This is a quirky, fun and hot quick read, ideal for a wet Sunday afternoon when you want a lively distraction from the world 🙂
4 silken sheets
Online virile.com dating columnist Dane Martin has no plans to give up his reign as bachelor extraordinaire. He has a reputation to uphold, especially with the upcoming release of his book Coming on Strong.
Holly Winters, everyone’s favorite girl next door, thanks to her blog of the same name, gives advice, but she doesn’t always take it. When she meets Dane Martin, every fiber of her being warns her to turn tail and run. Instead, she risks her future as an authority on relationships, jeopardizing her upcoming self-help book for women struggling to find commitment among the Virile sycophants.
Has the Girl Next Door tamed the most Virile man alive, or is she just another notch on the bedpost?
Dane was happy in his world. Things were going well – better than well, if his agent was to be believed, and then he met Holly. It turned out to be a setup, her agent and his were having a bet, and they decided to pit the two of them together, but the evening showed promise until Holly’s moment of realisation.
Everything about Dane Martin was an artifice. From the not-a-single-dark-hair out of place to the Italian shoes polished to a shine, the man was an advertisement of an advertisement. He was the wolf in wolf’s clothing pretending to be a convincing sheep. And Dane Martin was the reason she was able to pay her rent every month.
He was still blissfully ignorant of the identity of the curvy woman sitting opposite.
“Dane, perhaps I should tell you a little bit about my blog. You’ve probably never heard of it. It’s called Girl Next Door.” It was as if she’d thrown a glass of cold water on him. He sat back, immediately wary. Like she might reach across the table and claw his eyes out or something.
I liked Holly. She was honest, sometime brutally so, and she had no issues with explaining just why she didn’t like Dane.
“I love women!” It came out pretty loud, so he took a deep breath and brought his voice down. “Why would you think I dehumanize women?”
“You basically have three categories that you put us in: fuckable, unfuckable, and can’t fuck.”
While she listed his faults, out loud and in a public place, her inner voice piped up.
Wow. He packed a wallop with those eyes. They were… primal. Her heart rate kicked up a notch. A far off voice in her head reminded her that Dane was using one of his tricks to seduce her right now. And she’d listen to that voice in just a minute.
The plot is simple, and the trope has been done before in various ways: Dane and Holly agree to date, to be a ‘couple’ for the media, so as to save their agents from embarrassment. Then while they are concentrating on being nice to each other, they fall in love. What makes this book work is the way the author handled the growing relationship.
The little touches that made Dane stop and think:
She was a self-admitted foodie and when she talked about cooking, he had a hard time putting away the mental image of her making breakfast in his kitchen wearing his favorite Ralph Lauren shirt.
The doubts Holly had:
And then, there was a lovely twist. Holly decides that she’ll turn the tables on Dane:
He slammed his feet into his shoes, found his wallet, collected his dog, and paused with his hand on the knob of her front door. How many times had a woman paused at his door like this? He’d always been very clear that sex was a one-time thing— but hell, even he’d gotten caught in his own trap this time. Had he made other people feel this small? This insignificant?
They had great dialogue, from heated arguments to snarky one-liners and I giggled and smirked through most of this story. It was fun! I’d been reading angst before this, and I needed a change of pace. I also loved the emails that interspersed the story, from lovelorn readers of the two blogs, asking for advice. In true Pride and Prejudice tradition, both Holly and Dane had fixed ideas of what they wanted in a partner, and it was delightful to see their defensive walls crumbling with each other.
He’d been calling. Texting. Doing and saying all the right things, but the right things were second nature to men like Dane. He was, as he had told her, a gifted actor. He didn’t want to settle down. He didn’t want a relationship with her or anyone else. The attention he’d been giving her was to salve his wounded ego because she had said goodbye first. It had been the hardest, smartest thing she’d ever done.
It’s a solid, 4-star read. And while Entangled have their March sale on, it’s also bargain-priced. Grab it while you can 🙂
4 silken sheets
4 sexy lips
Plot – great
Characters – great
Warnings – none, just good, clean fun 🙂
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Published: January 2014; $0.99 (Amazon)
Publisher: Entangled Indulgence
Images from 123rf.com