The Bachelor's Bed

Blue Flame

Duets 42

Duets 57

The Harder They Fall

Her Perfect Stranger

Hiding Out at the Circle C

Long-Lost Mom

Seduce Me

Seeing Red

White Heat

Who's the Boss

 
Her Sexiest Mistake
by Jill Shalvis
(Signet Eclipse, $6.99, R) ISBN0451-21709-8
***
Warning: You must enjoy a heroine who is into one-night stands, until, that is, she finds a sexy neighbor that she canít keep her hands and lips off of. Her ďno repeatĒ rule goes out the window, but only because of the mind-blowing sex. The emotional attachment comes much, much later.

Her Sexiest Mistake is one of those stories that you want to love, but you canít fully embrace. The sex is explicit, the dialogue snappy and the predicaments somewhat humorous. The savior is the hero and the heroineís rebellious niece. It is barely enough to save the story.

Mia Appleby was raised in the trailer parks of small town Tennessee. Her mother went from man to man and her biggest worry was how she looked and who she could pull home from the local Friday night barbecue. Her sister, Sugar, was following in her motherís footsteps. But not Mia, whose real name was Apple. She hated her upbringing and she got out of town as quickly as she could. She worked her way through college and is now a successful advertising executive with a big firm. She is proud of her home, her Audi with the leather seats and her purely California accent. Her family is never discussed and while she doesnít have many friends, she has had men and her work is her life. Her rule with men is ďno attachments and no repeat performances.Ē Mia is organized and likes her structured life, until a new neighbor on a hot motorcycle moves in.

Kevin McKnight is a schoolteacher and all-around good guy. His weakness is helping people. He runs the local teen center in an old burger place next to the high school. He teaches summer school, simply for the reason that he might reach some of the kids forced to attend who are on the edge of not making it. And he has raised and protected his younger brother, Mike, who is an adult with no real direction. Mike is deaf, a result of abuse from their father. Kevin has always felt guilty that he didnít protect Mike from the hit that caused the injury and to atone he has bailed Mike out of jail after every drunk and disorderly charge that has occurred. Mia discovers Kevin and they have hot, wild sex before either even knows what happens. Then Mia leaves him in the dust, telling him it is over, until night two when she just canít stay away.

Hope, Sugarís 16-year-old daughter, shows up on Miaís porch. Mia has never met Hope, but she has sent her money and presents for years. Hope is a Goth, wearing black clothes, black makeup and lots of silver jewelry. She has been accused of theft, although she denies it vehemently.

What does Mia do now? Sugar wonít take Hope back or come get her. Mia doesnít have a clue what to do. A Goth teen certainly doesnít fit into her life, especially when she is starting to have some issues at work. Mia is too selfish to see this completely from Hopeís side, although she can definitely relate to Hopeís need to get out of Dodge.

What follows is episode after episode of sex between Mia and Kevin. In fact, Mia goes to his house almost every night after Hope is in bed to relieve her stress. Most times they donít make it out of the foyer or kitchen before lust overtakes them.

This tale is funny and engaging when Kevin is helping everyone, including Mia. What ruins it is Miaís lack of awareness of other people and her selfishness. At times, I wondered who the adult was, Mia or Hope. I also wondered what Kevin saw that kept him coming back and trying to form some kind of relationship.

Her Sexiest Mistake is a story about finding out what you what to be and living the kind of life you want. Unfortunately, there is a lot of selfish behavior that has to be worked through before the epiphany is found, which diminishes the heroine. The hero and the secondary players save it from oblivion, but just barely.

--Shirley Lyons


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