Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Rude Awakening

Everything I need in a romantic suspense was there in Rude Awakening. I was hooked from the beginning and read to the end in a single day. The plot was fast-paced with good action and suspense, the characters were genuine, the hero was strong, and the romance was passionate. But the most unique, and appreciated, part was the heroine herself. I was completely drawn to Jaimee since she was a down-to-earth woman with a real body that any woman can relate to. (I wanted to hug Veronica Chadwick for giving us a heroine like Jaimee in an erotic love story.) She could be any of us – imperfect and a bit insecure – but likable.

Rude AwakeningWhen the book begins, Jaimee is grieving her late husband. With the help of her best friend, Maxine (great secondary character!), she is trying to move on with her life but knows that as a chubby English teacher trying to pick up the pieces of her life, she’s certainly no hot catch.
Enter Lucas who pushes his way into her life and shows her a passion she has never known. Timid and sexually-repressed, Jaimee is frightened by her strong feelings for Lucas but can’t resist indulging in the sensual acts Lucas initiates. She is certain that men that looked like Lucas couldn’t be interested in women like her and is confused by his advances. Not willing to give him up just yet, she decides to enjoy him while she can.

And enjoy him she did. Some scenes with Jaimee and Lucas burned my fingers while I held the book. The chemistry is hot between them. Assigned to get close to Jaimee in order to investigate her late husband’s business, Lucas knows getting involved is dangerous but can’t help himself. Even though he often used seduction to get the information he needed in his job, he’d never gotten involved with a woman he cared for. And he knew that once the investigation was over and Jaimee knew the truth about why he’d first initiated contact, he was going to lose her.
What makes this such a good book is the perfect balance between the sex and the story.  Seeing Jaimee recognize that she deserves to be loved and pleased by a man is empowering for women who have ever questioned their own desirability. Watching Lucas fall in love with Jaimee and draw her out of her shell is endearing. Chadwick’s characters are well developed, making it easy to be drawn into their relationship. And when they finally declare their love for one another, it is a scene to remember and take inspiration from… that regardless how you look on the outside, what matters is the beauty you possess on the inside.

I give Rude Awakening four chocolate dipped strawberries. Cuddle up with a blanket and a cup of coffee this weekend and enjoy this treat from Veronica Chadwick.
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