REAL MEN DO IT BETTER
by Lora Leigh, Susan Donovan, Lori Wilde, Carrie Alexander

February 2007
ISBN: 0-312-35979-9
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Trade Paperback
Rating:



This anthology features four very erotic stories from some of today's most popular romance authors.


Carrie Alexander's His Body Electric tells the tale of Karen Jaffe and her mysterious guest, Gabe Tomzak. During a severe lightning storm, Gabe seeks shelter at Karen's farmhouse. With the power out and no way to tell if he's dangerous, Karen takes an immediate liking to him. In fact, she's lusting after him. His touch is definitely electrifying. But just what is Gabe hiding?


Carrie Alexander's self-sufficient heroine is certainly an interesting woman, but I couldn't help but boggle at her eagerness in going to bed with a total stranger. That just seemed a tad bit stupid. That qualm aside, Gabe and Karen certainly heat up the pages and his unique issue gives this story a different edge.


In Susan Donovan's Bed and Breakfast, workaholic Kate Dreyfuss has just arrived at the Windwalker Lodge for a spiritual retreat. She's had a string of personal bad-luck lately and needs to get her head on straight. Unfortunately, she arrives only to discover that she missed the retreat by a month and that currently, the lodge is undergoing construction. Jorey Matheny, the lodge's owner, knows Kate needs some personal TLC and that he's just the man to give it to her.


Susan Donovan writes a very sensual story with a hero far from her typical alpha male characters. The contrasting personalities of Jorey and Kate provide for plenty of cheeky exchanges that help pace this story nicely.


For Maggie's Sake by Lora Leigh is decadent sensuality on every page. The death of her criminal husband has left a cloud of suspicion over Maggie Samuels' head. No one seems to believe that she has no knowledge of her husband's nefarious activities, least of all her ex-lover, Joe Merino. But with dangerous men trying to kill Maggie, it will be up to Joe to help keep her alive. Is there any chance that he can soften her heart against him?


Joe and Maggie spar with energy in this passionate novella. Though the danger surrounding Maggie is the plot device used to bring them back together again, it is their hopes of reconciliation that provides the most captivating part of the story.


Finally, Lori Wilde rounds out this anthology with her story, Siren's Call. Annie Graves is helping out at her grandfather's dive shop as he recuperates from a hip replacement surgery. The last person she wants to see is the object of her unrequited teenage love, Duncan Stewart. When Duncan broke her heart at the age of twenty, Annie vowed to move on and forget him, but he's come back with a tempting offer. He's found a map that leads to a very special treasure, the Siren's Call. Can he tempt her into diving for the treasure and perhaps, falling back in love with him?


This is yet another pleasant reconciliation story. Duncan and Annie have a tempestuous history but Duncan gives his all to show Annie that he wants a future with her. While I didn't always agree with some of the tactics he employed, especially the lying, I was still rooting for this couple the whole way through. Passion and the mysteries of the deep sea prove to be a likable combination.


All in all, this anthology is a satisfying collection. There are no real stand-out stories in this book, but then, there are no truly bad stories either. It's one of those collections that are perhaps best left to the used-bookstore or library. It's an agreeable afternoon's read but in the end, a tad unforgettable.


Reviewed in January 2007 by Sarah.