Review: Dangerous Proposal by Jessica Lauryn

Posted July 19, 2012 by Vampbard in 4.5 stars, Military or Suspense Romance, Rating A Tags: , , ,

Dangerous Proposal
Author: Jessica Lauryn 
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: BookStrand Publishing
The Pinnacles of Power #2
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format(s): e-book
Book Source: Author
About the book:
At nineteen, Alec Westwood nearly committed the most horrific of crimes—murder in cold blood—and narrowly escaped the assignment with his life. When a stunning young woman crosses his path wearing the insignia for the organization that recruited him, he vows not to let fate get a second chance. But when the enchantress gives him a kiss that leaves him spellbound, Alec realizes the power she holds is greater than all his strength and fortitude combined. 
On the run from her psychotic fiance, Lena Benson vows to forge a new life. But when her new friend Jack tells her to stay away from Alec Westwood—the man she believes her fiance hired to track her down—she takes matters into her own hands. Alec may have the charm, but she’s calling the shots, even if that means resisting a man whose eyes and touch rob her, literally, of sense. 
What VampBards talking about:
I was excited to read Dangerous Proposal after reading the series opener for Ms. Lauryn’s Pinnacles of Power series, Dangerous Ally.  While I don’t generally read contemporary romance, Ms. Lauryn surely gets this vampiric reviewer’s seal of approval.  I look forward to future installments of this series.  It’s a welcome break from the ‘other worldly’ literature I generally read.
For starters, Dangerous Proposal ACTUALLY takes place before Dangerous Ally.  As a clarification from Ms. Lauryn, Dangerous Proposal is the second book in the series.  Dangerous Ally is book #4.  I’m told the next published will be book #3 in the Pinnacles of Power series.  Lena Benson, our damsel-in-distress, was involved with Lucas Ramone.  We don’t see exactly how things transpired with Lena and Lucas, but we do see that Lena escaped from the prison that was the Ramone compound.  Lucas is made-out to be an absolute monster, which is contrary to what we learned about him in Dangerous Ally.  Lena’s sister is actually the heroine of Dangerous Ally, and Lucas… well, you’ll have to read to find out!  Knowing up-front that Dangerous Proposal takes place prior to Dangerous Ally certainly helps the reader place things, and understand some of the context of the first novel, as well as this title.  
We don’t see much of Raphael Ramone in this title.  What little we do see cements my opinion of him as the male version of Mommy Dearest.  We do, however, get to meet Lucas’ mom, which was a revelation for me.  It made me understand the goings-on of the Ramone household a bit more.  
Dr. Alec Westwood, a man with a few skeletons in his closet, seems lost and searching for something at the onset of Dangerous Proposal.  Flitting from one-night-stand to one-night-stand while performing his duties as a doctor in the local hospital didn’t seem to give him the fulfillment he sought.  While his affluent family appeared to have a high-profile in the community, Alec wandered rather aimlessly until THAT night.  Guys’ night out.  Local watering hole.  Peeved by his brother’s arrogance and seeking quiet solace, Alec saw HER.  Enter Lena Gallagher.  That night, Alec’s perspective on life changed.  Whether he was willing to admit it, or not.  
The elusive Lena Gallagher, scared and eager to begin her life without (and hiding from) Lucas Ramone, entered into an even larger and more tumultuous challenge when she met Alec Westwood – doctor, playboy, and enigma.  As paranoid as Lena was about being located by the maniacal and possessive Lucas, she certainly rooted herself to the small town in which she landed.  Acquiring a job and securing a place to live, Lena entrenched herself in the community, especially Alec’s life, even though she appeared to lie-low.  Her dynamic relationship with Alec, however, appeared to be wrought with doubt and unspoken accusations from the beginning.  Fortunately for the reader, we know this is a romance and there should be a ‘happily ever after’.  As a plot strategy, Ms. Lauryn should be commended for utilizing the mistrust and manipulation angle effectively throughout the story.  
I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘courtship’ between Lena and Alec.  Alec’s creativity, with regard to Lena and their meetings/activities, was surely a high point of the story line.  Interspersed with both Lena and Alec’s self-doubt and internal conflict, these gems were intensely romantic and created even more intrigue for this reader.  
Jack – I totally couldn’t figure him out, however.  I enjoyed his plot line, and NEVER would have guessed his importance to the story.  Completely unpredictable!  I did, however, have misgivings about his place of employment – which is probably due to my own personal feelings on certain topics.  This was a phenomenal plot twist, and while it felt as though a portion of this sub-plot was dismissed at about the 75% mark, Ms. Lauren does revive this thread near the end, tying it up in a neat little bow.  
Colin, Alec’s brother.  I have a theory about this one.  I’m eager to see how the next installment of Pinnacles of Power looks to see if I’m right!  
SPOILER ALERT: Lastly, at the end of Dangerous Proposal, it appears as though Lucas is out of the picture, permanently.  Because I’ve read Dangerous Ally, and know that this title comes AFTER Dangerous Proposal, I contacted Ms. Lauryn.  In Dangerous Ally, there is ONE paragraph that hints at the contents of Book #3, tentatively titled Dangerous Proposition. She cleared up my confusion, and I did recall the plot point mentioned, originally thinking it was merely backstory.  END SPOILER
Jessica Lauryn weaves an excellent tale of intrigue, romance and suspense in her expertly-crafted Dangerous Proposal.  While readers of the prior novel in the Pinnacles of Power series will see familiar characters, the depth and breadth of character development in this title will leave the reader with a few new ‘friends’, as well as a couple ‘sworn enemies’.  
VampBards Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend!

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