Read with: Amazon Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Sam Donovan
Heroine: Jaine Bright
Date of Publication: July 25, 2000
Started On: August 15, 2010
Finished On: August 16, 2010
OMG! Sam Donovan has shot up right into the #1 position on my absolute hottie alpha male list. I have no clue as to why I don’t remember this story as being a remarkable one. Maybe it has got something to do with the fact that when I first discovered Linda Howard as an author I just “gobbled” up all the books of hers that I could get my hands on. And boy, am I glad now that I re-read this one!!
Jaine Bright works at a computer related company called Hammerstead Technology. And it was a Friday ritual for Jaine and her three friends Marci Dean, Luna Scissum and T.J Yother to meet up at a local bar and grill called Ernie’s after work for a girls-only unwinding session. Out of the four, Marci was living in with a boyfriend named Brick whom the rest didn’t seem to think much of. Jaine who had been engaged three times and all three times the engagements had gone awry, was wary of men at best and steered clear of them. That is until her drunken looking neighbor who had the gall to suggest she quiet down in the middle of the day so that he can catch up on his beauty sleep whilst he comes home every night at the most odd hours banging and clanging his way through the street, making Jaine regret her decision to buy a house in the nice quaint neighborhood she was living in. And she had just discovered that her neighbor who seemed to vibrate with fury whenever she was around was a cop. Whilst T.J was the only one of them who was married, and that to her high school sweetheart, Luna was in an on an off relationship with a football star, who didn’t seem to have a faithful bone in his body.
So it was no wonder that on that particular Friday, when all four of them were bummed out about the men in their lives, as a joke, the four of them came up with a list of qualities that they require their Mr. Perfect to have. Things like being faithful, nice and dependable makes their way to the top of the list whilst the bottom of the list tended to get a little raunchy. A little harmless fun between friends on a Friday night turns into a nightmare when Marci during a moment of weakness shares the list with the editor of the newsletter of their company bringing all four of them into the limelight.
Meanwhile, at the home front, Jaine’s sister Shelley was pissed off at Jaine because her mom had entrusted the care of Booboo, her parents pet cat to Jaine. And David, Jaine’s brother was pissed off at her because their dad had entrusted the care of his vintage car to Jaine rather than David. And when the list leaks out and becomes a national sensation, Shelley and David seem to be equally pissed off with Jaine. And to top everything off, Jaine sights her “detestable” neighbor Sam naked, and oh boy does she fall hard and fast in lust with every luscious inch on display! And it doesn’t help matters when Sam says stuff like if he starts kissing her, it wouldn’t end up being JUST a kiss, which has Jaine all hot and bothered.
The dialogues between Jaine and Sam cracked me up big time! The conversation they have right after Sam and Jaine kiss for the first time (and boy that was one of the HOTTEST kisses ever!) is one to be savored. Jaine has on her mind to torture the sexy cop who seems to occupy her thoughts throughout the day, but eventually the joke is on her when Jaine is as frustrated as Sam is to hit the sheets. And when they do get round to have wall banging sex for the first time, Sam’s reaction afterwards had me laughing so hard!
Things with the list create enough of a spectacle such that Marci’s boyfriend Brick leaves in a huff and T.J’s husband blames her for ruining his image in front of his work buddies. A rift that had been growing for the past two years suddenly become a gulf big enough that their marriage seems to hit the rocks for the first time with T.J unwilling to apologize for some harmless fun she had with her friends.
But the list brings out the worst of a psychotic killer and suddenly what started out as a bit of fun between friends ceases to be that. When Marci is murdered in her home, bludgeoned to death with a hammer and sexually assaulted, Sam’s protective instincts kick in and thus starts a race against time to find the killer who lurks so close by.
I loved every single minute of reading this book. A quick page-turner with witty banter between all characters, a spunky heroine who grabs life by its “balls” and a sexy hero who makes my toes curl just thinking about him with a villain who just managed to creep me out because I was all alone in my room was enough to make my day! Highly recommended for fans of romantic thrillers. You cannot go wrong with this one!