Under Fire
by Beth Cornelison, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-054-7


Beth Cornelison is not a new author as she has written several books for Silhouette prior to Under Fire. So I don't know what to think when by page nine, even the daughter of the hero has known all her kidnappers' first names. Of course, these kidnappers can be lying, but judging by how they have no problems calling each other by name in front of our kidnapped hero and his daughter, I can only imagine that they aren't in their "professional kidnapper" mode. These kidnappers are also the types who will announce what they are going to do to the hero before they, you know, do it. Yes, definitely not in the mode.

Jackson McKay, our hero, and his daughter Emily have been kidnapped because, as the head of a biochemical research facility, he has access to stuff that these kidnappers want. Of course, these kidnappers could have easily kidnapped him and forced him to take them to Hemmer Biochemical right away instead of wasting time driving them all to the middle of nowhere, but I'm starting to think that this is no "ordinary" suspense story. It's "special", if you know what I mean.

So, after wasting time reading aloud his life story from a file - the kidnappers want to tell Jackson what he already knows for who knows what reason - and wrestling around with an angry Jackson, the kidnappers realize that the whole place is on fire. No, it's not me, I swear. If I want to burn this thing, I'd have to set fire on my PC and I love my naked guy pictures on my PC too much to lose them just because of a book. Our smokejumper heroine Lauren Michaels jumps right into the fire to do her thing along with her buddy and the next thing I know, these people are all on the run from the cartoon kidnapper characters. Meanwhile, creepy Emily continues to do her "I'm so cute and adorable" monster child stunt despite my fervent wishes that she'll accidentally fall down a gorge or something.

Under Fire is one of those children's cartoons turned into an adult romantic suspense, although in this case the only reason this story is considered adult is because of the presence of love scenes. Filled with scenes that are best read when one doesn't think too hard about logic, Under Fire has no shortage of action scenes, campy drama, dead bodies, and a creepy little girl who just won't stop trying to be cute and precious. Maybe if I can find a way to shut down that part of my brain that keeps making me snort and sneer every time I come across yet another spectacularly illogical or stupid scene, I'll be able to enjoy this book better.

Rating: 53


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