What’s Your Pleasure?
by Julie Elizabeth Leto
(Harl. Tempt. #884, $3.99, R) ISBN 0-373-25984-0
****
Warning: Hot sex, loads of sexual innuendo, humor and two really interesting characters will be found in this book and it just might be one of the most erotic tales you will read all year.

What’s Your Pleasure?, with its simple premise, is fun and engaging from start to finish. Devon Michaels is a successful, paperback mystery writer who has been offered the chance at a hard cover erotic thriller. If she can pull this off, she will receive a huge bonus and financial security, which she has earned all by herself. But her editor and her best friend Syndey have laid out the bad news. The erotic part of her writing is dull.

What to do? Devon is thirty something and has long been without a man. She has concentrated the last 18 years on her writing and on raising her sister Darcy’s daughter, Cassie. Darcy, you see, is a superstar rock singer and was too busy to raise Cassie herself. So Devon has given of herself, even being named as Cassie’s guardian. Devon loves her life, but this has left little time for men and other interests. Now that Cassie has graduated and is off, Devon wants to see if she can truly make it on her own.

In order to learn about police work, Devon takes a class at the local college on policing. Teaching that class is one cute cop, Jake Tanner. Jake is also single. He is at a crossroads in his career, having been an undercover cop for years, and feeling the need for more. He is on a suspension after being accused of beating a suspect. Jake fears he may have a hidden explosive temper, and isn’t sure he really wants to return to the force.

So here’s the set-up. Devon needs some erotic experiences to liven up her writing. Jake is attracted to her and even asks her out. So, why not have a little fun…sex, no hang-ups and no attachments. Surprising them both, Jake agrees. And the teaching experience begins.

What is fun about this is the lighthearted manner that these two enjoy each other. While they enjoy, they explore feelings and learn about each other. What starts out as an affair quickly gets complicated in their minds. Honesty is one of their strengths, so they don’t get bogged down in nonsense. These two adults just try to figure it out as they go.

If I have one complaint, it is that all this happens in a very short time frame. Luckily for all, the amount of sex is balanced with the discussion and emotional learning they engage in with each other.

Leto has a unique, refreshing writing style that keeps the story moving, bringing erotic images to new heights, while still being romantic. Even though a large number of pages are written to capture the sex, the characters come through clearly. I learned more about these two than one often does in a full length contemporary novel.

Jake and Devon are both written as more than sex fiends. Devon is searching for herself and trying to define her sense of independence. Jake knows he loves police work, but also realizes that he has some unresolved issues that might just be tearing him apart. Their discoveries about themselves lead to greater depth in their relationship. And a relationship is what they have, despite their initial intentions.

Put What’s Your Pleasure?, one of the HEAT series, on your summer reading list today.

-- Shirley Lyons


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