Thursday, February 3, 2011

Requested Review: Sex on the Slopes - Susan Lyons



Tradesize Paperback; 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade - December 7, 2010
ISBN-10: 1439152950
ISBN-13: 978-1439152950
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Book: Single Author Anthology
Main Characters:
FIRE AND ICE - Andi Radcliff & Jared Stone
SLIPPERY SLOPE - Brianna George & Zack Michaels
IN HOT PURSUIT OF A BAD BOY - Maddie Daniels & Logan Carver
On sale at: The Bookdepository Store

Summary:
At a destination wedding in Whistler, the bride and groom aren’t the only ones steaming up those cold winter nights!

“Fire and Ice”
Wedding planner Andi Radcliffe wants to be a man’s “first and only,” yet she can’t take her eyes—or hands—off sexy firefighter Jared, a widower who’s already loved and lost. Though she doesn’t want to be any man’s second choice, their secret rendezvous are setting off all the right alarms.

“Slippery Slope”
Brianna George, the groom’s boss and friend, is the celebrity host of a TV talk show. She’s all about business—until Zack, a hot young Aussie ski instructor, seduces her over to the sexy side of life. But will their secret romance jeopardize her career?

“In Hot Pursuit of a Bad Boy”
Maddie Donovan, the groom’s little sister, always had a thing for his bad boy friend Logan. Seeing him again after so many years, she won’t miss her chance to prove she’s all grown up…and find out just how a good a bad boy Logan really is.

Pearl's Review:
Fire and Ice
Andi Radcliffe is a wedding planner. She’s responsible, sensible and organized but in the face of a fire and then possibly freezing to death she decides to be impulsive and take a chance with the sexy firefighter who came to the rescue. She’s the type of girl of takes care of others first and puts herself last.

Jared Stone is a firefighter. He’s a widower, guilt-ridden and still very much in love with his late wife. But when he meets Andi he starts to realize that sometimes opening up to new people in his life and even a new love, doesn’t demean his first love

Jared and Andi have different expectations of their encounter. For Jared it's casual hot sex while Andi's hoping it could grow into something more meaningful.

I enjoyed this first story of the anthology. It set the stage for the other two stories, introducing some of the main characters from those stories. In the beginning I did have a feeling of missing the emotional connection, both between the main characters and between them and me. This feeling disappeared when I read about a third of the story. Something clicked and the second sex scene was more to my liking than the first.

Despite the small page-count, FIRE AND ICE is a well-rounded story that's a balanced mix between erotic romance and character-development but because of the shortness of the story it also felt a little bit rushed. However, the ending was lovely and emotional and made up for the rushed feel.

Quote:
She must look ridiculous, yet he was still staring at her as if he wanted to eat her from head to toe, paying special attention to the goodies in the middle.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Slippery Slope
Brianna George is creator and host of the TV show ‘The Scoop. She’s a native Canadian who overcame her difficult past and became a successful TV personality and a local celebrity. She’s focused, grounded and pragmatic. A perfectionist with a terrible track record with men and dating and an all work no play kind of woman. Beneath the capable exterior there's an air of insecurity and vulnerability and a fear of failure. She longs to blend in and be respected, to overcome her past riddled with gossip and preconceived opinions.

Zack Michaels is an Australian ski instructor. He’s outgoing, impulsive, vibrant and charming. He enjoys life to the fullest and his zest for life rubs off on people. But he’s also sensitive, perceptive and stubborn.

SLIPPERY SLOPE appealed to me much more than the first and this probably had to do with the trope as I love older woman-younger man stories. I really like this trope and think Susan Lyons did a great job of making it work in this story. I also like that the age difference between Zack and Brianna didn’t form the main conflict between them.

I really enjoyed the banter between Brianna and Zack, which also brought along some humor to the story. Zack encourages Brianna to loosen up and be more playful. This story felt a bit less rushed than the first but as with the first story the resolution of the conflict was whirlwind quick. And again Susan Lyons wrote a wonderful and emotional end to the story.

Quotes:
"If that's your not-so-subtle way of finding out if I'm single, the answer is yes. But don't take that to mean--"
"Mean what?" He gazed into her eyes and sank into pools of bittersweet chocolate.
Dark skin, dark eyes. Did she taste like chocolate, too?
She gave a start and blinked. "Uh, that I'm interested in . . . whatever."
"Ah, but you've never tried my brand of whatever," he teased.
Her eyes narrowed. "I've tested enough brands to be skeptical about the overall product."

Other men had given her tentative kisses and forceful ones. Never had a guy kissed her with this blend of gentleness and confidence. His lips were soft, teasing, seductive, and she had to respond, to open her mouth on a sigh of pleasure.

Rating: 4 stars

In Hot Pursuit of a Bad Boy
Madeleine 'Maddie' Daniels is a massage therapist. She’s sweet, warmhearted, inventive, tenacious and passionate.

Logan Carver is a (undercover) cop. He’s the troublemaker kid that went from foster home to foster home. He puts up a rough, tough bad boy front but deep down he's a good guy, an outsider longing to belong somewhere and have someone who cares about him.

The chemistry between Maddie and Logan is the most sizzling of the three couples. This made their story stand out the most for me. Also the fact that their story didn't start out as "just sex" between virtual strangers, like the other two did, but had a foundation in a friendship started long before, made IN HOT PURSUIT OF A BAD BOY the best of the three stories for me.

The sex scenes are hot and explosive and I loved the shower scene. I also loved how Maddie went about to get the guy she'd loved since she was a teen. She knows he's a tough nut to crack emotionally so she decides to take the physical route and hopes it will be enough for him to realize he wants her for more than a temporary sexual fling and return her love.

I’m starting to sound like a broken record but like in the other two stories the ending was lovely and emotional and a perfect closure to the entire anthology.

Quotes:
Her smile touched a chord in his heart that hadn't been strummed since that last night he'd been with her.

No need for him to know she was all nerves, wondering if he still made her heart lurch and her hormones zing the way no other man ever had.

If he'd played his cards right, he could've been in her bed right now, using his rigid boner for something much more satisfying than holding up his jeans.

Rating: 4 stars


IN GENERAL ABOUT THE ANTHOLOGY:
The setting for this anthology is a destination wedding at a chalet at Whistler, Canada: Alpine Hideaway. The couple that is getting married has an important secondary role in all three stories but they are never truly in the foreground. Every story has one or both main characters who has a link with the bride and/or groom.

This single author anthology is my first encounter with Susan Lyons writing despite having her Awesome Foursome Series on my shelves (I still have to read them) and it was a pleasant first encounter. I really liked her clean, crisp writing style, tinged with subtle humor and rife with hot chemistry and explosive encounters.

The three stories balance each other out in a great way. They all have a different trope and vibe and yet form a cohesive whole aided by the setting and the complex, fascinating characters. Together they form a lovely anthology about finding love that was wrapped up in a fitting epilogue.


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