All I Want
For Christmas

Duets 23


< Gabe

In Too Deep


Little Miss Innocent






Sex Appeal by Lori Foster
(Harl. Tempt.# 829, $3.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-25929-8
Author Lori Fosterís newest is the first book in the Temptation lineís ďHeatĒ promotion. The editorís note at the front of the book describes this series as ďhot, passionate reads,Ē but I was unable to discern much of a difference from this and the ďBlazeĒ books, so Iím still uncertain what the distinction is. All I know for sure is this is a terrific book that I devoured in one sitting.

Shadow Callahan has just been added to my list of favorite heroines. Sheís independent, honest to a fault, funny, and occasionally stubborn. Sheís the proud owner of a new shop called Sex Appeal. A shop that sells fun, sexy items. Nothing sleazy, just things like sexy board games, lingerie and T-shirts with sexy slogans. Like the one Shadow is wearing when Brent Bramwell first sets eyes on her.

Shadow is up a ladder, hanging new blinds when Brent spies her through her shop window. Or more accurately spies her sweatshirt emblazoned with the logo, ďYouíve been a bad boy. Go to my room.Ē Intrigued, he moves closer to the window, promptly slips on the ice and lands flat on his back. Shadow runs to help and the fun begins.

Unbeknownst to Shadow, Brentís the owner of the company that holds the lease on her business. Brent has had some bad luck with women in the past who are only interested in him for his money and he has no intention of letting this fascinating woman know how wealthy he really is.

Yes, this is a tired old plot, but it is also proof that in the right hands a talented author can make the phone book interesting and Lori Foster is that author. I connected with these people from the start and I cared what happened to them every step of the way.

Thereís also a sinister undercurrent that runs through the story. Someone is stalking Shadow and he is becoming increasingly desperate when it becomes apparent Shadow has another man in her life. This brings out the protective side in Brent that he was unaware existed.

Brent is your typical stuffy, wealthy bachelor whoís never learned how to love, but is drawn to this most unusual woman from the start. And Shadow, who stubbornly refuses to let anyone tell her what to do, cannot understand why she is allowing this infuriatingly dictatorial man make decisions for her.

Thereís a lot happening in this short book and the pacing is flawless. Iíve read many Lori Foster books and I was left with the distinct impression she was having as much fun writing Shadow and Brentís story as I was having reading it. I especially enjoyed all the interesting items Shadow carried in her shop, it was always a treat to discover what logo would appear on her clothing next.

After re-reading this review, Iíve decided to change the 4 heart rating I initially awarded it. Iím going to miss these characters, especially Shadow and her t-shirts. I donít know what I was thinking - itís been ages since Iíve been so completely drawn into a category book. Thereís no doubt this is one rates 5 hearts.

--Karen Lynch

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