This is the sixth book in Allison Brennan’s Lucy Kincaid series. I have not read all of the other books in the series and my review of the book might suffer a little for my lack of background knowledge. This book was more of a suspense book with romantic elements than a true romantic suspense so if one is expecting a large part of the book to revolve around the relationship between the hero and heroine, this book does not deliver. However, the story has some problems that are not related to the relationship between the hero and heroine that made this book fall in the just above average category for me.
While this series is called the Lucy Kincaid seriesthis is not Lucy’s story. This story revolves around her boyfriend Sean Rogan. Sean lost his parents in a plane crash when he was 14 years old and was raised by his brother Duke until he became an adult. Sean is an extremely intelligent man who had some brushes with the law as a computer hacker during his adolescent years that he is still feeling repercussions from at the age of 30. The largest repercussion is his relationship with his brother Duke. When one of those youthful indiscretions raises its ugly head several months before the Statute of Limitations expires, Sean takes a deal from the FBI to clear his name so that he can begin his future with Lucy without any baggage hanging over their heads. The FBI wants Sean to go undercover to catch a US Senator in criminal acts and in order for his cover to have credibility, Sean must sever his business relationship with his brother Duke.
Lucy Kincaid suffered a brutal rape at the age of eighteen that left her impaired in most of her relationships until she met Sean Rogan. He has brought laughter and intimacy back into her life and transferred her goal to become an FBI agent not to the back burner, but at least on equal footing with her desire to have a normal loving relationship. Sean has helped her to understand balance in her life and to recover from the crime that was committed against her. Lucy’s main purpose in this book is to provide unconditional love and support to Sean. There is some face-to-face contact between Sean and Lucy, but it is limited (three total occasions) and her role is definitely one of background information with a small role in solving the crime.
Sean is recruited by the FBI to use his position with a former college roommate and fellow hacker to bring down a corrupt US Senator. As Sean gets pulled back into the computer hacking world and the friendships he left behind, we begin to see that the corruption of this senator is just the tip of the iceberg and there are layers upon layers of intrigue going on here. The more Sean learns about what his old college friend Colton Thayer has planned, the more convoluted subplots turn up. For me that was part of the problem. The subplots seemed just a little too convoluted. While I understand the need to throw off the reader from discovering the true villains too soon, it seemed the author took it just one step too far. The subplot of FBI agent Deanna seemed just a little gratuitous.
The other problem I had with this book was Sean’s relationship with his brother Duke. The resentful older brother who had to take care of his younger sibling after the death of their parents vs. the younger brother yearning for his older brother’s approval is not a unique plot device and most of the time it works fairly well. However, in this book I think this plot device was just too heavy handed and I wanted to scream…”just get over it already!”
There was much more good in this book than bad though. I really did like both Sean and Lucy. Sean’s struggle with his conscience about betraying both his brother and his former best friend was believable even though the author did dwell on it a bit too much for my tastes, and his love for Lucy was palpable. Lucy could have easily fallen into a hackneyed paragon, but Allison Brennan gave her just enough faults to make her a realistic heroine despite her limited page time. There was enough substance in Lucy’s character to make me want to read more about her story.
Stolen will probably not win many book awards, but it is entertaining enough to take to the beach for a good summer read.