Review: Nightfire by Lisa Marie Rice

Thursday, February 23

Title: Nightfire*
Author:  Lisa Marie Rice
Series: A Protector’s Novel:  Marine Force Recon #3
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Avon Red
Format: Paperback or e-book
Date/Year: Feb. 7, 2012
Reviewed by: ELF

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

More thrilling and sexy romantic suspense from The Protectors series—an ex-Special Forces operative must pull off his most daring mission yet when the woman he loves is in danger…

Chloe Mason can’t remember much about her childhood, except for being in and out of hospitals. Now healthy and all grown up, she’s determined to fill the gaping hole that was her past. When she finds her long lost brother, Harry, she discovers family and something else that was missing from her life. Love.

As a child, Mike Keillor helplessly watched as his parents were massacred. Vowing to never again be vulnerable, he joined the Marines and became a Recon sniper, SWAT officer, and an expert in martial arts, before establishing his own successful security company. When his friend and partner Harry reconnects with his long lost sister, Chloe, the hard-as-nails Mike is felled by the one thing he can’t fight. Love.

But their future is jeopardized when Chloe accidentally steps into the path of the Russian mob. Though his adversary is way bigger than he is, nothing can stop Mike from saving the woman who has captured his heart. He lost his family, and he will not lose Chloe. Failure is not an option.

My Musings:

Mike Keillor is the third leg of the triad that comprises the RBK Security, Inc. company.  A retired SWAT officer who served in the military as a Marine Force Recon sniper, Mike has never recovered from the childhood trauma that orphaned him and ultimately resulted in his finding his brothers of the heart (Sam Reston and Harry Bolt) at the foster home they all shared.  The unalloyed happiness of the others does little to eliminate Mike’s tendency to drink too much and engage in indiscriminate one night stands until the arrival of Chloe Mason and her bombshell announcement.  Recognizing a kindred spirit who still bears scars from her own childhood, Mike feels compelled to offer the fragile woman his unconditional protection and support no matter what his personal cost.

Chloe Mason has survived insurmountable odds despite having had 55 broken bones and a loveless childhood.  She is fragile physically but has developed an indomitable spirit thanks to her inner strength and the brief period of nurturing received at a private school.  Her desire to help other oppressed women places her in severe danger but also gives her the undeniable opportunity to blossom and grow into a contributing member of society.

A great conclusion to the trilogy about three closely-knit men who forged their relationship in the shared hardships of their youth and honed their skills in various branches of the military before rejoining to form a successful security agency in San Diego that also has a mission to assist abused women.  The two distinctive women from the previous books (“Into the Crossfire” and “Hotter Than Wildfire”) also make appearances in this tale as they add their unique skills to the resources available to protect Chloe after she becomes a target for foreign assailants through her work with abused women.   Mike must conquer his own demons even as he searches for acceptance and forgiveness from the woman that he will do anything to keep safe, from himself as well as those who would seek to harm her.

I love the males in this series because they are so strong and capable yet are transformed into mush by the women (and girls) in their lives.  The strong sense of puzzlement depicted when faced with a crying female, the careful tiptoeing of the hulking alpha male who has a stern conversation with his genitalia and the unconditional surrender gifted to the female(s) in his life all make these great reads for me.  I found the torture scenes a little bit graphic for comfort but I certainly am even more impressed and dismayed by the idea that the elite military forces willingly undergo such torture as part of their training.  I do think that the weaknesses in Mike’s home defense were a little uncharacteristic (although understandably necessary to move the plot along) given what the guys do for a living but I feel that altogether this was a great story and a fitting end to the trilogy.  I have hopes that the secondary characters briefly mentioned will get their own time to shine (especially the wiz back in Boston).  A thrilling romantic read packed with intense emotions, action and suspense.


Overall: 4.5 stars
Sensuality level: 3 (There are sex scenes, tastefully done...but kind of sweet for Rice)

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