I’m a fan of Elizabeth Bevarly’s very unique voice. This latest entry in her loosely connected series featuring the men and women of a supersecret government agency is enjoyable, fun, and a great showcase for the author’s undeniable humor.
Marnie Lundy is a hardworking young music teacher who also works as a pianist at a local department store. One evening while she walks to her car after work, Marnie is accosted by a strange little man who calls her “Lila” and insists on delivering a manuscript into her keeping. This altogether strange occurrence is followed by another one just as bizarre when Marnie is assaulted moments later by a handsome young man who also calls her Lila. That attack is interrupted by Marnie’s third strange encounter of the evening when a man dressed as a mall security guard takes down Marnie’s second assailant.
Marnie doesn’t even have a moment to be grateful to her rescuer before he whisks her away to a secret government facility where she is interrogated – rudely interrogated – for hours. It seems that Noah Tenant, the man who saved Marnie from certain disaster, and his colleagues also believe that Marnie is indeed Lila Moreau, a lethal and deadly effective OPUS agent currently on the lam.
But Marnie is a spunky sort– and I mean that in a good way – who isn’t without mental and emotional resources and Noah eventually accepts the truth of who she is. But Adrian – the Big Bad of this series – is still on the loose and soon enough Marnie finds herself acting as bait to catch him. And, considering that this is a romance novel, I’m certain it won’t surprise you when I tell you that protection provided by handsome Noah.
Express Male is one of those books you really do need to suspend disbelief and just to go along with the ride because some of the plot here is… well, a shade unbelievable. But for me at any rate, I so enjoy the author’s humor and her smart and likable characters that it’s simply not a problem. If Marnie is occasionally a bit too good to be true, Noah balances things out nicely. He’s an appealing hero of the Superhero type of guy – this isn’t the kind of man you meet everyday, darn it! – and is easily the main attraction here.
Ms. Bevarly also includes as per usual a secondary romance. In at least one of her books I found myself more interested in the secondary couple than I was in the primary, but, even though I enjoyed the altogether pleasant detours down the familiar secondary path, that wasn’t the case here.
All in all, Express Male is another well done contemporary romance by an author who remains a reliable favorite of mine. Still, while this one is well worth reading, I can’t resist a plug for a book I love that, happily, remains in print: if you enjoy the author’s humor and style and haven’t read How to Trap a Tycoon, it is the author at her very, very (very!) best.