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book cover Limecello’s review of Veiled Desire by Alisha Rai
Contemporary romance released by Samhain Publishing 2 Feb 10

This is the first book I read by Alisha Rai, but it definitely won’t be the last. Veiled Desire also has so many of my favorite romance themes. The friends to lovers aspect. Then the “forbidden romance” – Leyla is Mason’s best friend’s older sister. I had high expectations going in and Ms. Rai did not disappoint. I can’t wait to read her next book.

Leyla is a special character, in that she seems to be full of subtle contradictions. She’s quite conservative outwardly, but in private (in really private) settings, she’s quite adventurous. I liked that Leyla is so real. She’s a mother figure, and wants to make sure everything is smooth, and resolved, and everyone is happy. Difficult when she’s one of the principle actors in the conflict, as it were, but it’s how her personality is.

I found Mason to be cute and quirky. He’d be a great hero for anyone, but he’s the perfect fit for Leyla, and the fact that he’s best friends with her little brother Sasha makes it priceless. I like that Mason is so determined to pursue Leyla, and that he understands and respects her. Mason is all in from the start, and it’s clear how invested he is in making the romance work, and maintaining all relationships – romantic, and platonic.

I enjoyed Ms. Rai’s sense of humor. It’s a bit wry, and tongue in cheek. The characters can be self deprecating in the best way possible, and they’re just random enough to be refreshing, but not confusing or over the top. It worked for me. Everything is connected, and complete. The characters are realistic, and true to themselves, all changes felt natural, and believable.

The interpersonal relationships are also great – Sasha provides another way to view Leyla, and that givesher a lot of depth. The outraged brother also provides humor, and I love the conversations between Mason and Sasha. The fact that they’re all friends also adds another layer to the story, and more warmth. I’m definitely looking forward to Sasha’s story, which I believe will be out in a few months. If you want to read a fun, sexy contemporary romance, I recommend  Veiled Desire.

LimecelloGrade: B-

Leyla Karimi can’t keep her eyes off the hunky guy living in the house behind her. How could any woman resist ogling Dr. Mason Barrett, especially when he makes it so easy by parading around in his skin and skivvies?

If it was only their age difference, she would have made a move a long time ago. Except Mason is more than a neighbor. He’s her baby brother’s oldest friend. It’s not like they can have a casual fling and walk away in the morning.

Mason’s been doing a little lusting—okay a lot—for quite some time. When he catches Leyla peeking, it’s a sure sign she could finally be ready to heat up his nights with loving. One taste of her lips, though, and he doesn’t want a “little” of anything. He wants it all.

Unwilling to jeopardize a lifetime of friendship for a one-night stand, Leyla is reluctant to throw caution to the wind. When he’s kissing her senseless, though, it’s hard to remember all the reasons why she should hold back…

Warning: Contains a hot hero who doesn’t mind baring it all in the name of love, a heroine who doesn’t settle for less, a sweet romance, steamy sex in a car and more good lovin’ in bed.

Read an excerpt here.