Dahl delivers her trademark mix of hot sex and fun, small-town characters in this, the first of her “Girls Night Out” series.
Although Dahl’s website lists this as the first of her “Girls’ Night Out” series (after her novella, Fanning the Flames), the main characters are closely related to 2013’s Too Hot To Handle, the second in the “Jackson, Wyoming” series. In that book, we met Shane Harcourt and his sincerely screwed-up mother. In this book, we meet his brother Alex, who’s just as screwed up, but in a different way.
Alex hasn’t been home since he was a kid. When his father disappeared and his mother ruined both of her sons’ lives by chasing off after every rumored sighting of him, Alex got so fed up he couldn’t stick around any longer. In fact, he’s made a habit of not sticking around. He’s got a great job that means he doesn’t ever have to stay anywhere for longer than six months, and he likes it that way. But when his father’s body turns up right near home, proving that the man never ran off at all, he agrees to go home for the memorial service to help his mother get some closure.
Sophie Heyer has her own cross to bear. Her mother, after all, was the one who disappeared with Alex’s father. And even though it’s true that her mother didn’t abandon her, entirely too many people in town have a “like mother, like daughter” attitude and are willing to foist her mother’s adulterous nature onto Sophie herself. As a result, she’s hidden the sensual side of herself behind prim outfits.
Alex, however, appeals to every one of her worst instincts, and suddenly all those prim outfits cannot hide what she really feels.
This is a fun story, but I don’t think it’s quite up to Dahl’s usual standard. She’s usually an auto-buy for me, and almost everything of hers I read I rate as an A. I wish I could say exactly what doesn’t work for me here, but I think it comes down to a couple of things: first, the impression that Sophie is utterly at the mercy of her lust for Alex. She doesn’t want to have an affair with him, but she cannot help herself. That’s a fairly standard romance trope, but in this situation where she seems to honestly feel bad about what her mother did, it seems unlikely she’d let things get so out of hand.
The second thing that bugs me is that this seems to be a story about sex. Pretty much all sex. There isn’t really enough romance for me.
But if you’re looking for a hot story with a side dish of romance, this may be right up your alley!
A good reason to be bad…
Librarian Sophie Heyer has walked the straight and narrow her entire life to make up for her mother’s mistakes. But in tiny Jackson Hole, Wyoming, juicy gossip doesn’t just fade away. Falling hard for the sexiest biker who’s ever ridden into town would undo everything she’s worked for. And to add insult to injury, the alluring stranger is none other than Alex Bishop—the son of the man Sophie’s mother abandoned her family for. He may be temptation on wheels, but Sophie’s not looking for trouble!
Maybe Sophie’s buttoned-up facade fools some, but Alex knows a naughty smile when he sees one. Despite their parents’ checkered pasts, he’s willing to take some risks to find out the truth about the town librarian. He figures a little fling might be just the ticket to get his mind off his own family drama. But what he finds underneath Sophie’s prim demeanor might change his world in ways he never expected.
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