Notorious, by Vicki Lewis Thompson

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Yesterday I zipped through Notorious, by Vicki Lewis Thompson in a couple of hours.

Keely Branscom had always been a little notorious...

A confirmed wild child, she'd shocked the town by posing for a centerfold at the age of nineteen. But what she'd really wanted was to get a reaction from seriously sexy Noah Garfield. Only, back then, he hadn't quite known what to do with her...

Now, years later, Noah's still in over his head with Keely. But when he catches her walking into a Vegas strip joint, he knows that he has to save her from herself. Only, Keely doesn't want to be saved. Instead, Noah's supersexy childhood nemesis seems determined to show him exactly what he's been missing...
Vicki Lewis Thompson has become my favourite Blaze author. All 3 of her Blazes that I've read have been absolutely wonderful, exactly what I was hoping Blazes would be. Notorious was no exception. An A-.

Ok, so here's the plot: In Las Vegas for a wedding, the hero runs into the heroine (who used to be his small town's bad girl) going into a strip club. He immediately assumes she's a stripper, much "badder" than she actually is.

Now, what would an author like, say, Diana Palmer do with this? I probably would have been the perfect excuse for the hero, who obviously has lusted after our heroine since she was a teen, to think she's a whore and treat her like a piece of shit. The reason the plot works in Notorious is that the author went in the exact opposite direction with it.

All the time Noah assumes Keely is a stripper, and at one point he suspects she's a call girl, but at no point does he condemn her and treat her badly for it. All he wants is to help her, and he does his absolute best to resist her attempts to seduce him because he wants her to know that at least one man values her for something other than what she can do for him in bed. Is that sweet or what? He was a really adorable guy, but wow, near the end, when he let go, he had an edge, too.

Actually, I liked both characters. Keely was fun, a woman who had had a healthy, normal sexual history and felt no guilt about it. She wasn't as "bad" a girl as she tried to make Noah believe, but she wasn't a little Miss Innocent either, and led Noah a merry dance when she kept trying to seduce him.

The love scenes were really out of this world, too. I was so engaged in Noah and Keely's story, that I don't think I skipped even one line. And I didn't feel even one line was gratuitous padding: they all served to further the story and the relationship.

Even the plot near the end, about Keely going back, basically, to her small town, was handled well (as well as it could be). This book is a definite winner.


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