A Dash of Temptation, by Jo Leigh

>> Tuesday, June 10, 2003

This weekend I read A Dash of Temptation, by Jo Leigh, a Harlequin Blaze.

Tess Norton knows that Dash Black is way out of her league. She just looks after his houseplants, for heaven's sake. But she can't resist a sizzling fling with the sexy media king before she settles for Mr. Ordinary someday.

Dash has never experienced a woman like Tess in his life. Hot…sweet…sinful, she occupies his bed — and his mind — day after day. She's a welcome distraction in theNew York frenzy that he calls home. For Tess, he knows he's just a man to do. Not a man to marry. But sometimes sex and romance can get all mixed up when you least expect it.…

I like Leigh's voice and style. She feels modern, and her heroines are more real and modern than most. This was something I liked in this book, though I had a couple of problems with it. A B-.

What I liked:
- Likeable, modern characters: a genuinely nice hero and a heroine who was pretty strong and driven
- Characters who had interesting occupations (Tess, for instance, owned a plant-care business)
- Very hot love scenes
- The whole book had a romantic, Cinderellaish feel
- Character-driven romance, the best kind. No villain to kidnap the heroine here.

What I didn't like:
- A heroine who at times felt much too star-struck by the hero... which meant a relationship that felt a bit unequal (the flip side of the Cinderella thing I mentioned
- Name dropping. An awful lot of it. The hero had dated (and slept with) Julia (Roberts, of course) and Sandy (Bullock, who did you think), and the author went on (and on!) about the famous characters at the parties Dash and Tess attended.
- The kind-of villain was out of Central Casting: the Rich Bitch, who badmouthed Tess to a potential investor, because.... just because.
- The rush to marriage. These two had a future, but I didn't really think they were at the getting married stage just yet. Why, oh why do romance novels have to finish in marriage?

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