by Julie Hogan

January 2003
ISBN: 0-373-76500-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette
Mass Market Paperback

For starters, the title of this book, Tangled Sheets, Tangled Lies, by Julie Hogan is very appropriate and exceeded my expectations. Although only 180 pages long, the author managed to keep my attention through a series of clever twists and turns to the plot that were both funny and believable.

I really enjoyed how the hero, Cole Travis, who sadly was trying to find the son that his wife gave up for adoption, kept getting deeper and deeper into trouble by not telling the truth behind his insertion as a handyman into the heroine, Lauren Simpson’s life. Tracking down his son had led him to this woman, and he intended to sue to get his son back. But somehow the time never seemed right and not only was he helping her start a new life by readying her antiques shop, but every time she faced a problem, he was the hero to the rescue, even if he was secretly the problem! It was rich!

Of course the characters were incredibly beautiful, and through skillful writing they became very human. With phrases that described the emotion felt by Cole, like, “regret sidled in and took up permanent, virus-like residence inside him,” and, “guilt as heavy and sobering as a battering ram punched him square in the chest,” coupled with good dialogue and sensual tension, I found myself easily turning page after page.

The setting - a small town where a world famous lingerie model could fit right in and a handyman new to town isn’t a threat - was a good choice. The fact that she was going to sell antiques and liked to research the story behind each because she lacked a history in her own foster childhood, was endearing. There was also well placed humor in the form of a promise that Lauren made to abstain from sleeping with men for a period of one year. Of course it was no problem until the gorgeous hunk, Cole, arrived, and she started counting the days knowing knowing she wasn’t going to make it to a year. Humor when Cole hit his finger with a hammer because his mind was “blissfully numb by the activity,” and the thought of sleeping with Lauren, made me laugh aloud. I also loved the character of the little boy, Jem, and the scene where Cole realized Jem was his son and cherished his first, long awaited re-union.

From beginning to end, it was fun to watch how Cole managed to go from one little lie, that of being a handyman to Jem’s mother, to bigger and bigger lies, and to the point of the quandary to get his son back without hurting his lover, Lauren.

This could have been a very ordinary read, but due to the talent of the author, it was very enjoyable and I highly recommend spending some time between these sheets!

Reviewed in April 2003 by Suemarie.

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