Review: Heart of Danger by Lisa Marie Rice

Where did you get the book: E-arc from the publisher

Publisher: Avon Red

Release Date: Out now

 

 

They are Ghosts. They do not exist. Their birth certificates have been destroyed, all traces of their civilian and military pasts wiped out. They have no official military rank and wear no uniforms or insignia, save a tiny steel pin of a striking hawk forged from the rifle that killed Osama Bin Laden. Once again Lisa Marie Rice delivers a sizzling, heart-stopping new series as only she can tell it

Ghost Ops. A small team of super elite soldiers so secret only two men know of their existence-General Clancy Flynn and their commanding officer, Colonel Lucius Ward. On a mission to destroy a US-based lab working on weaponized bubonic plague, the team is betrayed by their commanding officer. The Team is massacred and only three men survive to be court martialed: the Team Leader, Tom ‘Mac’ McEnroe, tech genius John Ryan, and lethal Nick Ross. They disappear en route to prison and are never heard of again.

Mac and his men hole up in a high tech lair, completely off the grid. But when a beautiful woman somehow finds him, he doesn’t know whether to kiss her, or kill her.
Dr. Catherine Young is on a mission, propelled by forces beyond her control to find a man who has disappeared off the face of the earth. She is bearing a deadly message from a dying man. Catherine has a gift that allows her to see into the heart of others. But looking into Mac McEnroe’s heart is like looking into the heart of danger itself.

*Blurb taken from Goodreads*

 

Catherine Young is compelled to pass a message to a man she does not know, and finds herself stuck on a mountain without a working phone or any way to call for help. She is rescued by Mac, who was an ex-Seal, a fugitive after a mission gone wrong, and now a leader of a community of a rag-tag group of refugees and outcasts. Catherine gives him a message from his ex-commander who is being held captive and experimented on against his will. Mac has always believed that his commander betrayed him and his team, but now has to face the fact that may not have been the case.

Heart of Danger is the start of a new series which heralds a bit of a departure from Lisa Marie Rice’s previous books which have mostly been straight up romantic suspense. In Heart of Danger, there are more paranormal elements with aspects of futuristic romance, and a lot of time is spent setting this up which I felt impacted the romantic aspects of the plot – and not in a good way.  However, I liked the set-up and thought the world-building had some thought put into it with the details of what a futuristic society would be like. I was amused, though, on how many versions of a certain fruity computer product kept popping up.

Nonetheless, it felt that too much emphasis was spent on that and on the suspense plot. The romance suffered with a lack of build-up and tension, and I was pretty disappointed. One of the biggest strengths for Lisa Marie Rice is her romantic sub-plots which are usually filled with sexually intense heroes who have fallen head over heels with their heroines. In Heart of Danger this factor was pretty much a let down and a disappointment because it relied on Mac and Catherine falling in instant love. And that, despite Mac’s doubts and suspicions – especially since he lives on an off-grid compound with refugees and outlaws – he quickly overcomes in under a day. The romance really felt like an after-thought because the plot and world-building took precedent. I also felt that a lot time was spent on the villain, who I wasn’t that keen on because I found him uninteresting and not that effective as a bad guy. I found those scenes when he was featured pretty boring, and I didn’t get the sense of any real danger or tension.

I don’t mind romantic suspense books with elements of PNR, but in this case the romance really suffered compared to establishing the world-building. The experiments and telepathic subplot didn’t provide anything unique or refreshing. The romance was lackluster and the plot wasn’t strong enough to compensate for that.

Overall, this was a disappointing start to a brand new series.  There wasn’t a developed romance, and the suspense plot didn’t offer anything new or different. This may be due to the time spent establishing the world-building and setting up plot threads which will kick off the sequels – and those do look promising. In Heart of Danger, I was let down by a lackluster romance – and for me that is why I love Lisa Marie Rice’s books because she does a great job in the romance department.  I am sorry to say that the love story between Mac and Catherine was rushed and under-developed.

I give Heart of Danger a C-

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