Author: Lisa Marie Rice
Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 5 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Former navy SEAL Joe Harris nearly died—twice—on a medevac helo after being blown up by an IED. He’s not moving too great these days, but if there was ever a woman designed to jump-start a man’s hormones, it would be his new neighbor.
Meeting Isabel—loving Isabel—brought Joe back to life.
Isabel Delvaux came from one of America’s foremost political dynasties, until the greatest terrorist attack since 9/11 killed her entire family. She barely survived the Washington Massacre, only to become prey for rabid reporters. Fleeing to Portland and changing her name was a way out, a way to start over. The only way.
She knows she’s safe with Joe Harris. Not just because he’s big and strong, not just because he’s part of a security team that obliterates threats on the regular, but because he’s been to the abyss and back.
But as they help each other heal—through talk, through touch, through spectacular sex—the past comes back to play. When Isabel’s memory starts to return and a mysterious stranger sends Joe emails indicating Isabel is in imminent danger, he’ll do anything to help her uncover the truth. Even if that truth is the most terrifying thing of all.
Review: You know what? There’s nothing better than a great Lisa Marie Rice when she’s on fire–and she is ON FIRE in this book! It’s got all of our old friends checking in, it’s got great sexy times, it’s got men being MEN, and it’s got no-nonsense good times. There’s no angsty FEELZ, there’s no TSTL heroes or heroines, and for that, a huge thanks! It’s just a great romance by a writer at her top form–period!
For the last three months, Joe Harris has been recovering from wounds he received while in the SEALs. He’s noticed his quiet neighbor Isabel Lawton, who’s obviously been injured too; she’s weak, she limps, and he’s seen the scar on her arm. As his strength has increased, he’s watched continue to struggle but not get any better, and he wonders about what happened to this beautiful, frail stranger. Finding any excuse to help her, he’s fixed up her place to within an inch of its life. Not knowing any other way to break her down for information, he’s settled in to wait. He’s not going anywhere, and when she cracks and opens up, he plans on being there.
But we’ve all got friends. You know the type–the ones that butt into your business. Since his neighbor has been repaying him with delicious food and his friends have gotten to sample some of it, they’ve caught on to both his interest and her possible reciprocation. That interest is appreciated, however, when they’re able to help him find out who she really is and why she’s so shattered–she’s Isabel Delvaux, one of the few survivors of the Washington Massacre that took the lives of her entire family. And Joe realizes she’s still in danger the night he rescues her from a peeping tom with night vision goggles. Those are for professionals–why would one be watching Isabel? Combine that with the cryptic email he receives soon after, simply stating, “Protect Isabel.” She’s finally let him in, and Joe is going to protect her at all costs.
Isabel’s retrograde amnesia has kept the memories of the massacre dormant, but she’s been having repeated nightmares about an evil figure smiling maniacally while everyone is killed–could she be reliving the events? As they try to discover what really happened with the help of the mysterious emailer on Joe’s computer, it triggers dangerous players who don’t want her memory to return.
Can Joe keep Isabel safe? Or will the lone Delvaux follow in the path of her family and end up dead?
Hot and sweet, the romance feels genuine and the sex scenes are smoking hot. I really love how Rice’s narrative style has grown even more finely tuned as the characters develop into richly evolved people, honed by circumstances beyond their control. As always, Portland plays the role of sidekick, it’s rainy streets and lush Northwestern feel permeating the setting, the lushly decorated warehouse in Pearl a backdrop to the series. And the FOOD! Mwah! Such rich descriptions made me hungry! The settings and descriptions of all of Rice’s books are always such a visceral part of the books and surround the reader, making your senses such a part of the reading experience. Last, I really loved the characters from the past books in the series playing large parts in the movement of the plot in this book and I’d like to see that more. Great book and great visit with my friends, Ms Rice! Bravo!