A Review by Wendy
3.5 Very Clever Insider Fun Stars
* * * 1/2
* * * 1/2
It is the age old story... we experience something in our past... either childhood or even more intensely...the teen years...and it marks us deeply. It impacts us as we mature and leaves traces of its stain on every romance and relationship attempted...And if we are honest with ourselves, which is very hard...we, at our most raw... see why all of these things are happening.
Kinley Foster is someone who feels things passionately. She grew up with a strong family bond and was lucky enough to have a great older brother who took time with her. She was unlucky, though, because he also had a cute, smart and aggravating best friend Ian Thompson.
As all of them grew up... she was the little sister they all teased and looked out for...and even when both Kinley and Ian fell and hurt themselves, it was Ian who took Kinley close, holding her and protecting her till others came. It was then, Kinley's love for Ian was born....and grew until a fateful day at 16.
Kinley decided she had to have Ian be The One and went to his place straight after school to declare her love. It became a disaster from the first stumble as when Ian opened the door, to her awkward kiss, to her being turned down (and rightly so as she was 16, he was 22 and trying to do the right thing), to another compromising situation impacting her brother and Ian added to that day. Combine all of the above with undying loyalty to her brother and the scarring was everlasting.
Ian Thompson was not the scoundrel the situation painted him as.... he had his reasons for allowing everyone to believe the worst of him. He knew in his heart what was the truth and talked with his best friend telling him everything is not as it seems. Luckily, they were close enough and had the trust years had built for Ian to be forgiven. These two men remained friends.
We now meet Kinley 10 years later as a school librarian with a goal of becoming a published erotic romance writer. She has been honing her craft, writing her book and making sure it is ready to be pitched to agents. She has arranged for herself to go to the major romance convention in Las Vegas. She has her list of agents to pitch. She is determined to make it all happen.
Only a few things take place to cause some hiccups with her well thought out plan....
Her scheduled plane is grounded...putting her on another flight packed with sex toys party planners.
Her brother, concerned about his kid sister, has Ian meet her plane and attach himself to her as her watchdog.
Her reservation was not booked though the actual hotel but third party causing her to end up having to stay in Ian's suite.
But if all of this isn't bad enough...Kinley still holds Ian accountable for the past and refuses to think of him as anything but a liar. Even though she still has some sort of feelings she refuses to acknowledge besides betrayal...she has insisted her brother never offer up any information about Ian unless she asked ...leading to the huge surprise of what Ian has been doing for all of these years besides being a trust fund baby.
It turns out Ian Thompson is a well respected and sought after Literary Agent. He uses a different name because he never wanted to be tied to his family's influence. It turns out he is on Kinley's well researched pitch list. Even worse...her brother gave Ian her manuscript to read without her knowing...
When Ian hears that Kinley is going to the Vegas convention, he tells the brother he will be there too... putting in motion a chance to make things right with Kinley. It has been something he has wanted from the start. He is conflicted as his feelings are more than protective and looking out for her... he is haunted by the cute, gangly teen offering up her virginity at his door. Of course he was drawn to Kinley then but she was off limits; she was his best friend's little sister and worse under age. For years he has thought about her... followed her career path and life through questions to her brother. All he really wants is to set things right with Kinley.
And one of the ways to do that is to help her with her writing. When informed he has read her work, Kinley digs in and asks... Well... Ian informs her the writing is strong... good in fact...the problem is with the sex scenes and dialog...there is no realism... no connection or chemistry...and advises her to switch to Amish Romance....
What the Hell... Oh, No... Kinley is not having it. She made a New Year's vow...she was going to be free sexually and planned on having some fun right here at the convention. Even her twist of fate with the plane ride opened her eyes to ways to improve her "Me Time" with the purchases she had in her purse. Nope... she told Ian, no Amish sweet romance for her...she would have 4 one night stands to complete her kinky sex education she needed and then apply it to her erotic writing, thank you very much.
Which leads us to one enjoyable book about betting on seduction, hot sex between friends you can trust and realizing deep down you are loving the one you are with...
Lisa Wells took these themes of friends to lovers, romance writer's convention, Vegas, pleasure toys and private sex parties, stirred the pot with trust, truth and acceptance and sprinkled hope for good measure. The result was a love story with a depth of flavor made to make you smile.
The use of the sex toy fairy godmother worked and provided the use of the toys in such a way... where scenes were extremely hot...The way both Ian and Kinley connected worked... so this was no Amish romance...
Both characters went through their arcs and we got to see which one was willing to follow through with their true feelings.
For those of us you love to read romance, may also go to events and signings... this also was a hoot. It had much of that flavor and insider nods we all love.
Enjoy being seduced and give this a try.
A gifted copy was provided by Entangled Publishing, LLC via NetGalley for an honest review.