SEAL. Known as the Midnight Man to his fellow comrades, John is a man well versed in the art of killing and now owns his own top notch security company known as Alpha Security International. It is his expanding business that makes him seek out Suzanne Baronn who is leasing out part of her building as office space, perfect for what he wants and in the process finds himself blindsided with the need to possess the classy and elegant beauty who stands in front of him.

Suzanne with her interior decorating business is the exact opposite of John. And the way John commands all of her senses right from the very first meet itself has Suzanne ready to flee from the intensity of her response to a man that she barely knows from Adam. However, from the moment John possesses her up against the wall during their very first date means that there is no turning back for Suzanne who has envisioned a very different process by which she would fall in love with the man she would share the rest of her life with. And when danger of the life threatening variety comes calling out of nowhere, it is to John that Suzanne turns towards who pulls no punches in ensuring that the woman who rocks his world in more ways than one would remain safe as long as he is capable of breathing.

The Midnight series tells stories of uber alpha males and the dainty yet strong heroines who are actually damsels in distress the said alphas race to rescue. With mind numbing passion of the explosive variety which is very well done, Midnight Man delivers on all counts and I loved reading every little bit of how two very different people find their soul mates in each other in the most unusual of circumstances.

I fell in love with John when I read the following part of the book where his burgoening feelings towards Suzanne is vocalized for the very first time in the story.

The tree was pretty, she thought with satisfaction. It reached almost to the ceiling and the branches, thick and glossy, contrasted cheerily with the ribbons and apples and strands of fluffy white popcorn. The tree glowed with color. There were no store-bought ornaments on the tree, but that only made it charming, like something out of a Normal Rockwell painting.
“Pity we don’t have an angel,” she sighed. Her mother had a wonderful hand-made papier-mache white-and-gold angel picked up in Naples, which would have looked perfect on top of the tree.
John squeezed her shoulders and kissed the top of her head. His deep voice was quiet as he said, “You wouldn’t fit on top.”

And I definitely loved the ending of the story though there was no epilogue in this one which somehow doesn’t end up feeling lacking.

Recommended for fans of Lisa Marie Rice/Elizabeth Jennings.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Woman on the Run by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-book
Read with: Kindle for I-Pad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Sam Cooper
Heroine: Julia Devaux
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 1, 2005
Started On: June 10, 2011
Finished On: June 11, 2011

Julia Devaux finds herself in the mother of all fixes when she witnesses a mob hit and becomes a valuable witness who could put away the dangerous Joey Capruzzo behind bars for a good long time. However that also means that one seriously rich and pissed off Capruzo is after her pretty little head served on a platter which would mean another failed attempt by the US government  to indict him.

A book worm and film buff at the core, though Julia has lived a life of moving from one place to the other with her parents always on the move, she is not at all prepared to change into a Sally Anderson, a second grade school teacher in the middle of nowhere in Simpson, Idaho. With her life turned completely upside down, Julia is one step away from just simply sitting down and wailing at the winds when things take an interesting turn and she starts having an unholy fascination for anything to do with the tall, strong and silent Sam Cooper who turns up on her doorstep most unexpectedly.

Ex-Navy SEAL, Sam is a man who finds himself in serious trouble when the delectable new teacher in Idaho leaves him with a raging hard-on for the first time in almost two years. Sam’s past and the famous Cooper curse makes him a wary man on all counts. On top of all that, Sam is not a man who has much inclination to talk which has him sweating buckets when it comes to wooing and seducing the one woman whom he wants more than his next breath.

With a whopping figure of two million on her head, Julia is far from safe even in a no name town such as Simpson when it brings out a killer most cunning who will do anything to find out and kill Julia, all for the luxury the money for the kill would bring.

Whe Sam finds out that Julia, the woman who has turned his life and that of his town around is a woman on the run, there is no stopping him from pulling out all the stops in protecting the one woman who means the world to him. Towards the end, the cunning killer almost wins in putting Julia six feet under until Sam arrives to the rescue with just seconds to spare.

I loved Woman on the Run by Lisa Marie Rice as this turned out to be refreshingly different from the rest of her novels I have read to date. I say different because of the take on humor this story has which had me laughing out loud in several places when Julia’s quirky sense of self-depreciating humor along with the small town life comes into play.

From the aspect of the hero and the trademark LMR sensuality, this book is another winner with Sam being the uber-alpha and the protective kind whose want and need for Julia goes beyond anything describable. Julia is an endearing heroine whom I loved from the start of the novel though she sounds a bit confused of what she wants and needs at the beginning of the story. The villain when brought to light turned out to be the biggest shocker rendering this as one of the most enjoyable romantic suspense by the author. For me the best part of the epilogue of the story which takes place 4 years later turned out to be how different a man Sam is towards the end. And I would love to point it out that the overly descriptive narrations that annoyed me in Hotter than Wildfire which I reviewed earlier were non-existent in this one, making it earn a whopping 5 stars from the sunny side of life!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave¬†

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Hotter than Wildfire by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-book
Read with: Kindle for I-Phone
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Protectors, Book 2
Publisher: Avon Red
Hero: Harry Bolt
Heroine: Ellen Palmer
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 5, 2011
Started On: June 7, 2011
Finished On: June 10, 2011

Book 2 in the Protector series didn’t wow me as much as its predecessor did. But nevertheless Lisa Marie Rice still managed to hold my undivided attention as I delved into the story of Harry Bolt, someone who has a very painful past from which he still has recurring nightmares.

34 year old Harry is one of the 3 “blood” brothers that own RBK Security. Having served in the army and with enough scars to last for a lifetime, Harry’s savior comes in the form of the sweet and sultry voice of the mystery singer only known as Eve.¬†By a twist of fate it is Ellen Palmer i.e. Eve herself ¬†who makes her way to seek the services of RBK Security who specializes in helping out beaten and battered up women fleeing for their lives with nowhere else to turn to.

For someone who believes that nothing in this world could surprise him anymore, that is exactly what Harry feels when he discovers that the scared red haired beauty in front of him who has awoken his dormant libido after two years is none other than the goddess whose voice it had been that had led him out of the shit hole his life had been in back then.

Once Harry claims Eve as his, there is no turning back for either of them as heady passion stronger than anything describable takes hold of them delivering sensuous scenes of love that is trademark Lisa Marie Rice.

As with most of her stories, the bad guys are vicious in their intent and actions and nothing short of Eve’s death would stop them. As the bad guys pull all the stops to find out where Eve is in hiding, Eve finds herself in a cocoon of love, warmth and friendship which she fears would shatter if she stays around too long. Its touch and go during the last showdown with the bad guys and once again Mike, Sam and Harry work together to save the one woman who lights up Harry in more ways than one.

As I said earlier, though I didn’t love this one as much as I did Sam and Nicole’s story, nevertheless I still loved Harry as a hero. Strong and uber protective, Harry is enough to melt any woman on the inside because of his caring nature. And I loved seeing glimpses of Sam and Nicole in this one and of course the two very beautiful epilogues at the end of the second one which takes place a year later hopefully signals the beginning of Mike’s story.

As some readers have pointed out, I too have problems with how Ms. Rice tends to go a tad overboard with her descriptions making it a bit tiresome to tread through the repetitive material to find the actual story beneath it. But, being a huge fan of Ms. Rice, I’m willing to look beyond that into the story and would rate this as a great read worth your time if you love Lisa Marie Rice or if you love romantic suspense with an all-out alpha who would literally make you swoon as you get to know him. And I have to warn you, this one’s got a pretty powerful prologue to it that may just require you keep a wad of tissues handy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: A Fine Specimen by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Lieutenant Alejandro Cruz
Heroine: Caitlin Summers
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 25, 2009
Started On: March 30, 2011
Finished On: April 1, 2011

Apart from the cover of this book which I just loathe, I loved every single thing about this very hot and well done novel by Lisa Marie Rice. Previously released and entitled as “Taming Nick”, A Fine Specimen tells the story of how Alex, the lieutenant at Baylorville PD falls like a ton of bricks for the sweet, sexy and beautiful Caitlin Summers.

38 year old Alejandro Cruz (Alex) lives and breathes police procedure. Alex had grown up in one of the poorest ares of Baylorville with an alcoholic for a ¬†mother and a drug addict for a father. Alex had been on his way to becoming one of the most notorious punks in the area when his mentor and chief of the police department Ray Avery had seen something inside of Alex that had taken Alex years to see. The qualities that had made him a top notch badass had been trained and honed into making a perfectly lethal law enforcement officer, who had steadily climbed the ranks until Alex is to be the one to replace Ray upon his retirement the coming month. But Alex’s dedication had come at a price by turning him into a man who exists for his job alone, a man who has nothing else to look forward to in his life.

28 year old Caitlin Summers is a mix of adorable klutziness with an IQ that would amaze a lot of people. Caitlin had grown up with two parents who had loved and adored one another. Her father had died when Caitlin was quite young and it had been Caitlin’s utter determination and drive that had kept and seen her through school and university to become a double masters holder in behavioral psychology and sociology. Her latest research which relates to “Dominance Displays in Law Enforcement” brings her to Alex’s territory for a week, to observe the dynamics of police personnel and their behavior.

Caitlin is shell shocked to say the least when she meets the very formidable lieutenant to whom Ray has sent her to. From the first moment, her awareness of Alex runs deep which is returned in full force by the man who hasn’t cracked a smile in years. Alex is at first alarmed and a trifle bit impatient when the dainty and beautiful Caitlin shows up in the midst of one of the most important missions that Baylorville PD has embarked upon to-date. With great reluctance, Alex agrees to Caitlin’s request and what follows is a journey of sensual discovery by two people who are irresistibly drawn towards one another as moths towards a flame.

Alex’s fascination for anything to do with Caitlin slowly chips away at the formidable walls he has built up around his emotions and heart for 38 long years. A man who is practical to the core, Alex is the complete opposite of Caitlin who brings a kaleidoscope of colors into Alex’s world of black and white. Bit by bit, the amazing woman that Caitlin is slowly turns him around, making Alex yearn for things he leaves unsaid for far too long – until fate nearly wrenches from him the very best thing that has happened to him in his life.

A Fine Specimen is a tad different from the novels that I have read by Lisa Marie Rice to-date, a fact which I reveled in as I read along. I loved the fact that this story wasn’t focused on a sinfully sexy alpha hero who is hell bent on protecting the dainty and beautiful heroine from bad guys at all costs. Rather this story focuses on the relationship that develops between Alex and Caitlin, taking the reader on a journey that shows how Caitlin’s sunny and klutzy nature perfectly complements the tough as nails nature of Alex.

The love scenes are of the erotic variety but done tastefully, which is always a big plus point when it comes to novels by Ms. Rice. Her ability to paint with words Рyes I would call it that, leaves me breathless at times, making me feel as if I am a vital living being in the story that unfolds. Alex is a sinful addition to my alpha male hottie list, a man who knows how to  take care of his woman in all the right ways. A Fine Specimen is certainly a delightful surprise if you can find it in yourself to go beyond the guy on the cover, who looks too full of himself if I may say so, which serves as a complete turn off when it comes to books. But beyond that is a story that is a delight to indulge in, a hero who surpassed all my expectations and managed to raise the yowzastic factor of the novel quite a bit with his inherently focused nature. Though I felt that the ending seemed a bit rushed, I would still give this 4 stars because I just absolutely love what Lisa Marie Rice can do with her rough and tough heroes and her beautiful and dainty heroines.

I finish off the review with peek into one of the many times during the story that Alex loses the internal battle he wages with himself when it comes to Caitlin, a loss that they both enjoy to the max and delights the reader in so many little ways.

Her mouth tasted as luscious as it looked, without the syrupy sensation of lipstick he now realized he hated. She was so delicious he didn’t even do what he usually did – make it a delicate, tentative kiss until he got signs from the woman that his advance was welcome.
No, sir. He dove in, licking, sucking, biting, as if she were a cream puff and he were a starving man.
It was like plunging into a sea of warm, fragrant flowers that caressed him back.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Matthew Sanders
Heroine: Charlotte Court
Sensuality: 3
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.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

[xrr rating= 4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!