We haven’t had one of our A Duckie Looks Back reviews in quite some time. I’d been wanting to read this Lisa Marie Rice book for a while, so I’m killing two birds here. (I said birds, not ducks!) If I’d had more of this author’s books handy after devouring Pursuit, which she wrote under her pseudonym of Elizabeth Jennings, I would have been reading them too. This woman can write. She pulls you in immediately, gives you characters, especially heroes, you love (at least for me), and a storyline that won’t let go of you until the very last word is read.
Julia is in the proverbial wrong place at the wrong time, witnessing a mafia hit. She’s scheduled to testify against the mob boss who pulled the trigger, but in the meantime she’s been tossed in the Witness Protection Program. She’s now Sally Anderson, an elementary school teacher in Simpson, Idaho. She can’t get any further away from her life in Boston, all of it upscale.
Cooper is also sort of in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s looking for his best friend’s son’s teacher to talk about Rafael and the problems he’s having in school, because the boy’s father lately spends his time soused. However, it’s after school and Julia is in her room alone when she hears someone outside in the hallway. Arming herself with the only thing available — a Jack o’lantern the kids made just that afternoon — scared spitless, she wallops the intruder when he dares breach her sanctum. Needless to say, these two don’t hit off at first glance.
But there is a pull between them, and when Coop volunteers to shuttle Rafael from his ranch to Sally’s during the week for tutoring, they begin to learn about each other and their attraction can only grow. They have their moments in between, though, some contentious and some hilarious. But when they both finally give in to the feelings and lust, this is one explosive couple.
Of course, Coop is one of those dominant alpha males that I love to read about. He’s a former SEAL (which comes in handy later), and Julia makes him hard instantly and he stays hard for her no matter how often they have sex. Talk about explosive. He can’t control himself to go slow and easy when it comes to Julia. That’s what I love about Ms. Rice’s heroes. They don’t need a lot of words (and Cooper sure doesn’t) to let their heroines know how they feel about her and how she affects them.
While all of this excitement is going on, a professional assassin is very logically hacking away at the FBI’s computer system and figuring out where Julia is. He, and plenty of other wannabes, are out for the 2 mil on the pretty teacher’s head.
Cooper is determined to keep Julia safe when he discovers her secret and how inept the FBI has been at her protection. He takes over and when all hell breaks loose, thank goodness he’s around. But when relief settles on Julia in place of her fear, she can’t wait to get home, which causes Coop to say goodbye. But can he really walk away? Will Julia let him? Or will the killer get their job done after all?
Vintage Lisa Marie Rice. From sassy heroine to alpha hero to quirky secondary characters — who are all hoot — along with a twist at the end you don’t see coming, this hit the spot for my LMR fix. Now I want another.
What’s a girl to do? Sophisticated urbanite Julia Devaux loves her life. What’s not to love? A fabulous job in publishing, wonderful friends, gorgeous apartment, the company of her beautiful though temperamental Siamese cat, Federico Fellini, she’s got it made. And then Julia has the bad taste to witness a Mob murder and her life goes straight down the toilet. Under the Witness Security program, Julia is relocated to the boondocks, a hundred miles from the nearest bookstore and Estee Lauder outlet, where the only fast food is deer and the only entertainment is sex with a laconic local rancher. Luckily, talking isn’t what Sam Cooper does best…
Former SEAL Sam Cooper can’t believe his luck when mystery woman Sally Anderson hits town. Simpson, Idaho, can’t even offer a decent cup of coffee let alone gorgeous new grade school teachers. The instant Cooper sees Sally, he stakes her out as his own. Granted, he’s not much good at talking, but he does his best to keep her happy. When he discovers her life is in danger, he’ll stop at nothing to keep her safe and with him. He’s not alone. The whole town of Simpson wants to keep her.
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