by Jaci Burton

September 2003
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New novelist, Jaci Burton’s first effort, Passion in Paradise I: Paradise Awakening, is a well-written, humorous, quite delightful story. The characters, Serena and Michael, come across exactly as Ms. Burton wants them to come across. There was no difficulty here in understanding who the author meant them to be and what she meant them to be like.

Serena Graham is a bookish, shy professor of literature from a small, Midwestern college in a small town. She has come to Paradise Resort, a resort that specializes in hedonism for healthy, (extremely open-minded) adults, to capture her sexuality. For years, Serena has only read about great sex and the many different ways to have great sex and is a big fan of erotic crime novels. She readily admits to having pleasured herself after reading a particularly steamy sex scene in a novel or while watching adult pornography. She has saved her money for months in order to come to Paradise Resort and indulge in all, or most, of her deepest fantasies – something she’d never be able to do in her small, college town. Imagine her disappointment (read: devastation) when she gets to the resort and learns that they’ve double-booked her room, that the other guest is already in the room and that the hotel is full.

Michael Donovan is a sexy, cynical hunk who believes women are good for two things: fun and another word that begins with “fu,” ends in “ng” and has three letters in between. He is at Paradise Resort to do research for his next novel – you guessed it, he’s an erotic crime novelist, one of Serena’s favorites, in fact. He is also the other guest who was double-booked in Serena’s room. Since there are two bedrooms, the two decide to share the room for the week. They also, and this is more momentous, decide that they will partner with each other for the various sexual pleasures the resort offers. The results prove to be interesting, to say the least.

Passion in Paradise I: Paradies Awakening is an enjoyable story and it makes one look forward to reading the next installment.

Reviewed in December 2003 by Lisa.

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