Nightfire (Protectors #3)

NightfireBy Lisa Marie Rice

Publisher: HarperCollins Canada
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Purchased

Chloe Mason’s childhood memories consist of seemingly endless hospital stays. Now all grown up and healthy, her determination to fill the gaping holes in her past leads her to her long-lost brother, Harry . . . which brings Harry’s friend and business partner, Mike Keillor, crashing into her life and her heart.

Former Marine Force Recon sniper and SWAT officer–a martial arts expert and owner of a successful security company–Mike can deal coolly and efficiently with any threat . . . until he’s blindsided by something he never expected: fierce, fiery passion . . . and love.

But when Chloe inadvertently crosses the Russian mob, Mike realizes that evil is darkening his world once again. He has already lost his family; he will not lose the woman who enflames him, who makes him whole. Failure is not an option.

Goodreads Summary

I have this long-standing relationship with Lisa Marie Rice’s books. As a trade-off for not minding what’s generally the same plot and type of hero and heroine over and over again, I get an over the top cracktastical love story with bad guys out of a Bond movie and a lot of weaponry all around. I liked this one quite a bit, even if it did seem to be more familiar (and more of a fantasy) than usual.

The trio of books that have been released so far center around the men who own RBK, a security company that also has a mission to give abused women new, safe lives. This is the “K” guy’s book, Mike Keillor – weapons guy, former Marine, ex-SWAT and man-‘ho. If it’s the right gender, approaches him and is willing, he’ll do it. As in do it, including his latest, a crackhead who likes to be hurt. Then he comes across a woman in the waiting room of RBK and all of his instincts start screaming, “Mine!”

The last book was for the “B” in RBK, Harry Bolt, and the traumatic murder of his baby sister and subsequent events played a large role in his story. She didn’t die though, she was horribly injured, adopted and now Chloe has shown up at RBK to see her brother. As with all of LMH’s heroines that I can think of, she’s uncommonly lovely, tasteful, has suffered greatly but overcome it bravely and could probably cure cancer if you gave her a week. Maybe two days. She’s all aflutter over Mike (oh, and her newly found family who love her like crazy, including the children who are on her like ants on honey).

That night with the crackhead ‘ho comes back to haunt Mike though and keeps him away from Chloe romantically for six months. For a “let’s just skip ahead and have the author tell us what happened in a ridiculous conversation,” way six months. Enter Evil Foreign Bad Dude – because they’re nearly all foreign, most of them from Russia. Something Chloe is doing is threatening a deal the Russian is working on, so Bozos R Us are sent to threaten her, sending Mike into super alpha protector mode and jump-starting their relationship.

If anyone’s read LMR’s Midnight series 2004-2006, this was reminiscent of it, especially the last book, Midnight Angel. Now I happened to love that one (and I think I’m going to re-read it soon) even though it’s got a million clichés, isn’t very realistic and was the first time I noticed the recycled plot/characters. She’s addicting if you like that kind of thing once in a while and oh, I like. So I didn’t mind all that much that this seemed a little…familiar.

LMR also writes under the name Elizabeth Jennings (for more traditional romantic suspense) and she’s tending to spend a lot of time in the villains’ heads in both sides lately. I don’t mind so much in the Jennings books because it makes sense in the different format but it can get annoying here. I also was irritated by how much time and space was devoted to reminding me how happy Harry and Sam were with their wives and children. Well, duh. I know they are, they’re taking up a lot of space in scenes with Mike and Chloe.

There was a lot less sex here than in the usual LMR, mostly because of the time jumping around and getting to watch the villain twirl his moustache and be all menacing. What sexy times there were seemed less explicit or at least more emotionally driven. Hey, the alphas are evolving!

My Summary: This delivered exactly what I expected, which is actually a relief for me since I’ve had mixed luck with LMR’s books lately. Mike was complex with some interesting issues, his insecurities and fears layers deep. Chloe was more of a pothole-deep puddle, but I still liked her, mostly because of the way Mike saw her. I don’t know if this is the end of the series or not – while there’s a secondary guard named Barney who appears a lot, I sort of hope he doesn’t get his own book. Anyway, this has been the best of LMR’s series’ in its entirety since Midnight in my opinion and if you’re up for some wild, unrealistic and potentially addicting reading, then this is it.

My Rating: B+

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