Author: Lisa Marie Rice
Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Type: Novel in Series
Purchased by Reviewer
Blurb: Morton “Jacko” Jackman isn’t afraid of anything. He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he’s been in more firefights than most people have had hot meals. Lauren Dare scares the crap out of him.
Gorgeous, talented and refined, she’s the type of woman who could never be interested in a roughneck like him. So he’s loved her fiercely in secret, taken her art classes, and kept a watchful but comfortable distance. Until now.
Lauren had finally found a home in Portland, far from her real identity, far from the memories of her mother’s death, and outside the reaches of the drugged-out psycho who’s already tried to kill her twice. One tiny misstep—a single photograph—has shattered it all. She has no choice but to run again, but this time she’ll give herself a proper farewell: one night with Jacko.
Their highly charged emotional encounter changes everything. In Jacko’s arms there cannot be fear, there can only be pleasure. Anyone wishing her harm will have to pass through him, and Jacko is a hard man to kill.
Review: Jacko Jackman has been in several of the Midnight books, most notably in Midnight Angel guarding harpist Allegra Ennis. Mainly known by the ladies in Lisa Marie Rice’s “Midnight” world as a tattooed, pierced thug on a motorcycle, Texan Jacko looks rough and IS rough. Apparently rendered speechless by Lauren Dare’s beauty when he meets her at Suzanne’s gallery, he instantly harbors a lust/love for her that causes him to eschew all others, remove his piercings, and drive an SUV instead of the bike (which he stows in the back). He starts taking art lessons from her to be able to spend more time with her and discovers an unknown side of himself; Lauren discovers a hidden attraction to this huge, dark, taciturn man.
Of course, as in all rom/suspense books, Lauren is not who she seems. She’s actually an heiress on the run from a dark past and a psychotic drug dealer wanna-be determined to kill her for her fortune. With the bright flash of a camera her time in Portland is at an end – for the third time she’s got to pull up stakes, contact her source and get moving. But not before she takes a moment to savor life with Jacko. To lose herself in the pleasure she sees in his eyes. But as with all alpha males, once Jacko has been with Lauren, she is his. And he’s not letting a little thing like hired killers, a psycho step-cousin, or heirloom jewels get in his way. Great classic rom/suspense storyline, sexy characters, team gets together to save the day, epilogue ends with a big teaser of next installment. What more could you ask for?
Unfortunately, questions – I has a few.
Lisa Marie Rice has been my go-to author for erotic, romantic suspense for many many years. We started out together at Ellora’s Cave. These books were my closet obsession… literally. I kept them in my closet. They were my first foray into the world of raw sex in books, and they amazed me! I loved that the alpha heroes were real men who didn’t mess around with confusing people. They said what they meant and they meant what they said. And they love love love having sex sex sex with these women. And they think about it a LOT. And they describe it in DETAIL in their heads. It’s almost like you’re there. I love those men (especially you, Sam, but I digress…).
And the suspense. It’s always realistic. There’s usually not any paranormal cray-cray stuff thrown in. And when it is–I can deal. Love the new Ghost Op series. The action usually involves former SEALs or some branch of brawny, military men with weapons. Oorah! I just eat that stuff up with a spoon. I don’t care if it’s not realistic to have a cock the size of a club. I don’t care if there is some repetition of the same sentences or phrases in a book or three. The gist is these men are alphas and they treat these women right! I love how these men make me feel and they AREN’T REAL! Dammit.
But in this book, something strange has come into my happy world and torn it asunder. I’m not casting blame in any particular direction, but a veil has appeared in the bedrooms and minds of my men that was heretofore not there. What, you say? For instance: I was all settled in my bed with my Diet Dr Pepper and Target cashew/chocolate caramel ball mix, ready for my fix, when I got to the first “love” scene. They get to the good part and suddenly, we *fade into the next morning.* WTF? I thought maybe my book was missing some pages?? Nope.
I sucked it up like a big girl and thought, ‘I’m going to give this a chance. It’s smoother, with better editing, so maybe they decided to show me the good stuff later?’
I like my alpha men strong and silent, with brains and brawn and ready to take on the world. I like them to fall in love with a woman and be weakened by it. I want them to lose control when they’re having sex and not be able to contain themselves. And I want to read about every. Delicious. Detail. That’s what I expect and WANT from my books! Don’t take it away! And even if the editing was smoother, the repetition less, there was also less connection. I didn’t feel that obsessive/compulsive over-our-heads connection that they usually have. Plus: I also was hoping for much more backstory – to find out what’s been happening with my Midnight peeps. Not much on that front. Didn’t even *see* Claire and Bud.
All the goodness was there. It’s like somehow the best parts got chopped. The parts where they connected. The parts where the sex got raunchy. The parts that made you believe that Jacko would rather die than lose Lauren. They just weren’t there for me. And that makes me much sadder than writing this review. I LOVE the author, Lisa Marie Rice. I love her writing, I love the Midnight series, and I really wanted to love this book. But I didn’t.