Series: Protectors #2
Published by HarperCollins on 2011-04-05
The world knows her only as Eve…
Though her songs have sold millions she is an enigma, a bewitching mystery. But to former Delta Force operator Harry Bolt, she is an angel whose sultry, smoky voice brought him back to life after the nightmare of Afghanistan. Nothing else matters.
And now a scared, helpless beauty has walked through the door of his San Diego private security firm, running from something secret, something deadly . . . and Harry knows immediately that this is the woman who saved him. He is the last hope for this intoxicating siren without a past—not even in his hottest dreams did he imagine that the lady Eve could be so tempting, so achingly desirable. But though she burns to lose herself in Harry’s powerful arms, Eve is wary of trusting this tough, haunted ex-soldier who promises to protect her. Surrender could mean sweet ecstasy or certain doom. Can she open her heart, even if it means risking her life?
Ellen is known to millions as Eve, the mysterious singer who is simply an amazing, faceless voice. In real life Ellen is a desperately afraid woman, running for her life from a man whose secret she has found. After running for over a year, it’s clear that her tormentor is not only unwilling to give up the chase, but is gaining ground. She turns to former Delta force agent Harry Bolt and his “blood brothers” Sam and Mike, to help protect her. Sparks Of attraction fly between Harry and Ellen, but is Ellen willing to risk her life to settle with this man?
I read this book in one sitting. I have never read anything by Miss Rice, but she now has her own shelf on my kindle. Harry Bolt is the typical tortured, alpha military man (I swear these books are skewing my perception on reality…I now can’t look at a hot police officer without imagining some sort of trauma he needs me to personally heal for him :D) Harry has the most horrific childhood I’ve read in this genre of books. Raised by a meth addict in a broken home, Harry was left to raise his younger sister as his mother got consistently high and paraded loser boyfriends through the house. One loser boyfriend loses his temper, kills Harry’s mum and younger sister, before horrifically attacking Harry himself. After recovering, Harry is put into a foster home where he bands up with Mike and Sam. They grow up as brothers, even going so far as to join the military together. After Harry is horrifically injured in Afghanistan, the brother’s band together to put him back together again, whilst forming their own protection agency.
It is at this agency that Harry meets Ellen. When Ellen comes into the office he is attracted to her, but when he finds out she is the mysterious Eve he thinks all his dreams have come true! Her voice is the only thing that has chased away the nightmares in the last two years, he was already in love with her voice and now the package fits the sound. He becomes completely Alpha from the beginning. She is the only thing that he has cared about since his younger sister died, and the idea of her leaving is a non-starter for him. He had me hooked when he wouldn’t leave her side after she is shot within a couple of chapters of the story. I was smitten! Harry doesn’t love easy, but what he does love he loves fiercely and protects them with a complete disregard of the others around them. It very cute! When he is completely disgusted with himself, for trying to protect her with a perpetual hard-on, I actually laughed. It’s not often that you get a man in a romance that isn’t completely in awe of his own sexual prowess, but he has to actively try to calm himself down.
Ellen is the character that made the book believable to me. Once she finds out that her boss is a very bad man, who has stolen a lot of money from the Government, she goes on the run. She has good reason too; the man is a loon! She has been protecting herself for so long by the point she meets Harry, she can’t even bring herself to trust the very men she is asking for protection. Fleeing from Harry is what gets her shot by the villans at the begining. I found it very believable that she could fall in love Harry so quickly; the only time she felt safe in 12 months was with him by her side. Of course, she doesn’t realise that she is in love with him at first; she merely gives into the attraction that is brewing between them, hoping for comfort because the life she has come to know may end tomorrow. The only issue I really have with her (and really the plot!) is her choice of jobs. I don’t care how many safeguards you put in place to protect your identity, no individual on the run is going to become a public figure. That silliness aside, I did feel that it gave them a good starting point with this relationship; they both saved each other in some way, and so attraction could grow. The chemistry sizzles and made me feel a little fluttery! Harry does come equipt with the amazing split second recovery time that macho men in romance novels have, but it is made somewhat less of an eye-rolling talent when he suffers from a bout of very premature ejaculation, and asks if she heard the theme tune to “Rocket Man”.
We meet the characters from the first novel again and, although I haven’t read it, I thought it was nice that this story is built around a family, so we can still check in with previous HEA. In this book, Nicole and Sam are very much pregnant with a little girl, making for some very overbearing future daddies/uncles!
The bad people are very bad, and the violence in parts of this book was a bit grizzly. Please don’t get me wrong, nothing is described in any detail, but to be honest my mind filled in the blanks and I was a little queasy. The story of one man’s desperation to make sure that no one finds out his dirty little secret was well crafted and written; the fact that said man was also a sociopath made it that little darker!
If you like your Romantic suspense to be a little darker, this is one for you. I loved reading about this lovely man, and his quest to convince the woman who put him back together, to stay with him forever. With all the back-story for these two characters, I found myself routing for them all the way through. In addition, if the twist at the end doesn’t hook you into the series nothing will!