A Review by Wendy
3.5 Should I Stay or Should I Go Now StarsThis is a case of two strong desires...Those of our Author's and those of our characters...and in many ways, I think they mirror each other. I have read few books by Melissa Foster before and most were relationship, community and love based. I found she wrote from her heart and crafted her stories so the reader would be involved with all the characters, rooting for them and their HEA.
* * * 1/2
* * * 1/2
Ms. Foster also has other series which are more intense... hotter and this new series is cut from that cloth. There are references, links to past characters and their stories, so if you are a reader of Foster... you will be quite pleased to have them appear and be part of the atmosphere.
Our main gal, Amanda, has an epiphany; she is tired of being the conservative, boring one...her sister found her guy... had always been the "Free Spirit" and now it is time for her to take a page from her sister's playbook...Well, if not advise from her sister, then she has the guide, "The Handbook: The Art of Seduction"....
Amanda is sick of boring men who offer boring sex. What she really wants, she can't have...her boss. She is a talented paralegal for an amazing attorney who has hard and fast rules of Never crossing the lines with clients or employees. He has the famous, the rich and any other category of women trying to lure him away from his ethics. It is one of the things Amanda admires about him.
So since she knows she will never have the one man she would do anything for... she clings to this Handbook and decides to throw caution to the wind. She will take charge of her own sexuality... find her own way and have meaningless sex with a stranger... seduce him and be fearless...
Amanda has found just the right forum for her to try this, a Masquerade Bar Crawl.
This is perfect.
She will wear a blond wig, her mask and sexy clothes...she will do all the steps the Handbook has taught her. Nothing will go wrong...she will be courageous, she will own her sexuality...
Then why is she scared shitless....
Mick is on this Masquerade Bar Crawl too, but for totally different reasons. He has no trouble with claiming a partner, satisfying her and then saying goodbye. His reason for this evening is to take his mind off the terrible pain of remembering this date... and the past it brings. This time of year is difficult for him, for the loss, the guilt and he needs a diversion to take him out of his head.
As he looks around the bar, he sees a beautiful blond perched on a stool in an alluring outfit...yet there is an oxymoron going on with her.... she is dressed to attract and does...yet she tugs down the hem of the short skirt revealing legs that go on for days. Her curves are there front and center, yet she tries to adjust herself to seem more comfortable. He is aware she has given him a gaze... held it for a few seconds and then turned away....There ... she has done it again...He is curious as to what game she is playing and continues to watch.
Amanda has had a bit of liquid courage on this crawl and feels a bit more in control...doing self talk and remembering all the steps in seduction her book taught her. She practiced the "look" and tried to hold it for the required amount of seconds...but that man she was gazing at was too much for her...she felt his eyes from across the room and had to turn away. He is just what the doctor order for her... and she is going to figure out this game if it kills her.
As she is trying to come up with a way to attract her hot guy from across the bar, Mr. Loser plunks himself down on the stool next to her. She sits and listens to all the lame pick up comments and give little responses to practice but has no interest. When he starts to get a little too aggressive, Amanda is about to set him straight, Only Mick beats hr to it by coming over and pretending to be her husband who had just stepped away. Grumbling, the loser leaves. Amanda flushed and a bit flustered tells this masked man, she would have handled it just fine.
MIck is intrigued by this woman...she is built for sex, eyeing him for sex... yet there is this innocence and something else he can't put his finger on. Amanda is so sure this is the right man to have her night of sex with a stranger...she tries all the flirt tricks she read about... and shock of shocks, he is responding...
This two are on fire...Mick is not sure if she is a vixen or innocent... she sends both signals and it is intoxicating. He leads her to the men's room and they start to get extremely hot and heavy... so hot he gives her a screaming O....and as things start to progress to the "Main Event", Amanda is ready willing and able...thing screech to a halt....
WTF?????? WHY IS HE STOPPING????
Well, it seems our attorney, Mick, has had a thing for Amanda since she first interviewed for him; he has noticed every, little thing about this girl... and when he recognizes something unique to only Amanda...He knows this cannot happen, especially here...But how does he pull away from the one woman he has wanted for so long...with her wanting this moment too...
What to do...Mick figures a way to convince Amanda it isn't her fault they stopped... because that was where her mind went immediately....no, Mick doesn't want her to think that....He offers to meet her the next night so that their "time" together will be so much better than here in a bar. Amanda agrees and Mick protectively puts her in a cab to make sure she goes home alone.
This is the premise; a woman who is taking charge of her sexuality and has been in love with her boss for years and the boss who has fought his feelings for her since he hired her. She is a romantic and believes in HEA and everything that goes with it. He is man tortured by the way his father is...how he treated his mother and the loss of a sister. He is convinced he is not relationship material. He experienced such pain and guilt with the loss of his sister that he never wants to leave himself open to that type of pain.
This story has a duality. Those first chapters were so hot, steam came off my kindle. The initial idea of him teaching her the ways of seduction etc. were terrific... the first times they were together were perfect for this type series which was a bit more edgy than sweet. All the bases were hit and it worked. It then turned more into this continual undercurrent of fighting emotions, back and forth of how he couldn't be what she wanted and her wanting what he told her he could never be.
This part had meaning and I understood all the points taken...it just seemed to me like the book segued into another, softer type of book. It was understandable but all the sexy dirty talk disappeared...which was part of the spark of this story.
Overall, though, this will be a winner for those who read all of the Melissa Foster series. It had heart, steam, engaging characters and the groundwork for Mick's other brothers to have their stories told, too. With Melissa Foster at the helm, I know this series will be a winner for her fans.
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance, romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa loves to hear from readers! Feel free to send her an email or chat with her on social media.