Author: Lisa Marie Rice
Publisher: Avon Red
Release Date: Feb 7 2012
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Notes: Book 3 in a series, but stands alone pretty well
Source: review copy from publisher via edelweiss
Description from publisher: 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 accidently 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 thoughts: It's taken me a while to start writing this review because there were bits that really bothered me in the book. There were other bits that I quite liked. At first, we meet Chloe as she's in the waiting room of a mysterious company, waiting very nervously to speak to someone. She's had a hard childhood, and been a victim of abuse, which is clear early on. She reveals through a tearful conversation that Harry is her brother. Aaannd here it started losing me with the lack of realism. The family that are there at the office immediately welcome her as a sister, and they go home (where the three families involved in the series have apartments almost nextdoor to each other) and have a big family lunch. They've literally just met each other, and they go to have this cosy meal. Mike helps Chloe collect her stuff from the hotel she was staying in, because of course the family want her to stay with them, and while in the hotel room, the insta-lust between them bubbles over. Abused, virginal Chloe makes out with him against a wall, and lets him touch her intimately. It just seemed so unbelievable to me that a woman who's been through what Chloe has, and is still a virgin, would suddenly be so happy with physical contact when she's shied away from it with anyone so far in the book, and then would suddenly let herself be intimate with a man she's just met.
Moving on from that, there were bits that were very well written and I hoped it would turn out ok. There were a couple of other things along the lines of Chloe's intimacy issues that bothered me, but mostly it was the torture and the treatment of the prostitutes that also are tied in to the story. Perhaps stronger-stomached readers would have faired better, but I just didn't feel comfortable reading it. Readers here how secure Mike has made his apartment, and then someone finds a way to get in anyway - I really found it hard to accept that he would have thought of all these other ways to stop things and miss this one rather obvious one.
There is good writing in there, but I just didn't feel like it was very believable in a lot of places, and I was very uncomfortable with some scenes. I think this book has to get 4 out of 10 from me. I might read something else by this author if it had good recommendations, but it's something I'll be quite wary of.