Delilah Montague has risen from shampoo girl to director of the exclusive Spa DeMay, and though many believe she slept her way to the position, it ain’t so. Delilah’s friendship with wealthy businessman Howard “Cash” Bradford was strictly platonic, due to his impotence. When he died and left her the Houston spa, nobody could have been more surprised.
Delilah, product of a relationship between a rather round-heeled party girl and a minister, is struggling for respectability. Between her job, difficult employees, and interference from Howard’s insecure daughter, Lilly, her days are one big headache. Things get worse when her new next-door neighbor, Benjamin Huntington III, decides to remodel his condo – at night, with opera playing full blast.
Delilah helps Benjamin after he’s mugged in the parking deck one night. She gets him upstairs and puts frozen peas on his swollen face, then reads him the riot act and orders him out of her condo when she finds out he’s not only her annoying neighbor, he’s one of the Houston Huntingtons, and a Harvard-educated lawyer to boot. Why Delilah has such a bug up her backside about the Huntingtons isn’t detailed, so she ends up acting like a shrieking bitch to a guy who’s just been beaten up by thugs.
Things don’t improve for Delilah when a young woman arrives and dumps a baby on her doorstep, insisting the child is Howard’s – thanks to Viagra – and she can’t care for it. I didn’t realize one could sign over custody of an infant to a complete stranger, and without said stranger’s knowledge, but hey – this is romance land. Before Delilah can say “diaper bag”, she’s stuck with a screaming six-month-old and no idea how to care for him. Enter Benjamin, who really is a prince of a guy. He helps Delilah with little Willy, and thus they are thrown into closer proximity.
Delilah isn’t about to give up the chip on her shoulder, however. She’s not good enough for Benjamin, his family would never accept her, he can’t really love her, blah, blah. Meanwhile. Lilly falls for Benjamin’s straight-laced brother, and Delilah’s secretary is half in love with a younger man who’s also a spa employee.
Benjamin is a fine character, but the same can’t be said for Delilah. Her character was inconsistent at best. She says wants to be taken seriously and attain respectability, yet much is made of her “great body”, and her dress code is strictly American Hottie – shirts that cling “like air”, and tight, very short skirts. Men are forever “eyeing her appreciatively”, etc. Fine, great, we all love a heroine who looks good, but why have her longing for respect and then dressing like a Barbie doll?
As for the pity party, Delilah carries it on way too long. Benjamin shows he’s interested in Delilah, and since he’s doing it surrounded by dirty diapers and baby bottles, one has to believe he’s sincere. Delilah will hit the sack with him, but won’t let herself become emotionally involved because he’s got money and a pedigree, and he could never really love her, etc. Guess sleeping with a rich guy on a short-term basis is another of those “respectability” maneuvers I just didn’t get.
When She’s Bad is fast-paced and the sex is fairly steamy, but the romance left a lot to be desired.