June 14th, 2010

_All In_, Kate Willoughby (kindle)

This is the first in the Universal Wish Federation series (_A Wolf at Her Door_, which won an Eppie, was the second; the third appears to be as yet unpublished and perhaps unwritten).

In this entry, Our Heroine and Our Hero met six years ago playing in an amateur poker tournament. They hit it off, but since they lived a ways apart (San Jose and Vegas, IIRC, which I probably don't), made no effort to make it last longer than the time they were in Palm Springs for the tournament. He went on to become a pro; she started a specialty chocolate shop in Vegas. She watched him on TV during the World Poker whatever and wondered about what might of been. On that cruise with the onshore outing that led to the purchase of cheap woven bracelets that deliver wishes, she wished for a second meeting.

Davina, the fairy, shows up and delivers: 48 hours from when they first touch. Shortly after Davina's departure, Our Heroine gets an order for a wedding cake. When she goes to meet the bride and groom, she meets Our Hero, the groom's childhood (and adult) best friend.

They hit it off so quickly they don't make it out of the elevator as they ride down to the lobby together planning to get some dinner; instead, they head back upstairs to his suite where they pick up more or less where they left off six years ago. Nothing even remotely kinky in this outing, unless you count sex in a nominally public location at the end of the book (a closed off and dark function room where they are the only people -- they could be walked in on, but are not); just a lot of fairly detailed oral and tab p slot v. In order to get her HEA, Our Heroine has to come clean about the wish thing; otherwise, she remembers but his memory will be purged. She picks the gondola ride at the Venetian, in hopes that he can't run away mid-reveal and I was quite surprised that the description of the gondola ride was accurate -- the author didn't make it any more private or less cheesy than the reality. Very nice! Similarly, a short-notice outing to a steak restaurant at the Bellagio fails to get them view seats of the water show, which is as it should be.

It was fun. It was short, but it was fun. If Willoughby keeps writing (and right now, looking at her blog and noticing the shortage of 2010 posts? I'm a little worried), I'll keep reading.

_The Money Man's Seduction_, Leslie LaFoy

Apparently LaFoy normally writes historicals, but this is a contemporary. I don't know whether I'll bother with the historicals, but if she writes more contemporaries, I'll read them. It's a Silhouette Desire, so very category-like on the slightly steamy end. Still available in physical format; I got the kindle edition on K.'s recommendation. I tried reading this when I first bought it and failed, because the opening was one of those is it vicious or is it sexy bantering sequences that left me cold the first time. I was amused enough (also, sick enough) to keep reading this time and I'm glad I did.

The structure of the book is a little weird (categories often have weird structure, which is one of the reasons I don't typically read them): they meet, they abrade, he apologizes for ulterior motives but then the sexual tension gets to both of them and they really start going at it. He's a sweetie who helps her get the roofing tar off her. She drops everything to be at the hospital with him when his grandmother (her friend) has a stroke. She wears a smoking hot dress. They have sex in her elevator (really!). They shares stories about their childhoods. Not necessarily in that order. He goes off to do his job. She feels bereft when he doesn't call. He feels awful being away from her. Very, very, very hurried make-up meet at the end of the book as grandma/friend delivers all the equipment she wanted for the senior center she's building in the tiny town of Augsburg. (I'm still cracking up over Wiebeville. Mostly because of how many of my relatives have the last name Wiebe, altho mine are all from the Canadian Mennonites, rather than the Mennonites that wound up in Kansas, they all have the same ancestry. As long as I'm on the subject tho, I seriously question that there would be any significant amount of stained glass in a church founded by a Franz Wiebe. Seriously sounds very un-Mennonite-y. Not that anyone would care.)

It's hard to know whether to say this was good or bad. I enjoyed it a lot, but that could be the awful-bad-head-cold speaking. If I weren't sick, I might have found this thing unreadably lame (in fact, I did find it unreadable on a previous occasion). OTOH, K.'s got pretty good judgment and she really thought I'd like this one. I guess if you're looking for a little light reading while under the weather, you probably won't go wrong on this one.

Bummer, tho -- another author blog with not much to say recently. Worse than Willoughby, even -- the latest stuff is from 2008. Yikes.