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You Only Love Twice    by Lori Wilde order for
You Only Love Twice
by Lori Wilde
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

By the tender age of ten, Marlie Montague has already suffered two major traumas. First, she loses her best friend, J. J. Hunter, when he and his parents move away after their ugly divorce. Then her whistleblower father is killed during an escape attempt after the Navy fabricates charges of treason against him. As an adult, Marlie finds it hard to trust anyone. She channels that mistrust into her popular comic book series starring Angelina Avenger. Angelina is constantly saving the free world from one conspiracy after another and Marlie is having the time of her life living vicariously through her larger-than-life heroine. She doesn't even mind the occasional death threats or the fact that the government is monitoring her.

Marlie's boring life suddenly comes to an abrupt end when a nondescript UPS delivery guy turns out to be an assassin. She manages to outsmart the pistol-packing thug and flees straight into the arms of her new neighbor. The fact that Joel Jerome is tall, dark and packed with muscle doesn't hurt; she really needs a hero about now. Joel steps right in and takes over. He's an ex Navy SEAL after all, and while he may have been booted off the Teams for something he'd rather not talk about, he still makes one hell of a bodyguard. He'll just leave out the fact that his current NCIS assignment is keeping a close eye on Marlie. Now they must work together and stay alive long enough to figure out which of Marlie's fictional conspiracy theories has suddenly come to realistic and very deadly life.

Sassy comic book heroines, shadowy assassins, conspiracy theories, spy vs. spy, stolen missiles, shootouts and careening car chases; it all sounds pretty convoluted doesn't it? But I had so much fun reading this story, I didn't care how out there the plot was. Lori Wilde dishes up a perfect combination of great characterizations, action, zingy dialogue and plenty of humor (with nice bits of satire thrown in) to create a story that works on various levels. The best thing about it is that it never strays far from Marlie and Joel's initial attraction and their building romance. If you're up for a fun, fast paced and thoroughly engaging read, then make sure you pick up a copy of You Only Love Twice.

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