Monday, April 5, 2010

Review: Stolen Fury

Stolen Fury
Elisabeth Naughton
Romantic Suspense

Stolen trilogy/Book 1
Love Spell/December 2008

From the back cover ~

To unearth a centuries-old secret, an archaeologist must team up with the rakish thief who’s stolen both an ancient relic and her heart…

Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn’t the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.

After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She’s staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won’t just get mad. She’ll get even.

She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he’ll never find all three without her. And they’re not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they’ll have to partner up—because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive.

An adventure is in store for readers of Elisabeth Naughton's Stolen trilogy. There's a heroine who's willing to take risks to get what she wants. A hero who's willing to break a few laws to get what he wants. Some secondary characters to round out the story nicely, who, no doubt will get their own stories. (Yeah!) Throw in some underwater caves, an evil mastermind, Furies and steamy sex scenes with the oh so hot and bothered and you have a wild ride with two not so typical lead characters.

I liked the idea of a female Indiana Jones type heroine and Naughton made it work. Dr. Lisa Maxwell is a renowned professor of ancient history and in her free time she's a treasure hunter. Lisa is a woman driven to succeed and has very little time for games. So when she's played by a professional thief she decides to play a game of her own. I loved how she dealt with Rafe. She didn't let herself trust him even though she was very attracted to him. He's hot, he's sexy, he steals from whomever he needs to. Robin Hood he's not. But he does have a softer side. Awe. Until he needs to steal again. :)

Rafe is a hero that hides his heroics. He'll tell you it's all about the job, that he's not a nice guy. But the reality is that he does have a soft heart. He's a good son that loves him mom and takes care of her. Heck, he's even friends with his ex-wife. Rafe came across as a decent guy when it came to looking out for friends and family. When it came to Lisa, he's caught between a rock and a hard place. He needs what she has but boy is he attracted to her. In another time, another place, things might have been different between them. But Rafe has a job to do and he has to use Lisa to get the job done. I felt bad for Rafe at times. He didn't want to hurt Lisa but he also had commitments that he couldn't brush aside. He's very loyal. I liked that about him. Loyalty is always high in my book as long as it's not blind.

Lisa is a different type of heroine. She's very much an action heroine. She'd rather be right there in the thick of it than on the sidelines while the hero takes care of the "heavy lifting". When not teaching and lecturing, Lisa has spent the last 15 years searching for the reliefs of Alecto, Megaera and Tisiphone, the Furies. She's not willing to give up her search, unfortunately, Rafe is also searching for them.

The story is fairly fast paced with Rafe and Lisa doing some globe trotting while searching for the artifacts. The search sends them to Chicago where they meet up with Lisa's brother, Shane Maxwell, a detective for the Chicago PD. They also make their way to Miami and the Florida Keys where they meet up with Rafe's ex-wife who also happens to be in law enforcement. Sequel bait abounds but that didn't bother me. I liked the secondary characters and will be reading their stories.

One thing I liked was that after their initial intimate moments together, Naughton didn't rush Rafe and Lisa into bed. She let them work out their problems and then let nature take it's course. Another thing I liked was that neither Lisa or Rafe were young, inexperienced characters. They were both in their late 30's with some miles on them. They brought those experiences into the relationship they created along with the people who are part of their lives. This made for a much more complete feeling to the story.

There was some pacing issues, with a little too long on the narrative at some points. But the dialogue for the most part was witty and quick. I liked the overall feel of the story if at times I felt that things were a little too spelled out. There is an Epilogue to Stolen Fury posted on the author's website. Scroll down just past the excerpt. It's more sequel bait than anything but it's cute.

Rating: B+


  1. Great review, Leslie. I love this series! I'm curious about the author's upcoming paranormal romance series, but I'm a tad burned out from that genre.

    They were both in their late 30's with some miles on them.

    I appreciated that aspect of this story, too! The same goes for the couples of the next two books in the series, too. It's refreshingly ... normal!

  2. Christine ~ It's nice to have main characters that are closer to my age and still portrayed as vital and sexy. :)

  3. Oh, mature characters! You know how I love those. Great review, I'm really looking forward to reading these books. :)

  4. Hils ~ yep, no sweet, young things in this one. LOL For the most part, they acted their age too.

  5. I started with the second book in this series and loved it. I've started this one, but I keep putting it down somewhere and then forgetting where I put it. So next time it makes an appearance, I won't let it out of my sight *g*

  6. Krisite ~ Good to hear you loved book 2. I've got books 2 & 3 waiting for me on the tbr pile. :)

  7. I read all 3 books in the series and loved them all although Stolen Fury was my favorite. Elisabeth Naughton is one of my new favorite authors that I discovered in 2009. I'm not a big paranormal fan, but I will give her new book a try just because I liked these books so much

  8. Book Pimp Blogs ~ Don't you love finding new, wonderful authors? I'll be trying out her new series once I finish reading this trilogy.

  9. I don't think I have Stolen Fury, but I do have Stolen heat in my TBR pile.

    Good review Leslie :D

  10. nath ~ if you don't have Stolen Fury let me know and I'll send you my copy.