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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Royal Lockdown

***½ Royal Lockdown by Rebecca York. Contemporary romance.

Hotshot security expert Shane Peters is attending a reception to celebrate an international trade agreement when the lights go out. Twice. And armed gunmen proceed to take over.

Also in attendance are both the President and Vice President and Princess Ariana LeBron of the tiny country of Beau Pays. The President is drugged but otherwise unharmed; the Vice President has been taken hostage; and Ariana and Shane escape, but are running for their lives.

Shane pieces together that it's related to a mission he'd been on years ago, accompanied by, among others, the Vice President and Princess Ariana's father, who'd not yet been king.

I probably should have read the fine print more closely: Royal Lockdown is the first book in a continuity series from Harlequin Intrigue, which no doubt explains the plot threads that were left dangling. Only one of the bad guys is caught, and there's no real resolution of the suspense plot other than our hero and heroine surviving. It also explains why various characters such as Shane's brother were introduced but then had nothing to do with the plot.

It doesn't, however, explain the romance novel cliche of the hero and heroine pausing in the midst of ongoing danger for some necking and groping. I'd expected better of Rebecca York, who's one of my must-buy authors (no, this isn't changing my mind--everyone's entitled to an off day).

Other than that, the action was exciting, and the characters were engaging and sympathetic. If I didn't have such a massive TBR mountain, I'd consider checking out the rest of the books in the series to see how things turn out, but I do, so I probably won't.

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