Rich girl meets poor boy; good guy rescues bad girl in Joanne Rock's not to be missed second Harlequin release Silk, Lace & Videotape.
In the course of seeing her cheating fiancÚ arrested, Amanda Matthews, a young fashion designer, manages to lose not just her good sense by falling in lust with the arresting officer, Duke Rawlins, but also losing a video tape meant to seduce her now ex-fiance in finally becoming her lover.
Duke, who is the lucky guy to discover and view the lost striptease tape does not just view it repeatedly but also keeps it off the list of collected evidence, jeopardizing his upcoming promotion and the arrest of the New York garment district Mafia. Not just the ex-fiancee of a now convicted gangster but also the daughter of a famous designer who is a little too friendly with the Mafia, Amanda, socialite and boarding school educated, is definitely the wrong choice for any serious entanglements. Duke wants his promotion, wants to do his best to be worthy of his grandfather's memory. But an instant sexual awareness of a mob princess is definitely not part of his plan, especially as he's been burned before by that sort of woman - a woman looking for thrills with a New York cop. And Amanda most decidedly is out for an adventure, craving independence and respect from her father and the fashion industry, the buyers and critics.
It's a story about trust and loyalty, it's about gaining confidence through loving and being loved. Amanda might find fun and sizzling adventures with Duke but is given more than just that. He sees behind her facade and shows her a New York that is part of her up to then undiscovered inner self - wild and surprising. In refusing to give her up, when misunderstandings and doubts settle in, I got to like Duke's determination and his honest weaknesses even more. Duke is a tough guy and he's allowed to behave like one. He is not perfect but he is sexy, lovable and very romantic. Think ice creams in the park, sizzling interludes beneath the stars and a love for wacky ties.
I probably would have enjoyed a more thorough glimpse into the guilty pleasure of voyeurism and I wouldn't have thought that to be too risky for a Blaze, after all, the new Harlequin line is meant to go further isn't it? Hopefully, with encouraging sales figures and reader responses, the editor and the writer will find in themselves the courage and the sense of adventure to give their fans this little bit more that is needed to make a good read an exceptional one.
Silk, Lace & Videotape is not as hot as expected and it leaves a couple fantasies unfulfilled - still, with the secondary characters compelling enough to warrant their own story and taking over Joanne Rock's upcoming Blaze releases, I'm more than willing in giving Joanne Rock's stories another, and another, and another try.