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A Strength In Arms (The Men of Sanctuary, Book One)

A Strength of Arms - Danica St. Como
2.5 Stars

When Adam Stone and Lucian Duquesne hear gunshots followed by a car crash, they rush to the scene. They find a pretty banged up, unconscious woman. They take her back to their training camp, Sanctuary Lodge until help can arrive. When she wakes up, she has no memory of how she got there, and worse yet, it doesn't take long before her rescuers find out her identity. How will Special Agent Lorelei Randall ever explain this to her boss?

They eventually piece together that her crash wasn't an accident, but an attempt on her life. For her own safety, they insist that she stay at Sanctuary until they can solve her case. The more time they spend together, the stronger her attraction grows, but not to just one man but both. Adam and Lucian have always done everything together, except share the same woman. However Lorelei may prove to be the exception to their rule. Can they convince her that she wants and needs them both? The better question is, can they share her without destroying their life-long brotherhood?

When I read the blurb, I got excited at the prospect of a tough CIA heroine, two former Marine alpha males, and a plot promising some suspense and hot encounters. Then Lorelei woke up, opened her mouth for the first time and everything went downhill from there. Yes, I love heroines who are tough, self-sufficient and snarky. This heroine was all that, but her characterization was way over the top. Her cussing would have made a sailor blush, and made any lesser man's balls want to crawl up inside his body and hide. Her background wasn't surprising – family had trouble showing affection and her last relationships involved a married man (though she didn't know that at the time), and a fellow agent who wore colored contacts, the male equivalent of Spanx, and he was lacking in the joystick department.


What I didn't like:

(1) The writing was awfully distracting - the narration was fine, but when Lorelei would talk, she sounded very immature; not at all like a woman with a law degree and a SA. She'd sometimes use "fer" instead of "for", i.e. "fer Chrissakes you daft silly bitch". She overused"fer Chrissakes" and "omigod" to the point of annoyance. And don't get me started on what she'd say in the throes of orgasm; I wanted to duct tape her mouth shut.
(2) I didn't find them believable. Without question they could set sheets, showers, stairs and chairs on fire, but I didn't get the feeling that Adam and Lucian resolved the underlying tension about sharing her. Lucian seemed to be the one who struggled the most – worrying about whether the other two would edge him out over time. When he'd catch Adam and Lorelei having some one-on-one time, he always seemed jealous or dejected. He was probably meant to come across as a voyeur, but it just felt uncomfortable. And I didn't sense the build-up to her falling in love. As a matter of fact, I wondered if she was even capable of it.
(3) The bad guy asks Lorelei if she had sex with two men. She says it's none of his business. He becomes flustered and enraged and says "In that case I want to have sex with you too." Who says that?!
(4) We got half of an ending. The bad guy was caught, but who was the bigger fish?!
(5) Soap should NOT be allowed to be used as a lubricant! That ruined the mood for me because I was waiting for them to start howling in pain when the soap crept into crevices it had no business being in.

What I liked: Adam's trunk. I may as well be honest. This is the first time I've ever read that the man needed to use lube every time he had normal sex ...... O_o
Seriously, the scorching hot sex was the only thing saving this book from a lesser rating.

One thing that I did laugh at: Lorelei thinks Adam resembles Magnum P.I. A little at the beginning of the book, and her boss' name is Bellisario. (Donald P. Bellisario created Magnum P.I.).