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Undeniable
by Alison Kent
(Berkley Heat, $15, R) ISBN 978-0425253267
**
Undeniable is an erotic romance that's very heavy on the erotic and very light on the romance. And once the initial impact of the graphic sex wears off, what it mostly is, is boring.

Dax Campbell and his two buddies, known locally as the Dalton Gang, have returned to Crow Hill, Texas after a sixteen-year absence. The three men have inherited a rundown ranch by the couple that took them in every summer when they were kids. Now they need to get the ranch back on solid footing. But hey, guys will be guys, and Dax is looking for a willing female, or maybe five or six. Then he runs into Arwen Poole and decides maybe he'll confine himself to just one bed.

Arwen had a mad crush on Dax back in high school, when she lived over a local bar with her alcoholic father. Arwen now owns the Hellcat Saloon, and she's more than willing to have many rounds of hot sex with Dax, starting ten minutes after they run into each other again. It's graphic, unemotional, and readers are going to hear about Arwen's nipple rings about fifty times, so if body piercings equate with hot, this novel is hot.

Dax decides he's really looking for more than a sex-only fling, but Arwen is sure he'll take off eventually. So Dax proposes an idea: for every hot sexual encounter, they have to balance it with a romantic evening. The problem is, he has virtually no experience with romantic evenings. They'll both need to get over their fears in order to make it work.

That's about it for the rest of the book.There's a secondary romance that is rather sweet but doesn't occupy much space. Mostly it's sex upon sex, leading to more sex. I felt little connection between Dax and Arwen, and neither are particularly deep characters. Arwen comes across as a brash hottie with an itch, and Dax is portrayed as having slept with half of Texas. Fairly large ick factor there.

So what's left is a lot of graphic sex with a little plot around it. It just wasn't enough to hold my interest. I give the author full marks for not shrinking from making it hot, though.

There are two more books planned for the Dalton Gang series, featuring Dax's buddies. Bear in mind this is a reader review, and this just wasn't to my taste. If you're looking for a novel that's heavy on the explicit sex, Undeniable might be right up your alley.

--Cathy Sova


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