Mini Review: A Fine Specimen by Lisa Marie Rice

Posted on October 30, 2010


My writing has been progressively decreasing.  Numerous attempts to pick the brain have consistently failed so I’m going to do mini-mini reviews until I can get my brain out from under construction!

Series: None

Hero: Alex Cruz

Heroine: Caitlin Summers

Lieutenant Alex Cruz eats, sleeps and breathes law enforcement. He’s tough and brusque, and cops and criminals alike tremble before him. And that’s the way he likes it. Until he meets Caitlin Summers-and decides he wants her trembling beneath him. The beautiful scholar is doing dissertation research in his cop shop, and seriously messing with his head. His self-imposed sexual abstinence comes to a screeching halt in Caitlin’s ratty hotel room and dies a permanent death in his bed. . .and his kitchen. . .and his living room. Caitlin is also intelligent and funny, kind and generous, her smile a burst of warmth in his cold, austere life. And that scares the crap out of him. With his head and heart fighting a battle of wills, Alex can barely concentrate on work. And that’s too bad-because his dangerous job and his newfound love are about to clash in the worst way possible.

Publisher Note: A Fine Specimen was previously released by another publisher under the title Taming Nick.

Alex Cruz is said to live and breathe his job.  In A Fine Specimen the story starts off with Alex frustrated that his men failed to arrest the man who could help them bring down another worse, wanted criminal.  Then he receives a note from his boss, a man he owes his life to for saving him from a life of felony, asking him to cooperate with Caitlin Summers with her dissertation on law enforcement within their dept.  Alex is opposed to [what he considers] babysitting duty when he was neck-deep in an investigation but he couldn’t refuse the favor that was asked of him.  Then there was the unexpected attraction to Caitlin.

This is a very weak Rice novel.  The classic Rice alpha male, defender of the public, and expert in women once again falls prey and loses all control and sexual expertise to the scholarly female he meets.  Despite said hero’s lack of finesse in the bedroom, the heroine still manages to fully engage and enjoy their sexual encounters.  Wherein other Rice novels there are some developing story on the villain(s) Rice abandons the criminals and suspense soon after Alex and Caitlin gets sexually involved.  There was some mentioning about plotting to capture the two criminals but nothing substantial came of the plotting. The entire book revolved around Alex and Caitlin living together.  Pretty much all the talk about how Alex was a hardcore lieutenant and his consuming desire to capture the criminal mastermind was – easily and quickly enough – overridden by the force of his desire for Caitlin.  There was a showdown involving the lesser evil criminal at the end but it appeared more like a filler to include a scene for Alex to save Caitlin…and then the couple proclaimed their love and all was HEA.  But what happened to the more evil criminal that Alex was fiercely set on apprehending??

I read this book in Kindle format but the paperback version is listed to be 232 pages.   Typically in Rice’s novels there are a lot of internal dialogue about the beauty of the hero and heroine from each of them.  The internal dialogues did not annoy and bore me so much in her other novels as it did in this one.  At 200+ pages the book isn’t a long novel but due to the lack of incomplete plot and non-existent suspense A Fine Specimen gave me the impression of an even shorter novel.

Grading: D