Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Book Review: Into the Crossfire

Title: Into the Crossfire (A Protectors Novel)
Author: Lisa Marie Rice
ISBN: 0062085794
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary
Theme: Navy Seal, ALPHA
Binding: paperback
Length: 384 pgs
Published: 29 November 2011
My Rating:

Synopsis: Sam Reston’s world is dangerous, uncertain, violent . . . with no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves next door to him . . .

Nicole Pearce’s life is complicated enough. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hard-headed neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless—her body tingling with desire—and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn’t know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment . . . and she’s about to step into the crossfire.

Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly. Now Nicole’s in grave danger and he will become her shield. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep—and it can be derailed by only one man and one woman.

**The following review may contain SPOILERS**

My Review: Between reading ARCs (advance reader copies) which have to be reviewed by a certain time and completely redoing my blog over the holidays, I was a bit burnt out. I needed a de-stressor and what better way to relax my brain then to go back to my first love, the romance novel. :) I have read some of Lisa Marie Rice's erotic romances when she was writing for the e-book website Ellora's Cave. My two favorites are Midnight Man (book 1) and Midnight Run (#2). I'm not even sure why I haven't stuck with her over the years but maybe that's a good thing and here is why.

I noticed some reviewers gave Into the Crossfire more like a 2 to 3 star rating, mostly because they are loyal fans of Rice and this particular book did not live up to the standards that they expected. Since I've only read 2 out of the more than dozen romances she has written, I guess you can say I'm cutting the author a little break. My major complaint, however, is exactly what some of the reviewers touched on: Lisa Marie Rice spends WAY too much time on background info in this book. I feel like I read more about the villain and his motivation for setting things in motion rather then the 2 main characters. This made the relationship feel really rushed and a bit under developed. The scenes that we all wait for, ya know, the "intimate" parts seem to only happen twice in the book-- one in the middle and one towards the end. Now, that is not always a bad thing. Some authors are AMAZING at building the sexual tension between characters and once the BIG scene happens, it's so good that you don't even notice that the book is almost at the end. THAT is a truly gifted romance author.

So why am I still giving Into the Crossfire a 4 star rating? Well, it's more like a 3.5, but since my rating system is still a bit barbaric, I figured a 4 will do. Rice did do a decent job at building the tension between her 2 leads, Sam and Nicole. When the "big moment" happens, it definitely didn't disappoint which earned her major brownie points. Did I forget to mention that Sam is an alpha? Wait, did I forget to tell everyone I LOVE alpha males in my romance novels?? Sam Reston is the epitome of hot male dominance. I'm sure it has to do with the fact that he is a former Navy SEAL, so he is used to being in charge and protecting others. Rice is good at creating alphas, so she gets some more brownie points for that.

Despite the pages of back story that I found myself skipping through, I do like the way she introduces Mike and Harry into the book, which are Sam's "adopted" brothers. They both appear to be very different characters with interesting backgrounds that will hopefully make 2 solid follow-ups to Into the Crossfire. Actually, Mike's book, called Nightfire: A Protectors Novel (Marine Force Recon) is due out February 7th. More alpha male goodness on the way, yay!


Quick Note: I just want to add that since Lisa Marie Rice has been around for awhile and some of her books were published in ebook format and later in paperback from ebook publishing sites, you may want to be careful that you aren't buying the same book. What I mean is, some of her older books are being reissued under different titles, different cover art, etc. I believe Into the Crossfire was an old story of hers that got turned into a mass market paperback. So just make sure you check out her website HERE for a complete list of her books. When you go there, you will see that Into the Crossfire actually has a different cover art then what I have.

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