Fantasy

Little Miss Innocent

Scandalized!

 
Wanton by Lori Foster
(Harl. Tempt. #752, $4.25, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-25852-6
****
When Lori Foster is on target, it's hard to think of anybody better. In Wanton, she's made a bulls-eye. Her sex scenes sizzle, her characters are so realistic that they seem to step off the pages and the action is nonstop. I rarely read a book in one sitting, but Wanton was an exception. The time flew by as I buried myself in this riveting and sensuous story.

In Beguiled, we met Dane Carter and his love, Angel. Alec Sharpe and Celia Carter were secondary characters but were so compelling that they demanded their own story, and here it is. Dane and Angel are on their honeymoon and have left P.I. Alec Sharpe in charge. Alec's biggest challenge is watching out for Celia Carter, the boss' little sister.

Celia is experiencing heavy-duty guilt. She feels responsible for the death of her older brother Derek. She was engaged to a sleezeball who's now behind bars. Celia knows that she let lust blind her to his shortcomings and has decided that she'll be better off not getting involved. She's not going to let her hormones trick her again.

One of the ways Celia has decided to atone for her sins is to help people in need. With that end in sight, she's going after a scumbag who lures young girls with the promise of a modeling career, then involves them in prostitution. As she's about to make contact with the scumbag, Alec intervenes. Berating her, castigating her, calling her stupid makes no impression. Alec knows that she's determined to bring the scumbag to justice.

Reluctantly he agrees to help, but he has conditions. Alec knows that Celia is attracted to him. He perseveres until Celia finally tells him why she won't get involved with any man. So he makes a bargain. He'll help Celia catch the scumbag but in return he wants her . . . "whenever and wherever I decide. Any way I choose to take you and I'll choose a hell of a lot of ways."

Alec Sharpe is one of the most fascinating, take-charge, sexy, Grade A alpha heroes around. He's absolutely delectable. What makes him unique is that he isn't domineering just to get his own way, but he's genuinely concerned for Celia's safety. She is in over her head, but her desire to expunge her guilt has made her blind to her own safety.

Alec's goal is to make her realize that she doesn't need to hide or bury her sexuality around him. While she made an error in judgment with her ex-fiancé, that doesn't make her a woman of easy virtue. His methods are exciting, scintillating and some of the best intimacy scenes I've read in a month of Sundays. Alec is all male, but he's genuinely interested in Celia and her pleasure. Lori Foster has created a fascinating hero in Alec Sharpe.

Wanton is successful on two levels. The love story between Alec and Celia is wonderfully realized, full and complete, with lots of potent sex scenes. The external conflict, catching Mr. Scumbag, is fast-paced and exciting. My hat's off to Lori Foster for what she's able to achieve in this latest ‘Blaze.' The combination of a sizzling love story and a first-rate suspense tale is an unbeatable combination.

--Linda Mowery


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