Thrill Me To Death -- Roxanne St. Claire
Book 2 of Bullet Catchers series
2006 Release -- Pocket Books
Adult, Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Bodyguards
The second book in the Bullet Catchers series proves to be quite exciting with a very strong start and a set of interesting characters. It's only unfortunate that a few logic fails in the realm of bodyguard-landia makes some of the eleventh hour plot a little hard to accept.
Also, the concluding mystery of billionaire William Peyton's death was explained away in a too convenient, left-field sort of way and kind of didn’t really make much sense.
Nonetheless, the excitement of the investigation and some other weird suspense stuff kept me hooked, even if some aspects were a little irksome to me (more on this later).
Bullet Catcher Max Roper has been assigned to protect billionaire widow Corinne Peyton. Being the Bullet Catcher boss and manipulative fearless leader that she is, Lucy Sharpe has reasons for everything she does and this assignment isn't merely a bodyguard and security detail task.
Corinne Peyton was formerly Cori Cooper, Max's ex-lover and ex-fiancé until a DEA mission went awry and Cori's father died in the line of fire. For this, Cori blames Max and the two have been split up since.
Now, Max's mission is not only to provide security to the billionairess, but at the behest of the insurance company, to investigate whether or not Cori had a hand in her husband's death. After all, a young, beautiful, and smart woman would have never willingly married a much older, sixty-something year old billionaire if not because of his money and his status… right? And so the sudden heart attack that killed William Peyton may or may not be suspect.
On the other hand, Cori already suspects that William didn't die of a natural heart attack, but she doesn't know who she can trust to help her find out who murdered her husband. And with her digging for answers as well as a suspicious attempt on her life, she believes there is something much more sinister at hand.
The story starts out very strong and I was hooked by the mystery. While the story tries to create a plausibility that Cori is hiding a terrible secret, that maybe she is the one who murdered her husband, the attempts are only half-baked and we, as the readers, know that she is obviously NOT the one who killed her own husband for money or power or whatever else. So I give the book kudos for making me wonder what it was that Cori was hiding from everyone about her husband’s death since she was obviously keeping secrets; however, I frown at its attempt to paint Cori in the greedy, manipulative murderess light while giving caveats to her personality as a good person.
The romance was okay, though I liked the friendship and romantic tension flitting between Max and Cori. It wasn’t the best romance in the world, but it worked just fine. The side characters had their fair share of unique intrigue as well, which made for a really good "Whodunnit".
Unfortunately, as I'd already mentioned, there were logic fails that I had a hard time accepting. The conclusion of the billionaire's death was a bit left-field, for one.
But the biggest problem I had was between Cori being determined to get herself killed in typical TSTL fashion, and Max not doing his job to keep her from getting herself killed. For all the crap that Max gives Alex Romero in the first book about doing his job properly, I honestly feel like Max really screws up as a bodyguard and at least Alex didn’t consistently make bad decisions that would keep putting his principal in danger just because he couldn’t handle his own personal emotions or the sexual tension.
Sure, Max would make an excellent investigator--he was a former DEA agent after all. But as a bodyguard, his job is to keep his principal safe, not chase after bad guys or go off doing his own investigation. A bodyguard is pretty much ON his client like white on rice, especially when you know that her life is being threatened. It probably doesn’t help that Cori kept sending him away when she was the one who requested a bodyguard in the first place, but more than once, Max goes off to investigate William Peyton's murder, leaving Cori completely unprotected, and I really don't think that's okay.
The romance between Max and Cori was lukewarm and their chemistry as lovers left much to be desired. Their chemistry as friends with an underlying sexual tension, however, was actually pretty damn good.
Overall Thoughts: Thrill Me To Death does require a little bit of leeway in suspension of disbelief to be acceptable. However, once you get past the frustrating logic fails, the rest of the story really isn't all that bad and actually extremely entertaining, exciting, and enjoyable.
I was looking forward to reading Max’s Bullet Catcher Romantic Suspense, but it turned out that it wasn’t really what I’d been hoping for.
HOWEVER, we’ve been introduced to two new Bullet Catchers who have caught my attention and THAT is definitely a good way to keep me attentive!