Reviewed by Jamaica Layne (http://www.jamaicalayne.com)
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 Book Talk 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.
Lone Star Surrender, by Lisa Renee Jones. (Harlequin Blaze #442- January ’09). Paperback, $4.99.
Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)