It’s time for me to catch up on my backlog of book reviews, so I’ve grouped these romantic suspense books into this bundled review. Now, I’ve long admired the way The Book Smugglers structured their review post, and since one of the Top 10 Things I’ve resolved to do this year is to be more disciplined about posting, I figured that having a good structure to emulate would help a lot in clearing the backlog, so with a little bit of tweaking and my own creative interpretation, here are my opinions of Kill Me Twice and Thrill Me to Death by Roxanne St. Claire.
Title: Kill Me Twice
Author: Roxanne St. Claire Genre: Romantic Suspense
Year Published : 2005
Stand alone or series: Book #1 in the Bullet Catcher series
Why I read it: Having read books 4 to 6 for the TBR Challenge hosted by Avidreader Keishon last year, and enjoyed them tremendously, I thought it was a good idea to back track and go back to the series debut which began this sexy, thrilling series.
On the Back cover:
WATCH YOUR BACK
Alex Romero is the hottest “Bullet Catcher” in the business. Tall, dark, and deadly if necessary, this high-priced bodyguard’s got the muscle and the moves — especially when it comes to the ladies. Alex can keep his beautiful clients out of danger, but sometimes they can’t keep their hands off of him. Now Alex has one last chance to prove he belongs among the elite force known as The Bullet Catchers, but his assignment is stacked…against him.
WATCH YOUR HEART
Private investigator Jasmine Adams is fiercely independent and fearless under pressure — she doesn’t need some hunk-for-hire’s help to catch the creep stalking her twin sister. But when Jazz uncovers bigger forces targeting her sister for death, she’s glad to have Alex’s brain and brawn handy. From the steamy streets of Miami to the sultry beaches of Key West, Alex and Jazz try to fight temptation as they race to keep a madman from fulfilling his promise to kill not just once, but twice. And some temptations are too powerful to resist….
In my books … As series debuts go, this one’s pretty tame even with the fast-paced story development and the snappy dialogues. Maybe it’s because I’m wise to some of the author’s tricks of the trade, I had the correct villain picked out by chapter 5, with all the red herrings, and clues laid by double crossing suspects. The thing that kept me going to the end of the story was the search for the heroine’s missing twin. Reading the subsequent books in the series first before the debut could also have influenced my opinion of this book. It’s not quite as powerful, say, as First You Run, which got me intrigued from the first page. If you’re looking for a light, romantic mystery thriller, then this book will prove an entertaining read. Definitely not for the more cerebral mystery lover.
Favourite Quotes/Parts: None that I can recall
IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it
Title: Thrill Me to Death
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Year Published : 2006
Stand alone or series: Book #2 in the Bullet Catcher series
Why I read it: see above
On the Back cover:
HE KNOWS ALL HER SECRETS…
Max Roper never lets emotion get in the way of his job — not since the tragic shooting that killed his fiancée’s father. Now the former DEA agent is a Bullet Catcher, and he’s managed to block out Cori’s bitter goodbye — and their sizzling passion. Those dangerous desires come back with a vengeance when Max is assigned to protect a recently widowed heiress: who turns out to be Cori. But Max must also discover his ex’s dark secret…and they both know she can’t hide anything from him.
…AND HOW TO USE THEM AGAINST HER
Her luxury lifestyle suggests that Cori has gone from being a trophy wife to a merry widow, but nothing could be further from the truth. Suspicious of her billionaire husband’s sudden death, she hires a bodyguard. But her protector is the one man who can melt her every defense — the one man she blames for her deepest sorrow, the one man whose six-feet four-inches of solid muscle ignites reckless passion in her. And as they close in on a killer who hides in plain view, their high-stakes affair could cost her everything…including her life.
In my books … This one is definitely better than the series debut. The second chance at love angle, the wild goose chase she sent the max and Cori on, plus the “whodunit” murder mystery keeps the reader guessing till the end. I had one of the villains nailed but the accomplice’s identity didn’t hit me until the very end, so score one for Rocki. The author also pumped up the heat in this book, giving the poker game a new sensuous twist while making the bantering between the reunited lovers fun and yet touching. Max Roper came to be one of my fave bullet catchers … maybe because he’s a strong, silent type. Readers will get to know a different, more tender side of him in Hunt Her Down. Favourite Quotes/Parts: The opening chapter was what intrigued me
Not much impressed Lucy Sharpe. But when she told Max Roper his next assignment and he didn’t even blink, her respect for his famous self-control ratcheted up a notch. Unless he didn’t recognize the name? Perhaps he hadn’t kept track of his former lover. Maybe he didn’t realize that Corinne Peyton, widowed billionairess, and Cori Cooper, DePaul law student, were one and the same. Lucy slid a large color photo from a dossier, placing it so that the light caught the gleam in the subject’s midnight blue eyes and captured the sheen of her long black hair. “Here’s a photo of Mrs. Peyton,” Lucy said, lifting her gaze to gauge his reaction. “Lovely, isn’t she?”
He barely nodded. Maybe an eyebrow moved a millimeter, but she couldn’t be sure. Anyone would think this was the first time Max Roper had laid eyes on Corinne Peyton.
Anyone but Lucy, who made it her business to know everything about every man and woman who’d earned the right to be a Bullet Catcher, her top-notch cadre of bodyguards and security specialists. “This was taken on the day the Peyton Foundation was launched, shortly after the Peytons were married. Four years ago.” No response. “The organization is the largest philanthropic endeavor of the multibillion-dollar Peyton Enterprises. Mrs. Peyton was instrumental in creating this foundation with her late husband.” She paused long enough for him to look up from the picture. “The Peyton Foundation provides complete financial support and legal services to the families of fallen law enforcement officers.”
Nothing. No giveaway pulse in his muscle-roped neck. No change in his carved-from-granite features. Max remained stoic and still, as always. A quality that made him an outstanding bodyguard, but one that rarely endeared him to clients who wanted to know what made this calm giant of a man tick.
She leaned her elbows on the table and repeated her earlier statement. “I’m assigning you to protect Corinne Peyton.” He merely flicked the picture to the side and pulled the rest of the paperwork closer, skimming his fingertip down the key points on the top sheet. He lifted the page and studied a photo of William Peyton, taken on his sixtieth birthday. And another, picturing the mall magnate in his Star Island home on the cover of Fortune magazine. “As you can see by the date, that article ran last year,” she added. “Just months before Peyton died, at sixty-three years old.” Again, Lucy paused, waiting for Max to reveal his connection to the widow.
He simply pushed the file aside and leaned back to deliver one seriously disgusted look. “Miami? In August, Luce? Why not just send me to hell?”
She smiled. “Next time, Alaska. I promise.” “That’s what you said after Madagascar. Put Jazz and Alex Romero on this. They live there.” “They’re on assignment in Helsinki.” He snorted softly. “That lucky bastard.” “You won’t melt in Miami, Max.” Or would he?
IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it