by Suzanne Macpherson

December 2002
ISBN: 0-380-82103-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Risky Business is anything but predictable. Despite the fact that you know the hero and the heroine will inevitably end up together, it's the events leading up to their happily ever after that make this book entertaining.

Marla Meyers is a model on the rise. Beautiful, intelligent and sweet, she's on her way to the top if she can keep her face intact. Hard to do when she seems to be so accident-prone. When her agency insists she take out an insurance policy on her face, Marla reluctantly does what they ask. Enter, Thomas Riley. Tom is an insurance agent living in the past, when men were men and dames were dames. A fashion non-contender, he's forced to deal in Marla's high fashion world for a bit, making sure the face he's insured doesn't come to harm.

Risky Business is a pretty good read. Not the laugh out loud, fall down, make-your-face-hurt funny book I'd heard it would be, but a decent story. The characters are likable, although Tom's intelligence left a bit to be desired. Marla is marvelous, although her refusal to even consider Tom's theory that her accidents may not really be accidents was sheer stubbornness.

The characters surrounding Tom and Marla are interesting, to say the least. From Anton, Marla's best friend and hairdresser (a person I'd have found more interesting if he hadn't been the stereotypical gay hairdresser) to Paris, another of Marla's friends whose utter bitchiness should have earned her a swirly, PMS or not. Tom's son was an utter delight! Every scene he was in lived up to some of the endorsements this book has gotten. His presence took Tom out of the role of slightly clueless insurance man slash investigator and put him into the role that was a more appealing fit, that of attentive father. It's a role he shines in. It's then that I could see Tom and Marla making it together.

While not hands down a keeper, Risky Business wouldn't be a waste of money. In fact, even after reading it I can still say I'd buy it. It's introduced me to a writer whose work I'd like to read more of. One who obviously has some experience flowing with the quirky turns life tends to throw at us and transfers that experience on to her characters.

Reviewed in January 2003 by JaToya.

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