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Lone Star Surrender Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2009
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Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
It had been a long time since I curled up with a novel from Harlequin's red-hot Blaze line, so when the good folks at Romancing the Book asked me to review this book as my first guest review on the blog, I jumped at the chance. It had been quite a while since I'd read any series romance at all; in fact, so I was curious if the line had changed any in the four or five years it's been since I last read it. As an erotic romance author myself, I'd been a fan of Blaze (Harlequin's sexiest line of traditional romances until they began the Spice line a year or two ago) from its earliest days.
If Lisa Renee Jones' Lone Star Surrender is any example, it seems Harlequin has turned up the heat in its Blaze line considerably. The book opens with a sex scene, in fact--and this is no ordinary sex scene, either. The book's heroine, Nicole Ward, a federal prosecutor in South Texas about to try the case of her career, meets a mysterious and sexy Latino man in a crowded bar, who without even giving his name, brings her to orgasm right in the middle of the bar. Nicole---freshly divorced and on the lookout for a one-off fling--doesn't yet know that this mysterious man is going to be a very big part of her life very soon.
Nicole is about to prosecute a sinister drug lord named Alvarez. The feds have been building a case against him for three years, and Nicole is literally risking her life trying the case. After a threat on her life by one of Alvarez' men, she is placed under FBI protection until the trial begins by one of the undercover agents who helped the feds infiltrate Alvarez' drug empire. To Nicole's shock and surprise, the undercover agent assigned to protect her is none other than the mysterious stranger she hooked up with in the bar a night earlier. His name is Constantine Vega, and he's a dark, mysterious man, far more than Nicole ever bargained for.
Lone Star Surrender is a cross between a traditional sexy romance and a suspense thriller. The story is fast-paced and addictive as it follows Nicole and Constantine as they try to evade Alvarez' assassins before Nicole has a chance to try and convict him. There are machine-gun-filled ambushes, sex-filled hideouts in caves, dirty cops and corrupt lawyers---along with plenty of red-hot sex. I had trouble putting this book down. Still, there are a few continuity issues (one scene has Nicole and Constantine seemingly trapped inside a desert shack while surrounded by gunmen; yet on the next page, they somehow have escaped to the woods, but no explanation is given how they managed it).
Despite a few rough patches, Lone Star Surrender is an engaging, entertaining read. I'll look forward to Lisa Renee Jones' next book.
Federal prosecutor Nicole Ward had a falling out with her family when she opted to leave her father's law firm and leave her husband who also happens to be her father's protégée. She now takes pride in putting criminals behind bars and appreciates living for justice instead of the all-mighty dollar.
Constantine has done extensive research on Nicole but he's not about to take everything he's read at face value. He's taken it a step further and examined her from a distance but he's ready to meet her and find out if she's truly clean of Alvarez's influence. Constantine approaches her while she's out celebrating her sister's passing of the bar exam. Right away there's an undeniable chemistry between them but seeing it out to its natural conclusion would be unethical as far as he's concerned. That doesn't stop him from seeing to her pleasure before hightailing it away. They don't meet again until she insists on talking with him. As the prosecuting attorney it's her job to ensure that all her witnesses are ready to go and credible and she refuses to accept him as a witness without meeting him.
Because of the volatile nature of this case, Nicole must agree to use all the safety procedures in force before she's taken to see Constantine. She's not at all happy to learn that Constantine Vega is the same man she'd shared such a heated encounter with at the bar. All her ire quickly disappears however when they hear someone on the roof and realize they're in danger. Constantine and Nicole are forced to do the unthinkable - they go on the run. Trust doesn't come easy for either of them but with no one to count on but each other this enforced time together could bring them closer than either of them ever dreamed.
Lisa Renee Jones fulfilled every one of my expectations with her newest book LONE STAR SURRENDER. Constantine and Nicole are thrust together because of a major criminal case but they have so much more in common than either of them realized. I loved how these characters interact and the action packed scenes had me anxiously turning pages in anticipation of what would happen next. One of the things I especially enjoyed was how each characters' background plays into their attitudes and how they relate to each other.
Chrissy Dionne (courtesy of Romance Junkies)