by Jodi Lynn Copeland

April 2006
ISBN: 0-7582-1480-4
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Trade Paperback

After Hours by Jodi Lynn Copeland is a collection of novellas. Each story features a heroine who has to learn to be her true self if she’s going to find not only a satisfying sexual life, but a stable loving relationship with not only her mate, but with herself as well.

Jillian Lowrey has tamed her wild side into stern submission. It takes quite a bit of the story to find out why Jillian finds it necessary to turn from a loving sensual woman to an almost perfect ice queen. The ice begins to melt when Jillian meets Brendan Jordan but will there be a total thaw?

Brendan and Jillian each think that they are meeting is strictly by chance, and when the wedding reception they are attending ends so will the fact that they know one another. However, the work week brings them together yet again. Neither is necessarily thrilled to realize that they will be not only working in the same place, but also competing against one another for the same job.

Night Moves is a story that will raise readers body temperatures even if we were not in the midst of a hot, hot summer. I believe Night Moves was a good beginning to After Hours.

My personal favorite story was Night Secrets. Night Secrets is the story of Jillian’s friend Tawny. Tawny has been pretending to be a wild sex kitten, but in reality is more a stay home and curl up with a good book type of woman. At least that is what she believes, until she meets Andrew Korben.

Andrew has infiltrated the ad agency where Tawny works because he has been led to believe that she is trying to sabotage his brother-in-law, Rick’s fledgling agency. He does not care for Rick, but as he is married to Andrew’s sister Joyce, he is willing to try to help.

He pretends to be a computer geek and asks Tawny to help turn him from geek to Greek God. She willingly agrees to help, but neither expects the lessons to turn into something personal between them.

Here I find it hard to say more without giving away more of the story. I enjoyed Night Secrets, and was sorry to see the end. I found Night Secrets to have a wonderful blending of romance, suspense, and humor. I would have enjoyed this novella being a full length story, and believe that there could have been enough to expand it to a full-length story.

The final story is called Night Illusions and is the story of Joyce Donovan. She has been truly hurt by her marriage and subsequent divorce. Her self-esteem never strong to begin with is at an all time low. She believes the way to build that self-esteem is to turn her self into a true sex kitten. This is a dangerous game, and she is lucky that she finds a true hero to play it with her.

Night Illusions was the story that I liked the least. I found it hard to suspend my belief that a shy bookstore manager would come so far out of her shell as to go to the extremes that Joyce did to prove to find her sensual side, and her self-confidence.

Overall, I enjoyed After Hours. I did have some difficulty getting interested in the book, but once I got interested I did find it hard to put down. Again, I need to tell you that I thought the best of the three stories was Night Secrets.

Reviewed in August 2006 by Sandi.

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