Hotter than Wildfire (Protectors #2)

Hotter Than WildfireBy Lisa Marie Rice

Publisher: Harper Collins Canada
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Purchased

The world knows her only as Eve. . . .Though her songs have sold millions she is an enigma, a bewitching mystery. But to former Delta Force operator Harry Bolt, she is an angel whose sultry, smoky voice brought him back to life after the nightmare of Afghanistan. Nothing else matters.

And now a scared, helpless beauty has walked through the door of his San Diego private security firm, running from something secret, something deadly . . . and Harry knows immediately that this is the woman who saved him. He is the last hope for this intoxicating siren without a past—not even in his hottest dreams did he imagine that the lady Eve could be so tempting, so achingly desirable. But though she burns to lose herself in Harry’s powerful arms, Eve is wary of trusting this tough, haunted ex-soldier who promises to protect her. Surrender could mean sweet ecstasy or certain doom. Can she open her heart, even if it means risking her life?

Goodreads Summary

Ellen Palmer was just a normal woman living a normal life as a CPA for Gerald Montez, owner of Bearclaw, a security-for-hire company with ties to the government. When she was approached at a holiday party by a drunken colleague with a not-so crazy story about money stolen out from under the government’s nose in Iraq – a colleague who ended up dead the next day – she knew it was time to run before Montez could find out that she’d been digging into his finances for a while already.

After Harry Bolt witnessed the horrific deaths of his mother and sister at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend when he was a child, his family became first the foster care system, then his brothers in the military.  Those brothers were just one part in saving him when he came back from the war, his body torn apart – the rest was repaired by the peace given to him by the soothing voice of the mysterious singer Eve.  Now healed, he and his brothers have formed RBK Security with a secret service dedicated to helping women in abusive or troubled situations find safe places.

Fate and the increasingly tightening noose of Montez brings Ellen to Harry’s office carrying the special card given to her by another one of the women RBK helped find shelter.  When she starts revealing her story to Harry she also tells another secret – she’s Eve, which only deepens the attraction he felt when she first walked in.  When she reveals the name of her former boss and his company and Harry and his partner react, she assumes the worst and runs – right into Montez’ goons’ hands.  One bloody rescue later, Harry has Ellen on the run to an RBK safe house.

Well, in general there’s not a huge amount different here in the general structure from the rest of LMR’s other stories.  For anyone who hasn’t read any of them, here’s the breakdown.  Characters: A very alpha male who is always some sort of ex-military figure; a very feminine and insanely beautiful woman (she has varying degrees of intellect); a evil villain whose motive is nearly always related to money, war and the government and there usually is at least one good friend of the female/male lead who may be disposable or will be sequel bait.  Plot: The female character is usually in some sort of trouble because she’s stumbled across something she doesn’t know she has or at least doesn’t understand how important it is.  She’s constantly getting into deeper trouble because she’s headstrong and does ill-advised things in an effort to protect either the hero or her friend/s.  The male character is almost instantly in love/lust with the female character and tells her and acts upon it quickly.  He is alpha to the point of being painful, but the heroine generally goes along with it.  The Sex: It’s usually pretty early in the book, happens a lot, happens for a long, long time, is sweaty and wet and very bluntly explicit.  Expect large equipment.

Does any of this sameness keep me from buying book after book written by LMR?  Uh, no, not really, although I have to say after the last one I read, Dangerous Lover, I was tempted to toss in the towel.  What can I say, it’s an addiction.

This did have some big differences that made me much happier here.  Ellen was a much smarter woman than a lot of LMR’s heroines, even if she did do a few boneheaded moves which were necessary at plot points.  She was pretty clear-headed and didn’t spend a lot of time whining about her situation – she had time on her hands and she wanted to help, not sit and moan about her fate.  I really liked that she kept reminding Harry that she was Ellen not Eve – that was something he kept calling her and it bugged me so much.

Harry was mostly standard LMR, although he was very angsty.  His childhood was nasty and he had some serious protective instincts that were a little over the top.  I give him high points for being one of the few heroes in her books who wandered around aroused all the time but didn’t do anything about it for quite awhile.  He was a nice guy behind all the machismo and it was sort of cute how he’d keep tripping over his toes in awe from time to time when he’d realize he was with The Woman Who Was Eve (caps intended).  When they did get around to having sex, it was pretty sweetly realistic at first before all the usual stuff took over.

What dropped my rating yet again was this insistence on increasing the amount of time the book spends in the villain’s head.  It’s yet again a boring place to be, like something out of a really, really bad Al Pacino movie this time.  It’s also become revoltingly gory – there’s a scene where Montez and his goons are torturing someone and it’s so over the top for this kind of book that it really made me wonder what the author and her editor were thinking when they included it.

Yeah, the ending was a little cheesy in a cinematic sort of way, but considering all the guns and craziness that came before it and the usual ways LMR’s books end, I think the story probably deserved it.

My Summary: This had a likable hero and heroine, something that’s been missing from the last few books I’ve read by this author, so I was quite happy with it, even with the sort of similar plot that I’ve come to expect.  It looks like there’s a new pattern developing however, one with more time in the villain’s head and more gore.  While I agree that a harder suspense line works for these books, going that far made that part of the story less enjoyable for me.

My Rating: B-

Barbara

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Comments

  1. Haha! Walking around all the time aroused… And the infamous multiple page-length sex scenes.. can't beat 'em!!Oh, and the strong willed, obstinate female character sometimes gets on my nerves. I always want to read about a female character who just sits back when she's supposed to and doesn't make dumb decisions. Although I'm not sure how that would affect the plot. It might be kind of boring. But hey, at least she wouldn't make dumb decisions and I'd have to hate her, right?! Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my one author that I'll always read her books, even though they all follow the general formula. So I totally understand. 😉

  2. Usually in LMRs, the H has multiple Os – it's hilarious. I was thinking I would want one…then I thought again and was thinking about rashes and thinking maybe not so much, lol.If we got rid of all of the TSTL strong-willed female characters, half of Romancelandia would disappear! At least Ellen was mostly intelligent, so I had to give her sort of props.I have a few SEPs on my Kindle that I keep meaning to get to. I was afraid to open them after I read the reviews for the last one, but there must be something about SEP that keeps people caught up in their cracktastic habit for her too, so I'll get to one soon. I've heard Dream a Little Dream is the best one, so I'm starting there.

  3. I actually just finished Dream a Little Dream last night. I've been in a total reading slump, so I thought I'd read some books from my comfort authors. Dream a Little Dream made me cry, so beware! Keep those tissues handy. My favorites from hers are Natural Born Charmer and Heaven, Texas. Can't wait to see what you think of SEP.

  4. Uh oh, a tissue warning? I'm a cryer anyway, lol. I have all of these "have to reads" to get through before I get to her..unless I decide to be selfish and just go ahead and read it. 😉

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