Stolen Fury

Stolen Fury - Elisabeth Naughton Dr. Lisa Maxwell, is a brilliant archeologist who has uncovered a rare marble carving or ‘relief’ that she thinks may well be one of the original three Greek “Furies”. The origin of the carving is explained in the book so I won’t spoil that with a discussion here. After she excavates the carving in Jamaica she goes to Italy to give a lecture and plans to have her find authenticated. At the closing of her lecture she is ‘rescued’ from an unwanted suitor (not that Lisa needs rescuing from anyone) by a tall drop dead handsome Latin who introduces himself as 'Raphael Garcia', a history professor from the University of Barcelona.

Little does Lisa know but Mr. Latin Lover is actually Rafe Sullivan and he knows she has the relic and is intent on stealing it. Lisa hasn’t enjoyed male company in a long time so needless to say one thing leads to another. Following a romantic dinner Rafe ends up back at Lisa’s hotel room where he slips her a Mickey Finn. The scene prior Lisa falling into a drugged slumber is quite funny because Rafe gets more or less, so to speak than he bargained for. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Rafe steals the Fury and is long gone when Lisa awakens in the morning with a vicious hangover. When she finds the artifact missing, she is frothing at the mouth angry. This heroine has a nasty temper, a sharp rapier wit, and a mouth to go with,that caused me to bark with laughter. Old Rafe has no idea what he is in for when Lisa tracks him to Florida and promptly reaps vengeance in front of a sweet young thing he is about to entertain on his pretty sailboat moored at a dock in Key West.

Following some rather terse verbal exchanges with respect to Rafe’s actions in the hotel room in Italy, Lisa soon learns she isn’t going to regain possession of the relief, unless she joins forces with the untrustworthy thief. He wants to find the third of the three piece set of marble carvings and knows Dr. Lisa Maxwell is the only one who may be able to help him find it. This sets the stage for a plot that is extremely fast paced and full of twists and turns. The really great thing about this story is that I couldn’t identify who the bad guys were until the near the end of the book.

Rafe Sullivan is a complex character, at first, despite the fact the guy is the epitome of all I find outlandishly attractive in a guy, I decided he did do the heroine dirty after all AND stole from her. So, he therefore needed to be clocked in the chops or something equally painful preferably administered by our heroine. However, Rafe does redeem himself fairly swiftly, I couldn’t, much like Lisa, stay mad at the guy.

Dr. Lisa Maxwell is my favorite kind of heroine, she is smart, feisty, doesn’t give up and is completely comfortable with her sexuality. She is vulnerable and has a secret past linked to the carvings and her previous mentor Doug. I was flipping the pages to find out more about her.

The dialogue in this book is packed full of verbal sparring between these two lovers which is great sport and heightens the sexual tension until it crackles. This isn’t a book that is laden with sex but the intimate scenes sort of sneak up on a reader, very intense and very hot. Their love story is much like a “slow burn” laced with action and near death experiences.

Rafe has a partner, his best friend Peter, who I will say is a good guy and another hottie to boot. Ms. Naughton wrote lots of mystery into the plot surrounding Pete. He is an Antiquities dealer and collector, I’m hoping he is a main character in one of the two sequels which are part of a trilogy of stories.

Lisa’s twin brother Shane also plays a pivotal role in the plot and there is a lot of innuendo surrounding this interesting character as well.

Just when I thought I had the plot of Stolen Fury all figured out, Ms. Naughton would slip in another surprise that confounded me. Or the guy, who I thought was the evildoer turned up dead! I could feel the chills rocketing down my spine as Lisa and Rafe barely escape one scrape after another, then murders start, seemingly following their activities. Their quest to find the third of the missing relic’s with bad guys on their tail is riveting and exciting.

Ms. Naughton has posted an Epilogue to Stolen Fury on her website which is wonderful!

I’m looking forward to the next book in Ms. Naughton’s trilogy, “Stolen Heat”, which will be available in July 2009.