I’m late to the Lisa Marie Rice party, but it seems as if I’ve missed a big one. Still, while I enjoyed Dangerous Passion very much, doing so required a suspension of disbelief and acceptance of the fact that the author is out to tell a completely over-the-top fairy tale. And it is over the top. W-a-a-a-a-y over the top, as a matter of fact.
Just how over the top am I talking? Well, hero Drake isn’t just a millionaire or even a billionaire – oh, no – our mysterious guy is a gazillionaire who rose from the streets of Eastern Europe and made his you-won’t-believe-how-big-it-is fortune as a ruthless (and, yepper, he really is ruthless) arms dealer. On his way to the top-iest of the top, Drake made enemies, requiring him to live in a security bubble from which he rarely emerges.
That is until the day that he spies from the back of his limo the artwork of heroine Grace in a midtown art gallery. Drake is so moved by the beauty, the soul, the utter and complete art-a-liciousness of Grace’s creations that he returns alone without his guards twice each month to stand in an alley behind the gallery to stare at her soulfully on the days she delivers her paintings. And, since we are told over and over again that money is no object, he anonymously buys everything she produces. Everything. (And, if you know any artists, you understand that this is one major league fantasy.)
But, see, Drake’s obsession with Grace makes him vulnerable to the baddest of the bad guys who sends in his minions to kill Drake on one of his secret gallery visits. Only Grace is also attacked and the gallery owner is killed. What is an obsessed ruthless arms dealer hero to do? Why, take Grace for her own protection to his fortress of a penthouse on top of his own personal skyscraper.
There, surrounded by every luxury and numerous minions, Drake worships Grace and Grace gets to know the lonely gazillionaire. Until the looming threat gets ever loom-ier.
First of all, let me just get on the table that there is nothing even remotely believable about any of this. Nothing. And, if you can’t get past that and demand – well, gee, I don’t know, some degree of plausibility in your romances, then this one isn’t for you. But if you can just go with the fantasy, there are many pleasures to be found here. And, hell, an obsessed gazillionaire worshipping the very ground the heroine walks upon is romantic. To me, anyway.
It is also, however, a little tedious. Drake’s internal monologues on the wonder, the beauty, the sheer preciousness of the precious Grace strike one note – over and over and over and over. And then there is the fact that Grace is one-dimensional with an emphasis on the one. She is sweet! She is kind! She is caring! She lives for her art and her art alone! Since so little effort is expended to make Grace any kind of a real person, it’s clear that Lisa Marie Rice is all about the hero and my guess is that most of her readers are, too.
But, heck, Dangerous Passion is a fairy tale and heroines in fairy tales don’t get PMS or ever have a selfish thought. But who cares? I certainly didn’t. I don’t want to think about why too much, but the book worked for me. As I bet it will for a whole lot of readers, too.