Author: Lisa Marie Rice
Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Book in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: In their race for the truth, love must prove more powerful than America’s worst enemy…
When a gorgeous, bleeding woman on the run falls into the arms of Sean “Metal” O’Brien, the former SEAL medic knows just what he can do. Heal her. Tend to her. Keep her safe.
What he can’t seem to do is keep his guard up. Something about the haunted, hunted beauty knocks down all his defenses.
Felicity Ward is no stranger to secrets. Raised in the Witness Protection Program, her whole childhood was a lie. But she couldn’t have known that her family’s secrets—secrets she didn’t even know she was keeping—could spark a nuclear war.
And nothing could have prepared her for the tough, sexy warrior who first saves her life and then vows to protect it, no matter what.
Review: There was violence afoot from the start in this erotic novel of a young, beautiful techno-geek unwittingly on the run from the silent, frozen past of her parent’s Russia. Vladimir Borodin, a former KGB Colonel turned industrialist, received a fragment of information about a little remembered “dead” Nobel Prize winner, Nikolai Darin, from a long-ago planted Operation Yankee mole. This led Borodin to research a trail of deceit that began with a faked death, a hidden defection, an unexpected child, and a $60,000,000 pot at the end of the rainbow. But unearthing the secret left planted in the mind of a child might be impossible for even an experienced KGB officer…or a man in love. Even to save her life.
Felicity Ward is a lovely girl who has always grown up knowing how to hide and how to keep secrets. The child of Russian defectors, brought up in the witness protection program, she’s never gotten to have or keep a name of her own. Felicity was the name she’d chosen when her parents were killed in an automobile accident in her late teens and she left the witness protection program. She rarely traveled or left home, and she did most of her work online. It’s amazing to me that she even took the trip to see her friend Lauren.
Because of her circumstances, Felicity has had to become a survivor and a quick judge of character. When she is accosted at the airport by Borodin’s accomplice, she’s still able to make her escape from him there and then at the hospital; think quickly enough to avoid her hotel; and go to the one place that she trusts she’ll be safe–Lauren’s house. She’s immediately confronted at the door by Lauren, her boyfriend Jacko, and then falls/faints into the arms of Sean “Metal” O’Brien, Jacko’s co-worker. Luckily for her, she’s fallen into the exact right spot. Because Sean’s not only a medic–he’s a man who’s been hit over the head with a powerful attraction and a strong desire to protect. Her. He’s not letting her go. She’s a wounded comrade at arms and he’s going to save her. He treats her at the house and takes her to a safe, off-the-grid hospital where she’s stitched up and given antibiotics and pain medications. And he stays by her side the entire time and insists that she return with him to his place so that he can watch over her. He becomes her personal protector, and when she feels him holding her hand in her sleep, she swears it helps her heal.
Sean is an interesting character that tugs at the heartstrings emotionally while also appealing physically as a dominant alpha male. Coming from a family of first responders, he watched his father and four brothers all perish at 9/11, and his mother died of a broken heart soon after. Orphaned by tragedy, he joined the Navy SEALS and found another family–one that helped him serve vengeance on those that had taken his first one. Earning the nickname Metal because of the parts replaced in his body due to various injuries, he doesn’t seem as hardened as the other characters in the series. He’s looking to find softness and love again, and he’s found it in Felicity and her quirky intelligence, her ability to take on the world alone, and her need to find someone to love too.
I like the way that the characters–Sean and Felicity–are allowed such intimacy through touch because of her injury and his being her caretaker. I think that both are naturally loners and wouldn’t necessarily have reached out to one another as quickly as they did if she hadn’t been attacked and needed his help. For both of them–bereft and abandoned of all family–touch was so healing, important, and pivotal in the growth of their relationship. And it was such a gentle way for their intimacy to evolve. It started as healing and became sensuous and then passionate.
I really loved this book. It was tightly written, cohesive, and carried through on all the things that I wanted to know about the characters, the story, and the outcome. The sex scenes were delicious, the intimacy between the lovers extraordinary, and the heroine was kick-ass amazing in her cyber-brilliance. I loved her chutzpah and the fact that Sean’s alpha manliness didn’t feel the need ever to overpower her. Job extremely well done, Ms Rice!