27 January 2009

REVIEW: ELISABETH NAUGHTON - STOLEN FURY

Mass Market Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505527936
ISBN-13: 978-0505527936


Summary:
Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn't the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.

After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She's staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won't just get mad. She'll get even.

She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he'll never find all three without her. And they're not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they'll have to partner up--because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive.

Review:
The endorsement on the cover states that: “If you like Indiana Jones and Romancing The Stone, you’ll love…I haven’t seen either movies but I do know I loved Elisabeth Naughton’s Stolen Fury! I met a confidant, brazen and smart woman who is joined by a roguish thief with a killer accent. Together they form a dynamite couple on the hunt for the third and last Fury.
Immediately I was taken by the fluent, easy going writing style of Naughton that acquainted me with Dr. Lisa Maxwell in Jamaica as she explored a cave and makes a discovery. Upon giving a lecture at an auditorium she meets Rafe and my oh my it’s like fuel meets a match, they burn together…until Lisa wakes up the next morning.

If there is one thing that got me from the beginning is the inflammable interaction between Lisa and Rafe, they make their interaction a verbal duel that becomes enthralling to follow. Where I expected to receive more of an actual artifact hunt I got character driven storylines. For the main characters the drive to find all three Furies has an emotional background which becomes more evident throughout the story. The action is still substantial as multiple treasure hunters seek the possession of all three Furies too but there are no tombs to explore or chambers to unlock with ancient artifacts. Instead there is a romance driven adventure where the hunt for the third Fury is an exciting accelerant.

I fell head over heels for Rafe with his roguish charms and his calculated ways. He is an international art thief and he is a liar but has a heart for certain matters that made mine answer in return. He hides so much more than initially assumed and he is part of what made me flip the pages. Lisa is the kind of leading lady I want for a romantic suspense/adventure, she knows what she talks about so she doesn’t take crap from anybody. On top of that she is lithe of body ready to take on the physical strains of her work. Tough-as-nails but hiding her pain under layers of self-preservation, do I need to say more? Separate I truly liked the characters but together they elevate this story to another level.

While I thought Lisa and Rafe would do some actual tomb searching the plot is mainly about the possession of the Furies and if you don’t have them, then much is done to make it so. Various characters are introduced who are big players on the artifact hunting field and each do not shy away from bodily harm. Alan Landau is a head figure for the treasure hunters, he is as self-absorbed as they come and gives a dangerous edge to the tale. The high speed chases, the thrills of whether the leading couple would make it and the inevitable question: "Are the other characters what they seem to be?" The story took me from Jamaica to Italy, then to Miami, Chicago and the Bahamas. This added to the feel of being chased and kept a firm pace in the plot, which in case of Stolen Fury was a great addition to the reading experience. It all became a heady mix and I took it all in with bathed breath.

The actual sexual encounters were something I would consider mild, not explicate in nature or overly frequent, nevertheless, when it finally happens it really finally happens! It is an eruption of all kinds of pent up emotions making it all the sweeter for me to read. However, it is the back and fro sexual energy humming between Lisa and Rafe that was through the roof and so significant for their growing feelings. It is what juiced up the interaction, which I couldn’t get enough of, and it created a contrast in why they were secretive towards each other about their motives.

There were three supporting characters whom leaped off the pages: Shane Maxwell, the twin brother of Lisa, Peter Kauffman, owner of the Odyssey Gallery and Hailey Roarke, the ex-wife of Rafe. Each conquered my heart in their own special way as they are just such intriguing, heartwarming and vivid characters. They belong with Rafe and Lisa just as much as the Furies did. Especially in the end Peter Kauffman caught my attention with some interesting thoughts and feelings on his part.

The interplay of characters, the plot, the romance, the suspense, it effortlessly blended together and with the smooth, easy going writing style of Elisabeth Naughton she made Stolen Fury one fabulous calling card! I can’t wait for book two and three to be released.

Quote Rafe to Lisa:
“We aren’t playing it any way.”
He nodded. “Gotcha. So we go in. I tell your racist father how you jumped my bones in Italy, try to sidestep your mother so she doesn’t think we’re still all hot and heavy, we get the loot from the attic and run for the sun. Works for me.”

Quote Rafe:
Whoa. Back the grave train up, Colonel Sanders. […] Admiring her looks and centerfold curves was one thing, feeling a stirring in his chest was a whole other ball game.

Quote Rafe to Lisa:
“Real men don’t wear thongs.”

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