Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekend Reading Part I

My reading this past week has varied wildly; I’ve hit quite a few subgenres in my quest to read a little something by most of the authors in the collection. This past weekend I not only finished up an older Jayne Castle, I also worked my way through Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The Dream-Hunter and finally got to the last half of Jasmine Haynes The Fortune Hunter. The latter is a contemporary erotic romance and the former is paranormal crossing between modern day Greece and the Kenyon’s well established world of the Dark Hunters.

In The Fortune Hunter Haynes takes a fairly standard storyline and turns it into a very sexy love story. Faith Castle is the only child and heir apparent to Castle Heavy Mining, but the curvaceous kindergarten teacher wants nothing more than to work with children and start a family of her own. Connor Kingston is an up-by-the-bootstraps executive in search of a company to run; having been orphaned as a teenager and emotionally scarred by the foster care system, Connor views marriage as a business arrangement. Now he just has to convince Faith that by getting married, they can each provide the other with exactly what they need to get the life that they want. The insecure Faith is hesitant. After years of fending off men who professed their love for her in order to get their hands on the family company, she appreciates Connor’s honesty. She also finds him very attractive and genuinely likeable, but doesn’t want to be humiliated by a philandering spouse. Connor finds Faith absolutely delicious, and is happy to assure her of complete fidelity as long as she is willing to engage in a no holds barred sex life. The two strike a bargain, and in spite of her father’s protests, they marry. As Faith’s confidence in her own appeal grows, and as Connor learns to trust in her support, what started as a mercenary arrangement becomes a real love story. Though Faith’s father and various other characters try to break up the newlyweds, Connor and Faith manage to stick together and eventually triumph.
This story is much more than a collection of hot sex scenes strung along a tired plotline. The main characters are well drawn and truly likeable; I really felt for Faith as she worked her way through her body image issues and gained confidence. Connor is smart and sexy, and the secondary characters are vivid. The love scenes – and by midway through the book they are truly love scenes – are steamy and explicit, so if you prefer euphemisms and a discreet fade to black this is not your book. Otherwise, it’s a very satisfying twist on a tried and true plot. The follow-up, Show and Tell, is the story of Faith’s friend Trinity; it looks equally good and is also available from the library.

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