Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice
Series: Dangerous #1
Published by Avon Romance on July 31, 2007
Genres: Contemporary, mystery/thriller, Romance
"I don't want to be alone tonight."
Caroline Lake can hardly believe she would ever say these words to someone she'd never met before. When a tall, dark stranger arrives wanting to rent a room in her beautiful empty shell of a mansion, she hesitates. Though she is in dire financial straits, the man looks dangerous—dangerously sexy. She's overwhelmed by the desire he sparks in her—hotter than anything she's ever felt before, making her ache to experience his sensuous touch. But who is this armed and mysterious man with danger following in his wake? He's not who she thinks he is . . .
Jack Prescott has wanted Caroline forever. He has spent the past twelve years dreaming of her, desiring her, while fighting in some of the worst hellholes on earth. Now he's back, with twenty million dollars in blood diamonds and a relentless enemy stalking him. But this time Jack's determined that nothing will stop him from finally making Caroline his.
Dangerous Lover is the fifth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.
I am pretty well acquainted with Lisa Marie Rice and her characters/style of writing. While I can often find things about her characters/style of writing that bother me – more often than not I am interested and entertained by her work.
Which is why I’m so surprised that this one really didn’t work too well for me at all.
Dangerous Lover is the fifth (?) book I’ve read by Lisa Marie Rice and the second book I’ve read in her Dangerous series (the first was Dangerous Passion). Like the rest of her books, the hallmarks of an LMR book were all there: damsel-in-distress, wealthy but deadly hero, obsession by the hero, short time frame, dainty heroine, large hero. These I expected.
What I did not expect is the…complete lack of real relationship building or real discussion. Or the imbecilic plot-arc of the villain.
The hero, Jack, originally met the heroine when he was a teen – he was poor and in a homeless shelter and she was well-off and living with her parents. Named Ben at the time, the hero was obsessed with the heroine but had no means whatsoever. Flash forward 12 years and Ben is now Jack. He was adopted by a military officer and joined himself. Jack leaves the military to work for his father but after his father dies Jack goes after Caroline again.
Time has changed a lot of things. Jack is now a millionaire and Caroline is on the verge of complete financial ruin. Her parents died in a car accident which also severely injured her baby brother. She spent years taking care of him but he dies as well.
When Jack arrives in Caroline’s hometown, he rents a room in her house…and he does the thing I dislike: he deceives her about who he is. He does not tell her that he knows her and he’s Ben, he just pretends he’s never met her before. That’s strike one. Especially since Jack has carried around a photo of Caroline for the last 12 years AND the only reason he’s in town is to see if he can have a relationship with her. Jack manages to get into Caroline’s bed asap – most of it was him taking advantage of her emotional state. Once Jack is sleeping with Caroline, the book goes the expected (emotional) direction. I kept hoping that Jack would confide his identity but he did not. And I hate deception in romance books. 🙁
The entire plot-arc with the villain just…was annoying and distracting. The villain is a criminal who operated in Africa. He was involved in the blood diamond trade and committed many atrocities. Prior to the beginning of the book Jack arrests the villain and removes $20 Million in blood diamonds from his possession. The villain – described as vicious, murderous and intelligent – is dropped off at a local police station while Jack leaves with the blood diamonds to chase Caroline. Jack is holding on to the diamonds because he is clueless as to what to do with them – he doesn’t want anyone to profit from them. And this entire situation is strike two for me. Why would Jack leave someone described as this vicious alive? Someone who desperately wants his $20Mil in diamonds back AND who knows a great deal about [Jack]. I know – the American legal system says that people are guilty until proven innocent…but this guy is NOT in America and he’s out to kill again. Ugh. Stupid. So now the heroine is delicate, destitute and a damsel-in-distress. That sounds about right.
So I totally started skipping all of the villain portions of the book. They felt like a stupid waste of time – the villain gets free and kills two other people before finally being offed by the hero.
The ending was very unsatisfying. The way it ended just…didn’t do it for me (strike three). But I LOVED what they did with the diamonds.
So. I enjoyed Dangerous Passion but wasn’t a big fan of Dangerous Lover. I plan to read Dangerous Secrets (book 3) eventually (meaning before my Scribd trial is complete) but I’m much less excited.
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