by Lisa Marie Rice, contemporary (2003)
Ellora's Cave, $5.95, ISBN 1-84360-461-2
But right now, just in from Venezuela, he looked like the wolf he was. In black leather jacket, black turtleneck sweater, black jeans and combat boots, adrenaline still coursing through his system, he wasn't anyone pretty Ms. Barron would or should want in her building. Especially since — he’d seen the signs — she lived alone.
She was already leery of him and she didn’t even know about the Sig-Sauer in the shoulder holster, the K-bar knife in the scabbard between his shoulder blades or the .22 in the ankle holster, otherwise she would have probably ordered him out of the building.
Ooh. John Huntington, our hero, is the Midnight Man who owns Alpha Security International, a bad-ass company that tangles with dangerous men on a daily basis. The story here is pretty straightforward: he meets our heroine Suzanne Barron when he makes an appointment to rent her place to set up his office as well as living quarters, hires her to decorate the place to his liking, and sleeps with her. Then strange people start trying to kill Suzanne and John comes to her rescue. That's pretty much the story.
This story is very lopsided with the hero carrying the story to the finish line. John is alpha male to the core minus the cruel instincts these twits tend to have, so he's pretty much like an early Linda Howard hero who has gone to charm school to remove some but not all of the pricklier aspects of his personality. He is rather exaggerated as this action man who can apparently rival the Six-Million Dollar Man in doing anything and everything, but I find myself warming to his protective instincts nonetheless. He's a dangerous man who's a teddy bear when it comes to the heroine. What's not to love?
On the other hand, poor Suzanne is a much less interesting character in comparison. She's a throwback to the damsels-in-distress of yore: whenever she's in danger, her instinctive reaction is to hope and pray that John will come save her. She also has a stereotypical background of little social life prior to meeting the hero and such.
The mystery is a pretty standard one with little surprises. It's pretty much an opportunity for John to show off his Rottweiler tendencies when it comes to protecting Suzanne when he's not ravishing her into multiple orgasms. Speaking of which, the love scenes are toe-curlingly sexy.
I find Midnight Man a pleasant enough read with a sexy hero taking charge of things but the weak heroine is a disappointment where I am concerned.
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