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I just loved Elizabeth's "Eternal Guardians" series so was excited to see her Stolen series released on Audible. I really liked the hero Rafe in this story, who was a treasure hunter. He seduced the heroine (though seduction wasn't his initial plan) and took an ancient relic from her safe.
This book is fast-paced, reads-like-a-movie feel I like when reading romantic suspense. You know how it's usually the hero that has the more interesting "skeletons in the closet" Well, in this one it's the heroine, Lisa, who has quite a past that came back to haunt her in a big way. Not that Rafe doesn't have secrets either, but it was the heroine's story that was put in the forefront which I liked. Rafe and Lisa were both in their late thirties and I thought they acted like their age. Both were both are strong, capable, interesting and well-matched characters and there were plenty of sexual tension between them right from the start of the book. I also liked the secondary characters, which included Rafe's ex-wife--no, there wasn't anything between Rafe and his ex-wife at all except the easy banter between good friends--and Lisa's twin brother, who were great addition to the story and I want to know more about them (good thing these two have their own book!) .
Although there were a couple of slow parts, there were a whole lot of action to keep you listening. Also, I'm happy to say there were no unnecessary archeology or Greek/Furies facts thrown around in this book, just enough to keep things interesting. I haven't read romantic suspense in a while and this book reminded me what I was missing. A solid debut from Ms. Naughton who I think writes like a veteran author in this book and I can't wait to read the next in this exiting series. Elizabeth Wiley does the perfect job narrating, as always. :)
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I love Elisabeth Naughton books and series. The characters are very realistic and their struggles aren’t beyond the feelings any one may have. I truly loved Rafe and his dedication to those he loved. A great romance novel with plenty of action and twists to keep you guessing. Recommended for all!
One of the problems with audio books is that you cannot flip back through the pages. So this makes it difficult when a lot of different characters are introduced into a story. I get the sense the author is trying to set the scene for the following books but it does make it a bit confusing trying to keep track of who each person is.
Apart from that little niggle, my one main complaint with this book, however, is that our hero is a thief. It is tied up in a pretty package and glibly explained away as a sort of “victimless crime” but this does not, to me, mitigate the fact that this man decided to make his living by stealing. And this left me with a bit of an uneasy taste. Because apart from that, I loved the book. The story moves at a good pace, the characters are likeable. The h is no pushover and is a challenging match for the H, and there was just enough plot to keep me interested, without too much boring historical/archaeological detail. No real reason was ever given for the H’s career choice and apparently we are not supposed to care, because he only steals from wealthy art collectors who hoard art pieces as investments. There was some silly explanation about how he then “compensates” them by making donations to charities in their names and so they don’t care that they were robbed (!), but as he was stealing just to sell on to other wealthy art collectors I could just not make sense of how this was all somehow supposed to make it ok. I kept hoping that at the end it is revealed that the hero was an undercover cop or something. But no, he was definitely a thief who, at the start of this story, planned to drug and rob the h of a valuable piece of art. Which makes me wonder: If they had failed to fall in love, and she simply woke up the next day from her drug-induced sleep, to find her art stolen and a charitable donation made in her name, would she have been happy with this “compensation” ?!
At the end of the book, the happy couple decide to set up a gallery/museum in his homeland and I couldn’t help wondering exactly how they planned to stock this new venture, because neither of them seemed too bothered about his past life of crime, and at no stage did he display any pangs of conscience and, apart from some brief references to his “retirement”, nor did he indicate a desire to make an honest living in the future. This major sore point makes me drop my rating from 4 stars to 3.