Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Hero: Joseph Matthias Barrington
Heroine: Amanda Sedgewick
Date of Publication: August 1, 2002
Started On: October 29, 2015
Finished On: October 29, 2015
Kathleen O’Reilly landed on my reading radar with her novel Sex, Straight Up, which I just adored. The story was just so much more than what you would usually expect from a Harlequin Blaze novel and it blew my mind enough for me to always remember that read with fond memories. I have forgotten how I stumbled upon this earlier publication from the author. But something made me hit the one-click purchase button and there I was, burning the midnight oil.
Amanda Sedgewick has been in a predicament for more than half her life, and one that has proven difficult to shake off at every turn. That is Joseph Matthias Barrington (Joe)’s brother’s affections. No matter how many times Amanda has tried telling him that she wasn’t the one for him, Dr. Avery Barrington, III wouldn’t hear of it. So desperate times calling for desperate measures, Amanda seeks the help of the rougher around the edges than Avery, the blue-collar variety brother of his to engage with her in an affair that would keep Avery away from her – for good.
Joe knows a bad idea when he hears of one and sees one. But the desperation in Amanda’s eyes makes him say yes – to playing pretend boyfriend until the very first night they get together, Amanda completely blows his mind. From that moment on, Joe, who has given up trying to measure up to the brilliance that is his brother, turns over a new leaf. For him, becoming the sort of man that “deserves” a woman like Amanda is the goal that he hopes to attain.
For some reason, this story made confusing turns that made it difficult for me to follow. One minute, Amanda was willing to indulge in the hottest affair of her life with Joe, the next she was busy trying to prove her worth in her career. Joe was the only one who made any kind of sense to me. And boy, was he deliciousness itself!
The simmering tension between Joe and Amanda is pretty low key until wham, with just one scene Kathleen O’Reilly literally blew my mind to smithereens! You’ve got to read this book, if only to experience the heat that that particular scene alone generated. Whew! Let me just say this. Joe was decadent!
Recommended, if you are up for a confusing story line, but one that nevertheless made me burn the midnight oil.
Final Verdict: Joe’s decadent nature makes this book worth a look!
“We don’t have to pretend, Joe.”
“Yes. We do.”
She flashed him a gentle, comforting smile. “No. We don’t.”
“Yes. We do.”
Amanda moved in closer. “We could do torrid, you know.”
“Hot.” She licked her lips, getting into this femme fatale persona. The courtroom had never been this exciting.
“No.” The denial sounded a little strained.
“I could make you forget your name.”
“You’re Avery’s girl. That’s all I need to remember.”
Amanda held his arm. “Stay, just a little bit longer.”
“Can’t. Look, I’ve got a few hours off on Saturday. I’ll call you and we’ll do something then.”
Just for that, he kissed her again. “Amanda. I’m shocked.” He tried to keep his tone light, but if he sounded like he was completely turned-on, well, there it was.
Her cool blue eyes flashed at him. Damn, she looked good when she was angry. “I don’t want you shocked, I want you aroused.”
Like lightning, he had her pressed against the wall. Locked together from breasts to thighs, he made sure she felt every tortured inch of him. “You don’t think I want you? You think I’ve been killing myself to keep from touching you—” he laughed “—God, I can’t even do that right.”
He cradled her body with his own, grazing his lips over her neck. She rubbed against him, and gentleman that he was, he locked his hands on her hips and pushed against her. His erection was hard and insistent, and she licked her lips, her eyes drifting shut.
Her legs started to shake, threatening collapse, but he held her tight. There was something incredible about the way he smelled. All musky and male. Each time she moved, he answered. Each time he moved, she moaned.
He kissed her neck, whispering in her ear, in slow, exquisite detail exactly what he was going to do to her. What he wanted to do with her right here. Right under the watchful eyes of everyone around them.
She chewed on her lip, ready to scream. When his thumb brushed against her, she felt her muscles shake and spasm. He covered her mouth with his own. That was all she could take. She closed her eyes, and watched the world shatter.
And he kissed away her cries.
One. Two. He was back. “I can’t wait,” he said, taking her lips in a quick kiss.
She fumbled with his briefs. “Now.”
He sheathed himself with shaking fingers. “I wanted this to be slow,” he said, lifting her.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, needing to feel him inside her. “Later.”
He took one step forward, braced her against the door, she locked her hands around his nape.