December 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19895-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

The opening story of this anthology, Men at Work is the contemporary Slow Hands. In this story, the heroine, Tess Monroe, finds herself back in Wynhaven, her small hometown. After her grandmother passed away, Tess inherited the house where she grew up. The house needs a lot of fixing after years of neglect and she realizes that she will get a better price for it if she has the most obvious flaws fixed. For that purpose, she needs a contractor and the best one in town is none other than Morgan Kane, the man she had left behind the man whose heart she broke so long ago. Although I admit I am not a contemporary romance lover per se, Janelle Denison's stories always engage me and this novella is no exception. This is a story about two true soul mates separated by life and given a second chance to find happiness together. The story is tender and endearing, and the love scenes reflect more than anything, the depth of emotion Tess and Morgan share.

Nina Bangs' Color Me Wicked is the second book of the anthology. The story begins with two cosmic troublemakers plotting together to specifically bring some sexual mayhem to two people. Decorator Amanda Harcourt is hired by the owner of the Castle of Dark Dreams. Conleth Maguire's crew was hired to do the painting. Everything would be fine except for the fact that Conleth and Amanda had been estranged for years, ever since Conleth reneged of the plans he had made with her when they were still in high school. Will they be able to work as a team? This humorous and sexy contemporary set paranormal proved to be quite an amusing read in the best Nina Bangs tradition. With a touch of whimsy and magic, this is one story that had me smiling all along.

And the last story of this anthology is MaryJanice Davidson's The Fixer Upper. Cathy Wyth is finally able to fulfill her dream - to buy her own house. When she moves in, she meets her hunky neighbor too bad that the "wrap" is way better than what is inside. She realizes on the spot that she would never be able to get along with him. Oh well Shortly after she moves, she realizes that the house came with a "surprise" included. She is initially startled, but soon she realizes that the "surprise" in question does not mean her any harm and Cathy comes to grow fond of it. The Fixer Upper is one lighthearted contemporary set paranormal that you will read in a breeze. Not as laugh-out-loud funny as some of Ms. Davidson's previous work, it does have a lot of charm and an ending that gave me the warm fuzzies. Both Cathy and Jack make for endearing characters, you can't help but fall in love with them. Although this is a very nice and enjoyable story, I felt it was a little bit rushed.

Overall I found Men at Work to be a rather enjoyable light and easy read. I thought it was interesting that two of the stories were lighthearted while one was more on the serious/emotional side (albeit not melodramatic at all). Although I expected this anthology to be on the sexy side, one of the stories almost had no sex in it at all, which I admit surprised me, particularly because the author is a fabulous erotic romance writer. This is the sort of book that you would want to bring with you to the beach or when you fancy something light and uplifting.

Reviewed in November 2004 by Mireya.