Lisa Marie Rice has a specific formula to most of her books. Her heroes are very alpha males who have had horrible pasts and are usually retired from the Navy or Army. They end up going undercover to take down very evil bad guys who would torture someone's grandmother to get what they wanted. The hero becomes fixated on the heroine so much so that he can't think of anything else and he's sexually frustrated 24/7. He keeps watch over the heroine, who he feels the need to protect and take care of. He always comes to her rescue, feeds her and then takes her back to his place in under a twenty-four hour period for some hot, messy sex that turns the heroine's muscles to mush where she still wants more even though she's now Gumby.
Into the Crossfire, the first book in Lisa's Protectors series, has this strange sense of déjà vu because of this LMR formula. Sam Reston is a former Navy Seal who works undercover, taking down sex traffickers, drug cartel thugs, you name it. Sam "made his living as a soldier leading hard men, and now as a civilian he made his living being tougher than most." Sam is hard and tough all over (another LMR trademark hero) and has no room for any softness in his life. But, that all changes when he spots Nicole Pearce, the most beautiful woman in the world and his "personal wet dream". Everything about Nicole screams class and elegance, the very opposite of what Sam is. Nicole has an office in the same building in downtown San Diego as Sam does, but she keeps her distance from him because she thinks he's shady.
An opportunity arises for Sam to meet Nicole and talk to her. He helps her out of a sticky situation and explains who he is, why he's dresses the way he does and that he's the owner of a security company. Nicole changes her opinion about Sam very quickly and because she's strangely attracted to him, she accepts his dinner invitation.
Nicole has given up so much to come back home and take care of her dying father. She once lived a life of privilege with loving parents who worked at the UN in Geneva. She's now trying to make her fledging translation business a success. She barely has the time or money to go out on dates, but since Sam makes her so aroused, she decides, why not have a nice meal and some romance?
Sam isn't necessarily the type to wine and dine a woman. He has very underused courting skills. But over dinner he and Nicole connect, and then she accepts another invitation. This one is to go back home with him for a night of hot loving. Nicole is overwhelmed by the way her body responds to Sam, so much so that she almost passes out from the intense pleasure of it all. Sam wants to beat his chest and scream his happiness to the sky because Nicole is the one. But first he has to convince her that they should be together forever as well as keep her safe from a group of dangerous terrorists who are headed to New York with radioactive bombs. Nicole is sent these plans by no choice of her own and is then marked for death. It's up to Sam and his two foster brothers to keep her and her father safe and to stop a massive terrorist attack.
Into the Crossfire occurs over a very short time; only a few days. In that time period there's a lot of sex and violence. Sam is a man any woman would wish by her side. He's the dark silent type who is always in control of every situation, no matter how dangerous it may be. But when a slip of a woman, he's so far gone over, enters the picture, his whole world is turned upside down. Nicole seems fragile at first but is very strong and intelligent. She is also loyal and caring, mainly in regards to her father.
The attraction Sam and Nicole have for one another is intense, fast and semi-erotic. I've said this before, but Lisa writes some of the hottest missionary sex I've ever read, although this time she takes it one step further with the way Sam enjoys giving pleasure to Nicole with his mouth. Also, I must note that not once do these two wear any protection. Nicole mentions in passing how she's on the pill, and even though she has just met Sam, who she did think was a thug, she doesn't mind wrapping her legs around his waist and ride him for all he's worth as he tears off her panties in a fit of lust.
The bad guys and so very eviillll... (insert Dr. Evil from Austin Powers here) and I was more concerned with the dynamics of how Nicole and Sam would work things out between them versus the whole, let's destroy the world plot.
Some of the actions and description are borderline silly including the way Sam constantly wants Nicole too the point of near madness. But yet, I wanted more. I can't get enough of Lisa Marie Rice. Her books are like a big gooey chocolate bar that makes you moan as you eat it. Into the Crossfire fed my need for brooding heroes who worship their angel like heroines with respect and hot, sweaty sex. Lisa Marie Rice is my guilty pleasure reading that always has me wanting more.