Some Like It Sizzling

 
Too Wild by Jamie Sobrato
(Harl. Tempt. 997, $4.50, R) ISBN 0-373-69167-1
****
Impersonating twin stories are a staple of romance plotlines and are usually predictable. Too Wild throws in a couple of twists that help this rise above the norm for a fun and romantic tale.

Kathryn and Jenna Calvert were traditional identical twin sisters and their mother entered them into beauty contests from the time they were little. Kathryn loved it and wanted to win badly. Jenna hated being paraded and dressed in prissy dresses like her sister. When teenagers, Jenna rebelled and ruined it for them. They have been essentially estranged ever since. Kathryn is now about to be married into a high society family with her dreams of helping open a women's and children's center her life's work. But a bad Botox treatment leaves her in desperate need of her sister.

Jenna is a freelance magazine writer who specializes in the how-to sexual stories popular in many women's magazines. She is working on a new story about corruption in the beauty pageant industry when her life takes a weird turn. First, she is being threatened about doing the story and her apartment is ransacked. At the same time, a handsome hunk of a man named Travis Roth shows up at her door offering her $25,000 to impersonate her sister for two weeks until the wedding while the swelling goes down. Jenna has made her life as different from Kathryn's as two lives can be. She lives in a lower class apartment in San Francisco; she has died her naturally blonde hair red and wears it long to Kathryn's classic styling; and she dresses and acts like a happy go lucky free spirit. But for $25,000 she will do anything. Her only condition is that if she and Travis happen to feel the attraction and provide "stress relief" for each other, there is nothing wrong with that.

Travis is instantly attracted to Jenna and her completely opposite nature. Normally staid and dependable, Travis is only doing this to insure the family is kept from scandal and his brother Blake, the soon-to-be groom, doesn't guess a thing. He fears that Blake will blow the whole deal. Kathryn has some important meetings about the women's shelter coming up and Travis agreed to help her with Jenna so that none of this blows up. Travis feels that their business, Roth Investments, will suffer if there is any hint of instability from Blake and Kathryn.

Jenna is at times outrageous, sexy, risk-taking and fun loving. She has built her life despite disapproval from her sister and parents (who wanted her to be like Kathryn) and she is happy. She is determined to see this through, enjoy her time with Travis and run with more money than she has seen in a long time. But she stumbles when she falls for Travis.

Travis, on the other hand, undergoes a life alternating experience with Jenna. She frees him from feeling so restricted and offers him a chance at really living life. He has always been the responsible brother while Blake has been the flake. But Jenna and he connect in more ways than just the physical.

What made this fun were the adventures and the sexual interludes the two have. They are hot for each other and they have hot sex. Travis opens up and Jenna enjoys herself. Yet they connect emotionally too. Neither wants to admit it, but they become friends and comrades as well as lovers.

There is lot to nitpick about this story if one wanted to. Some of the scenarios are fairy tale-ish like how Jenna just eases into Kathryn's life, memorizing names and pictures and then never missing a beat. Travis' transformation would only happen in a romance, but hey, it is fun to watch and fits with the tone of the story. The mystery of who is trying to ruin the story Jenna is working on hangs in the background until it is needed for a climactic ending, but again, it fits with the rest of the pacing.

Too Wild is a fun, entertaining romantic tale with lots of hot sex, plenty of fun and activity in a scenario that can only happen in books. But what better way to spend a few hours of relaxation when you want to get away for a while?

--Shirley Lyons


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