Thursday, October 08, 2009

Feature Review: "Make Her Pay," by Roxanne St. Claire

By Becke Davis, RBTB Contributing Editor

“To Catch a Thief . . . For Keeps!”

It takes honey to catch a thief – or is that bees? All I know is, if I were Grace Kelly in that famous movie, I would have left a trail of diamonds for Cary Grant to follow back to my hotel room. So, okay, he was a thief, but what a thief!

Reformed thief Constantine Xenakis could teach Cary Grant a thing or two, but he’s trying to do the right thing for once. It takes a thief to catch a thief, and Con has no doubt Lizzie Dare is the culprit he’s after. Roxanne St. Claire takes us on a rip-roaring ride to romance in “Make Her Pay,” dazzling us with a shipwrecked galleon, legendary Bombay Blue diamonds and treasure seekers with hidden agendas. The only thing missing is a swashbuckling pirate – but St. Claire’s handsome-to-the-max hero will shiver your timbers as well as any lusty buccaneer.

Lizzie may have heard “When a thief kisses you, count your teeth,” but when Con’s around, it’s not her teeth she needs to worry about, it’s her clothes – and her heart. She’s burning, wobbly and naked within seconds of their first meeting. Is it any wonder she’s at a loss for words when confronted with a huge, dark, naked and (minor detail) extremely furious stranger? It wasn’t her fault she thought he was a pirate or a rapist when he caught her stealing treasures that were hers by right – she’d never have thrown acid at Con if she’d realized he was the new diver on the team!

Teaming up with Lizzie after she damn near scarred him for life is just common sense, but now Con can’t get the image of her naked body out of his head. He has to bring in the booty Lizzie and everyone else is after, even if it does belong to her family – completing the mission is his only chance to succeed as a Bullet Catcher. As long as Con can convince the sexy thief he’s on her side, he can save his career and her oh-so-tempting ass.

Fans of the sensational Bullet Catchers series already know that Roxanne St. Claire delivers unforgettable heat along with non-stop action. In “Make Her Pay,” she keeps us guessing “whodunnit,” yet there’s never any doubt that Con and Lizzie will end up, well, as thick as thieves. Take a deep breath before you dive in, because once you start reading, you won’t want to come up for air until you reach the end. Fasten your life jacket and --

Buy the Book!

Roxanne St. Claire shakes up our expectations for a romance in "Make Her Pay" -- instead of a slow seduction, Con and Lizzie are buck naked (or is it butt naked?) before they've exchanged names. It's not mad, passionate sex, though -- it's our hero's protective instincts coming to the fore. Why is it that acts of strength and caveman-like "Don't worry, Jane -- Tarzan take care of you" behavior can be so romantic in a book, whereas in real life a guy who pulled a stunt like that would likely get kneed in the nuts? What does that say about us? (Not that I would claim to speak for all women -- I'm just sayin'.)

Click here to check out a sexy excerpt from "Make Her Pay!"


pjpuppymom said...

Take a deep breath before you dive in, because once you start reading, you won’t want to come up for air until you reach the end.

Becke, I never want to come up for air once I start reading one of Rocki's books. They're just that good and continue to get better with every one she writes. I was immediately intrigued by Con when he appeared in Hunt Her Down. He had obviously been a bad guy but, deep down, there was just a glimmer of the possibility of redemption and who doesn't love redeeming a bad guy? ;-)

I have this one in my tbr. Now I just need to get a full day to myself to savor it!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hiya, Peej! I'm so embarrassed to say I haven't read this yet! Maybe I'm still reeling from The Shed Scene from "Hunt Her Down!" Becke says the opening to this one pretty much rivals it, however. I need to get to the book store, and fast!

Buongiorno, Bellas! And, once again, Becke, thanks for another terrific feature! You make me really feel the energy of MHP, and positioning Con as a kindof pirate really works for me -- and probably a lot of others. You know we're on a big ol high-seas romance kick these days. :)

Becke Davis said...

Hi PJ - between the Shed Scene and the opening scene of Make Her Pay, Roxanne St. Claire has won the Write Something Completely Hot and Unexpected prize for romance -- for me anyway.

Michelle - I loved these two books! I read HUNT HER DOWN on the drive up to Chicago. I was REALLY glad I hadn't gotten to it right away, because the day I read it was also the day MAKE HER PAY was released.

Despite the fact that I'd brought no less than a dozen books with me (I was going to be up there a week, for Pete's sake!), within minutes of checking into the hotel, I was running to a bookstore to pick up my copy of MAKE HER PAY, which I read immediately. LOVED them both.

Becke Davis said...

PJ - I love your puppy icon. Reminds me of my dog Maggie, who died in 2007. She was all black, too - a mix of Lab, Shepherd and Chow.

Stacy~ said...

I just started reading Kill Her Twice and I'm really enjoying it, so I have a ways to go before I get to this one (anal "series in order" disease), but it sounds delish. Can't wait.

Congrats on your latest release, Roxanne!

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Wow, Becke - thank you! Am so glad you loved both of these books and picked out a couple of my favorite scenes, too. I had a blast researching the diving in MAKE HER PAY, and really have to give kudos and thanks to some of my treasure hunting friends, and the museum and treasure fanatics all over Vero Beach, Florida. They really helped make the story come alive for me.

Hope you love all the Bullet Catchers!

I'll pop in today in anyone has any questions! (Not that I need a distraction from writing, ahem!!)


Ryan Jent said...

Trail of diamonds... haha. Nice review.

Keri Stevens said...

Okay, I admit it. I'm a Rocki virgin. Someone needs to talk me down from my despair at having missed this series, make me pay for a book and kill me twice if I don't add these to my TBR pile like, yesterday!

Becke Davis said...

Stacy - I discovered Roxanne's books awhile ago, but a couple of them had gotten lost in my Dangerous TBR pile. When I read these two, I dug through the stacks of books and found the ones I'd missed -- remembering why everyone of the books of Roxanne's that I've read has ended up in my keeper pile. I have a bad habit of reading series books out of order, but it's normally not a problem for me.

Becke Davis said...

Rocki (is it okay to call you that? I feel presumptuous!) - Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm a huge fan of romantic suspense, and your books are always on my "must-buy" list. All the Bullet Catcher books are great, but these two really knocked my socks off!

Becke Davis said...

Ryan! Great to see you here! And, about those diamonds -- you know me, I'm all about the bling. Gotta have my shiny sparkly stuff!

Becke Davis said...

Keri - I'm so excited for you to be just discovering Rocki's books. They are soooo good! And you have The Shed Scene and the opening scene of Make Her Pay to look forward to!

Sorry about all the exclamation points -- it's that kind of day.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

OMG, becke, I remember writing an email to Ms St. Claire with the same sentiment: Is it ok if I call you "Rocki," too? I know everyone else does, but you've never given me permission...

Like she hadn't given me permission to use her Christian name. What? Am I living in a Regency romance?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Lucky girl, Keri, cause you can read all the Bullet Catchers now. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but I hate you.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Stacy, the first RSC book I read was a while back, and it had a heroine who was going to possibly give her father a kidney. so you can imagine my interest, right? I thought Roxanne did such a great job w/ the emotions surrounding the donor, really got turned on. Plus, it was a auto-racing themed book, I think jst before the NASCAR books took off.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Ryan!!!

Louisa Edwards said...

I LOVE the Bullet Catchers! Con definitely caught my eye in the fabulous HUNT HER DOWN, so I was desperate for this story. And as always, Rocki totally delivers. Excellent, excellent read with my absolute favorite kind of hero--the reformed bad boy!

Becke Davis said...

Hi Louisa! Thanks for joining us. Yep, I'm with you -- the minute Con appeared in HUNT HER DOWN I thought, oh boy, I hope he's the hero in the next book!

Tiona said...

Hey, Bellas! Great job, Becke!
Sorry to admit that I'm a Roxaine virgin, as well, hehe. But, I have to pick up one of her books since you guys are talking about it constantly, hehe.
As to the whole Tarzan thing, I guess guys are so...polite today, which we love, but sometimes you want them to go all Viking on you, throw you over their shoulder and take you away, hehe! LOL! Who said that?

Becke Davis said...

Hi Princess! Let's just say, these books are SMOKIN' hot. As in, if I smoked, I would have needed a cigarette after reading the Shed Scene in HUNT HER DOWN.

And when I read the teaser for MAKE HER PAY at the end of HHD, I was soooo glad I didn't have to wait for it to come out!

As far as the Viking/Tarzan thing, maybe we enjoy those traits in our fictional heroes because we secretly fantasize about being carried away.

The idea of not having to make decisions or hard choices can be alluring, but in real life, that behavior would drive me insane. Eventually, that is. :)

Becke Davis said...

Rocki - I loved the combination of a very modern heroine and a classic tale of hidden treasure. All very Errol Flynnish drama on the high seas, even if it wasn't all that far from shore.

Have you ever gone on a dive to see a shipwreck? Even reading about deep sea diving gives me the willies. There's STUFF out there in the dark, and scary things could come from above, below -- anywhere. I'm getting palpitations just thinking about it!

Anonymous said...

Ms. St. Claire, I was just wowed by your speech at the recent Columbus Fiction Writer's Conference. I must say you are as gracious as beautiful and it was great fun to hear your take on the most important things every writer should know. I think my favorite was that getting published and/or making the bestseller lists will not change your life.

Before publication, chop wood, carry water. After publication chop wood, carry water.

Becke Davis said...

Gia - I wish I had been to that conference! I love the line you quoted:

Before publication, chop wood, carry water. After publication chop wood, carry water.

I'm sure that's true, but it's hard to convince unpubbed writers that "after" isn't better than "before."

marye.ulrich said...

"Lizzie may have heard “When a thief kisses you, count your teeth,” but when Con’s around, it’s not her teeth she needs to worry about, it’s her clothes – and her heart."

This sentence alone could sell the book. 'count your teeth"- where did you find that?

Gabriella Edwards said...

Psst...Becke--You're coming to the meeting Saturday, right? *hint, hint* ;-)

It sounds like I MUST read the series as well! Keri,I am also a Bullet Cather virgin! Let's "pop" into the series together! :-P

The Reading Frenzy said...

Hi Bellas, Hi Roxanne welcome.
After just having finished Hunt Her Down by our illustrious Roxanne and having lived through "The Shed Scene" which by the way Michelle thinks should be included on her epitaph, I thought Con was very yummy and right now his story is sitting on my shelf calling to me read me, read me. Okay already I hear you. I can't wait to read his story.

Now to answer the question:
I can fry up the bacon and all that jazz too and my husband is of the knuckle dragging variety of caveman and he does tend to grunt a lot if I seem to need protection/help/carried into the cave etc. Now in my romances I like the strong woman heroine, but I don't mind that she's not stupid enough not to ask for help if she needs it. Prime example is the B&N mystery book for Oct. Chosen to Die, here we have very strong women heroines but in this situation they need the guys to step in and step up. So I see nothing wrong with it. Now if the heroine happens to be wimpy, well I wouldn't like her. But look even at Eloisa James' heroines, all her desperate duchesses they are all strong women, but very in touch with their femininity. And it never hurt the male ego to let them think we need looking after now did it.

Tiona said...

Becke, I love your take on things. Yes, that old saying 'be careful what you wish for' applies to our fantasies, hehe. Although we want to be carried away by some ripped and hawt male to be made his love slave...hubba real life we would definately protest and a whole lot more, hehe.
And I love the teet thing. That's hilarious!
Yes, and strong heroines are great. I think the reason I love them is because the hero has to work even harder to get the girl.

Tiona said...

Um, that was supposed to be TEETH, lol! *blushing*

Becke Davis said...

Mary - I do love quotes, and thanks to the wonders of Google, I was able to find a couple good ones! Great to see you here!

Becke Davis said...

Rosie - I just spewed my tea all over the place after reading your comment! I wouldn't miss this Saturday's chapter meeting -- Jenny Crusie and Lani Diane Rich are going to be there!

And if you are really nice, I'll lend you my copies, but --shhh! -- don't tell Rocki. I'm sure she'd rather sell more books!

Becke Davis said...

Debbie - thanks for stopping by! I'm glad your husband's tests turned out well. Isn't it weird how suddenly we're all talking about the strong woman/cave man thing lately?

I suspect it's on a lot of our minds because it's an issue we face in real life -- how to let our men be as strong and protective as they'd like to be, without compromising our independence!

Becke Davis said...

Princess (*giggling*) -- I think that's what you'd call a Freudian slip!

Tiona said...

I think Freaud would definately have a lot to say if he visited RBTB, hehe, Becke!
Speaking of good balance, I'm rereading Kresley Cole's IAD series and just love her balance of hero and heroine saving each other. Her heroines are so strong and independent and the men are just blazing hot, but she makes it where they learn to save each other, emotionally and physically. It's just a great balance. I'm sure it's hard to get a good balance sometimes, hehe. In real life and in fiction, hehe

Becke Davis said...

I like her books, too, Princess. I'm thinking I should go back to the first Bullet Catcher book and read them again.

It seems to me Rocki said something about this being the last of the Bullet Catcher books. Anyone know if that's true?

Tiona said...

Uh-oh, well, tell Roxi we can't have that, Becke. Especially when I haven't even read the first one yet. Which, by the way, what is the title of the first one? I'll have to pick it up.

Becke Davis said...

Princess, you can get an introduction to the Bullet Catchers here:

And here:

But here is the order they are in (from Rocki's website, through last year:

Kill Me Twice – 2005 (Alex Romero)

Thrill Me To Death – 2006 (Max Roper)

Take Me Tonight – 2007 (Johnny Christiano)

“You Can Count on Me” – 2006 – a novella in the Christmas anthology called I’ll Be Home For Christmas

And in 2008, there will be four more:

“Reason To Believe” – January – a novella in the anthology called What You Can’t See

Plus the first “Bullet Catcher Trilogy” –

First You Run – April (Adrien Fletcher)

Then You Hide – July (Wade Cordell)

Now You Die – September (Lucy Sharpe)

Tiona said...

Great, thnx, Becke!

Becke Davis said...

So, back to my discussion question -- which is it? Buck naked or butt naked? Enquiring minds want to know! (And, while we're at it, is it "Enquiring" or "Inquiring" minds?)

Roxanne St. Claire said...

Bellas! I'm so sorry I've been absent today, but I couldn't get on to comment for the longest time. Mea culpa! And all these VIRGINS running around!

I think I can remember the questions and answer...but will check and repost if I've missed any.

First of all, I've been on the dive boats, but I didn't go under water and actually dive because it was way too cold, even in October in FLA. That alone suprised me - I thought the FLA water would be warmer. I did spend a lot of time with some treasure hunters and conservators, who taught me so much about that business.

I think someone asked which book to start with in the series. Of course you can start at the beginning (KILL ME TWICE), but I say start with whatever one is handy. The only three that should be read in order are FIRST YOU RUN, THEN YOU HIDE and NOW YOU DIE, because they are a related trilogy.

And, for the moment (never say never!), the Bullet Catchers are going to take a pause - with 8 books and 2 novellas in the series, it's time to try my hand at something slightly different.

The new series is a spinoff, about an extended (Italian!!) family of rogue crimefighters and investigators in Boston, called The Guardian Angelinos. I'm finishing the first book in the series right now.

I'll go check for more questions, but in the meantime, THANK YOU, for all the compliments and props today. And Virgins! Get reading!

(Not only CAN you call me that, you MUST.)

Tiona said...

I've only ever heard of "buck naked", though I have no idea why it's "buck" unless it started with someone named Buck, hehe. Maybe he was the town streaker? hehe
Also, I would think it's "Enquiring" but what do I know? I can't even spell teeth correctly, hehe

Tiona said...

Oh, Roxi, hope that's ok to call you, your new series sounds fantabulous! The Guardian Angelinos! Love it! And, of course, I'll get to reading right away!

Becke Davis said...

Rocki - I read Now You Die before the others in that trilogy and it didn't bother me, but I have a habit of reading whatever book comes to hand, no matter where it falls in a series.

My daughter lives in Orlando and has been complaining (well, let's be frank -- bitching) about the hot weather since she got back from Chicago, where it was cold and rainy for most of last week. I always think of Florida as hot, so I assumed the ocean would be at least warm. Interesting!

Oh boy, we're in trouble if Michelle sees your spin-off series is about an Italian family. When she and my critique partners get going, I feel like I'm in the cast of The Godfather. (In a good way!)

You know, it's a good think Jenny Crusie already claimed The Cherries as the name of her fan club. Otherwise, you know, it could work for you, too. Especially with this crowd!

Becke Davis said...

Princess - I just made myself a cup of tea, and it's a good thing I hadn't taken a drink of it when I read your post. The word "teeth" will always have another meaning when I think of you now!

Becke Davis said...

"A good think?" I believe that was supposed to say "a good thing." But with all the Freudian slips flying around today, who knows?

Gabriella Edwards said...

Oh, duh, Becke! I remember you saying you'd be at the meeting-- Silly me! And *gasp* when am I ever not nice, pray?

In answer to the butt versus buck question, I believe the term is buck, but my husband says either. When I Googled both, I was directed to and "eye opening" list of porn, huh?

I do enjoy delving into etymology. I think I'll do another search on the buck/butt thing again. Really, the history of buck or butt has to be there somewhere among all that porn...really!

And Ms. Rocki, the Italian spin-off series sounds intriguing! I'm already looking forward to it.

Becke--canta tu, cara!

Becke Davis said...

Rosie -- Canta? Like "sing?" Knowing you, it means something different, I'm guessing.

You'll have to walk me through that Google search. For purely educational reasons, of course.

Gabriella Edwards said...

LOL! Yep, I'll walk you through it! Tee hee!

And you're correct, canta means sing. It's another one of those old Italina sayings. My mother always said it or the longer version--keep singing because I'm playing (as in a violin)--when we were making excuses or exaggerating our problems.

But I know you weren't complaining about mine and Michelle's Italian-ness because you know we can't help it! It's inevitable.

Becke Davis said...

Love it! You and Michelle should put together an Italian primer.

Becke Davis said...

Thanks, everybody, for making this such a fun day! I hope you all enjoy Rocki's books as much as I do.

Becke Davis said...

I'm still available if anyone wants to continue this discussion!

Tonya Kappes said...

Great post! I haven't had to pleasure of reading the Bullet Catcher series, but I have several book club friends who carry on about the fun suspensful nature of St. Claire. As a matter of fact, my book club meets in a couple weeks and they are bringing the first three in the series: First You Run, Then You Die and Now You Die - for fun. I am going to try to get the first one and read the series in order.
As you, I am a HUGE Grant fan and I hear those Bullet Chasers are H-O-T!!!

amy kennedy said...

Aww, Becke, can't believe I missed all this fun. Great review. And, yeah -- Buck Naked -- is the saying. At least in my house it is.

Love the Bullet Catchers.

Becke Davis said...

Tonya, great to see you here. You will love those books! And, almost forgot, time to run over to Chasing Heroes.

Amy, thanks for coming by. I'm wondering if the "butt" and "buck" thing is regional. I've heard it both ways. It's a mystery!

Paula R said...

Hey Becke, I wanted to chime in. I must be up front and say that I didn't read the review as yet, because I hate to "spoil" my appetite for a book by doing that before hand. It is purely psychological, I know, but please forgive me for that. I did read the para before the review...I think it is "butt" or "buck" depending on your! I love Roxanne St. Clair, and I have been trying to collect the series. I don't have the first three of this series, but I do have 4-7 so far. She told me, when she visited the plotmonkey jungle last week or so, that I should just read the books, and not worry about starting at one. I tried, it is soooo haaarrrd for me. I know, crazy. Anyway, wanted to give props to Grace Kelly...loved her movies. Her and Cary Grant together was very special too.

*waves at Michelle*

Peace and love,
Paula R.

Becke Davis said...

I just love the books, it never really bothers me if they're out of order -- but I know that drives a lot of people nuts. I'm so glad you stopped by, Paula. I keep thinking of To Catch a Thief -- guess I'll have to rent if from Netflix and watch it for the four-millionth time!

Unknown said...

By the sounds of it, I HAVE to buy this book. It sounds awesome.


Becke Davis said...

Hi Fallon - I recommend reading HUNT HER DOWN first, and then MAKE HER PAY. Con, the hero of MAKE HER PAY, is in the first story, too. Both are really, really good!

Becke Davis said...

What the heck is that saying anyway? You can catch more . . . bees? Flies? . . .with honey? I think I had the wrong reference in the blog. Oh well!