Thrill Me to Death
The Bullet Catcher series by Roxanne St. Claire is the only bodyguard series I read consistently, and that is because her heroes and heroines are equally delicious. That is, the men are strong and sexy and macho, but still in possession of both a brain and some discretion, while the women are tough but not foolhardy, and hardly ever TSTL. These are the sort of characters I love to read about in my romantic suspense, and they have placed Roxanne St. Claire on my autobuy list. Thrill Me to Death is the second installment in the series and, though you don’t have to have read the first volume Kill Me Twice, it heightened my enjoyment to have met Max before.
Max Roper is a man like a tank: Tall, broad-shouldered, muscled, handsome, silent, and never smiling. After this introduction, I was ready to roll my eyes, but I was permitted to mostly forget about this list of attributes, and he soon become a person I cared about because of the thoughtfulness to his character not at first apparent to the reader. Lucy Sharpe, his boss, asks him to guard Corinne Peyton, widowed billionairess. This assignment is especially tricky as Max and Cory share a history: When she was still at law school and he worked for the DEA, they used to be a couple.
Cory has escaped several strange “accidents” in the recent past and asked the insurance company who handled her late husband’s business and now handles hers, to help her find a bodyguard. What she doesn’t know is that the insurance company is worried her husband’s death some months ago was not the heart attack stated on the autopsy report and that Corinne may actually be responsible for his death. So Max’s job is both to protect her and to gain her trust enough to decide whether a further investigation is appropriate.
Cory is anything but pleased when she finds out who has been assigned to protect her, but the situation is shaky enough for her to put up with Max’s presence. Soon, more worrying events take place, something seems not to be quite right about her late husband’s company, and, although Cory hates the fact that the air is sizzling between her and Max once again, she is mostly glad he’s around.
As I said above, with Roxanne St. Claire I go for character. I really enjoyed Cory. Although she has a middle class background, she has settled comfortably into the billionaire life-style and carved out a niche for herself. Meaning, she enjoys the pleasures and privileges as a matter of course, while dealing very conscientiously with the various business and charitable ventures she has inherited. I also liked Max a lot, and the development of their relationship gains considerably from the fact that they knew (and still know) each other intimately.
I also enjoyed the secondary characters. While I was reading I thought I had spotted the villain very early on, but after that the author managed to confuse me thoroughly again!
Thrill Me to Death is a very solid entry to a strong series. Given that it’s mostly set in hot Miami, it’s a lovely summer read.