by Susan Johnson

ISBN: 0-425-19010-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Chloe Chisolm is single again. She realized that she liked her boyfriends’ apartment better then she like him, so now she is at the mercy of her friends again. While leaving a blind date set up by her friend Tess, she is surprised when she runs into Rocco Vinelli in the elevator; she likes her men, tall, dark and handsome and he more than fits the bill. Rocco is escaping from a dinner with the family of his financial backer. Rocco and his brother and sister are launching their new company with his help. Unfortunately, the spoiled daughter, Amy has decided that she wants him and will do anything to get him. The attraction between Rocco and Chloe is immediate and intense. What follows is a weekend that neither one can forget.

Rocco and Chloe are not exactly your typical Susan Johnson hero and heroine. While Rocco is definitely alpha, Chloe is more than his match. I am a huge fan of Ms. Johnson’s work. Both her historicals and this, her second foray into the contemporary world. She has managed to throw me a curve. The roles have been reversed. While Rocco is ready to settle down and be monogamous, Chloe is not sure and clings to her independence with a vengeance, fighting and ignoring her developing feelings for Rocco all the way. I was annoyed at Chloe for a while. She was willing to believe a woman she has never met before, who is obviously vindictive, over the man whom she is developing feelings for without any proof.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first. It had all the elements that I love about Ms. Johnson’s stories, passion, hot sex, sexy alpha men and strong, independent women. But as I thought about it, why is it that the woman is always the one who has to pine away and worry about the feelings of her man, while he blithely goes along fighting his feelings and doing as he pleases. Ms. Johnson has shown that doubt; fear and the inability to trust is not only the domain of men.

Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is funny and passionate. Rocco is a good guy, caught between his responsibility to his siblings and his growing feelings for Chloe. Chloe has her own issues, while I liked her; I thought her actions in response to what she perceives, as Rocco’s betrayal were wrong and a little childish. The ending is a little different, in that, rather than the traditional happily ever after; it leaves you guessing about how their relationship will develop next.

Reviewed in June 2003 by Carolyn.

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