by Isabel Sharpe

October 2001
ISBN: 0-373-79015-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin #11
Mass Market Paperback

Do all good girls want to be bad, or just have fun? Do they want to walk on The Wild Side, or just fantasize? Melissa Rogers sort of wants to do both!! Tired of feeling like the white bread of life, she pines for a semi-anonymous experience featuring sexual ecstasy before she has to settle down and be Mrs. Minivan for the rest of her life! (Did she grow up reading Erica Jong?) In a rather complicated set of circumstances, Melissa manages to achieve her desire, and meets Riley Anderson, studly private investigator, who is working undercover – no puns intended here.

To achieve sexual nirvana with Riley, Melissa has to use her neighbor Rose’s apartment (don’t ask – I told you the plot was complicated!), while Rose takes a necessary vacation where she can’t be found (see plot comment above!). Riley and Melissa begin their odyssey of sensual activities, while Rose flees into the arms of – none other than – Riley’s partner, Slade. (Yes, all right, this plot has more curves than a schizophrenic corkscrew!).

However, plot twists aside, this is a fun book! Riley and Melissa are delicious together, especially after Riley realizes she’s not the experienced Rose, but the totally inexperienced Melissa. Rose, on the other hand, has been a “courtesan” in the truest sense of the word for so long, she’s forgotten how to be herself – something Slade intends to rectify at his isolated cottage in Maine. The parallel learning experiences these women go through teach them both a thing or twenty about themselves and their attitudes towards men and relationships. The guys just get frustrated and turned on – you know, regular guy things!!!

If I may be allowed one complaint – this book was too short! The complexity of the plot could have been avoided had the author been in a format where length was unimportant. I felt that the plot rushed its way through the adventure, especially towards the end of the story. The resolution did not permit time for us to fully see what was happening with either couple. It could have been so much more intense, exciting and passionate had there been more time for the story to unravel at its own pace. Authors, please note: let your plots find the right home – this is a wonderful romance, but would probably have been a solid 5 on my review scale with the addition of a few more chapters!!!

Reviewed in March 2002 by Celia.

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