Author: Lisa Marie Rice

A Fine Specimen by Lisa Marie Rice

A Fine Specimen by Lisa Marie RiceA Fine Specimen by Lisa Marie Rice
Published by Lisa Marie Rice on September 9th 2016
Pages: 176
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
one-star

Tough-as-nails police lieutenant Alex Cruz is all business and all brawn. Cops and criminals alike tremble before him, which is just the way he likes it. He has to be harder than the hardest criminals to root the bad guys out of his city.
Then his boss forces him to work with a scholar who is studying dominance in law enforcement. Alex doesn't have time to babysit a pencil-dick geek writing a useless dissertation. He's busy doing real police work. Putting bad guys behind bars.
But when the pencil-dick geek turns out to be the scholarly but gorgeous and alluring Caitlin Summers, Alex realizes that the only thing he wants trembling is Caitlin . . . . naked, and beneath him.
The minute Caitlin lays eyes on the smoldering, charismatic Alex, she knows that focusing on her dissertation is going to be harder than she anticipated--not to mention dangerous. Because with a track record like Alex's, the bad guys are always looking for a soft spot--and she's the perfect soft spot.
When Caitlin comes under attack, Alex realizes that his most important mission is keeping Caitlin safe . . . and making her his own.

Sadly, I found this just…terrible. Jaw-clenching, eye-rolling, incredulous-laughter-inducing dismal.

Written with cliché upon cliché on every level, from the metaphorical alpha animal predator/innocent-ish prey behaviour to the inflated writing where both parties’ bits suddenly take on a life of their own, to spurting body fluids everywhere, every page got more and more difficult to read.

I couldn’t envision a doctoral student behaving like a spoilt juvenile, just as I couldn’t imagine a hard-arse Lieutenant suddenly wanting a woman who isn’t his type simply because he hadn’t had sex in a while. And the constant comparison of how different she for him to other affairs he’s had with numerous other women made it all the more distasteful to read about.

At the same time, I think the definition of the ‘alpha’ male has been taken way out of line here; there is to me at least, a difference between the protective and strong type and the downright obsessed, rude and masochist (and apparently commitment-phobic too) which few authors seem to get when writing about this particular characteristic.

I can, however, on an abstract level, understand why this would be right up the alley for some readers. But needless to say, it isn’t for me.

one-star

Midnight Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice

Midnight Secrets by Lisa Marie RiceMidnight Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice
Series: Men of Midnight #3
Published by Carina Press on June 8th 2015
Pages: 208
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

It was a pleasant surprise to see how the Midnight series has suddenly taken a turn into the ‘larger’ world that is concerned with contemporary issues; homegrown terrorism and the intricacies of (as well as the politicking within) big-name government agencies take the focus in this story about Joe and Isabel.

While I still think Joe Harris is a cookie-cutter hero (ex-military manwhore right up until his injuries, then falls completely for the heroine), I thought Isabel was quite an unusual heroine who did need someone in her life. Their transformations however midway through the book (Joe’s complete recovery in 3 months and Isabel’s sudden shedding of her grief that turned her from unsure invalid to fiery operative) were too much of a personality switch for me and less palatable than the welcome change in plot direction.

Over-the-top action sequences required more than a little suspension of disbelief and Lisa Marie Rice’s writing is a little quirky at times, but I’m able to overlook it enough in favour of the narrative arc which, at this point, promises a few more exciting developments in the sequel.

three-stars