Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice is a romantic suspense novel, copyright 2007 and published by Avon Red. It’s a trade paperback novel with 352 pages. Lisa Marie Rice is a popular author at Ellora’s Cave. However, I’ve never read her but I was curious to know if her voice/style would suit me. I’m a fan of romantic suspense when it’s smartly written. The cover of this book promised to be sexy and steamy so I bought a copy from Fictionwise and prepared myself for good steamy romantic suspense story.
The author gives a glimpse of the life our hero, Jack Preston, had before being adopted by a Colonel and serving in the military. It’s at a homeless shelter that Jack first meets Caroline Lake and she leaves a lasting impression on him. Their worlds collide briefly but they are socially worlds apart. Caroline Lake comes from a upper class family. Jack is homeless and the son of a mean drunk. Jack escapes out of poverty to be the adopted son of a Colonel. Shortly thereafter, he becomes a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jack manages to turn his life around and becomes wealthy. After selling his father’s security firm and tying up whatever loose ends he had left in Africa, Jack flies all the way back to Summerville in search of Caroline. The author reminds us in thought and deed how Jack has lusted after Caroline. For twelve long years Jack has lusted after her. So, you can imagine the reunion. The love scenes are pretty hot. There’s no teasing with the “wait, let’s think this through” or “stop, I’m not ready yet” speeches. Shortly after Jack meets Caroline, they are lovers.
Caroline’s life held promise until tragedy struck. We learn that Caroline has suffered loss and is struggling under a burden of debt. The only thing left of value that she kept was her inheritance, a mansion that she opens up for boarders. Caroline hasn’t had the best of luck with men. Most men dumped her for her penny-pinching ways or found that they were completely put off with her caring for her sickly brother, Toby, before he died. For six years Caroline has struggled to survive but never moving forward with her life. That is until Jack comes along.
Meanwhile, in Africa, a loose end is coming for Jack. It seems that $20 million dollars worth of blood diamonds has disappeared with a certain somebody who left to start his life over again. This part of the story was graphically violent. It seems that the Revolutionary Army have barbaric ways in how they treat their slaves in the diamond market. Of two things that I was certain: the villain would find Jack and somebody was gonna get hurt or killed when they met up with him, too.
I had a vague interest in the plot. I liked the different settings and such but didn’t much care for the gruesome violence. I liked the idea of two wounded souls finding solace in each other but unfortunately, it was predictable and boring. I skimmed a few of the love scenes as they are numerous and didn’t add much in the way of plot or character development to me. Also, I liked Jack but I didn’t feel that he really loved Caroline. He lusted after her for so long that the story failed to convince me that his feelings transitioned from lust to love. Caroline while vulnerable displayed some moments of strength just by surviving. The author really made her a sad and pathetic figure. Despite my lackluster response to this book, it is getting some good reviews. I personally thought that Ms. Rice voice/style didn’t suit me. Her narrative voice was rather choppy. In the end Dangerous Lover was OK but nothing great. Her debut rated a C for me but I am willing to give her next book a look.
[tags]Lisa Marie Rice, Romantic Suspense, Diamond market in Africa[/tags]