Hush, by Jo Leigh

>> Wednesday, June 13, 2007

AUTHOR: Jo Leigh

PAGES: 256
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Blaze

SETTING: Contemporary New York City
TYPE: Category Romance
SERIES: First in Do Not Disturb continuity series, apparently constructed around the Hush hotel.

REASON FOR READING: I really like Jo Leigh's books, and after reading the wonderful A Lick and a Promise recently, I was in the mood for another Blaze by this author.

A hotel for first-class sex? That's the buzz in Manhattan on Piper Devon's new upstart boutique hotel, Hush. From romantic nooks to silky sheets to naughty toys and videos in every room, the place positively oozes sex. And that's sending a deep shudder through the stodgy Devon hotel empire. Devon family attorney Trace Winslow has checked in to check out Hush. He has to put a stop now to wild Piper and her sexy antics. Why, she makes Paris Hilton look positively tame! Except before long Trace is making full use of the, uh, amenities with gorgeous Piper. But are the two of them ready to hang a "do not disturb" sign on their suite ? for life?
THE PLOT: Hotel heiress Piper Devon has a reputation as a wild party girl. When she turns 25 and receives part of her inheritance, with the condition that she needs to make a profit on it, she decides to go with what she knows (i.e. hotels) and to take advantage of that wild (and mostly undeserved, obviously) image. The result? A hotel built around sex, devoted to give those who can afford it the perfect place for nooky.

Hush seems set to make a splash, but Piper's father is very definitely not pleased about the Devon name being associated with a hotel where every room offers sex toys and erotic movies (plus equipment to make your own movies, if you so please) and which is advertised with an image of his daughter in bed, seemingly inviting all of Manhattan to share it. He decides to send the family lawyer, Trace Winslow, to make Piper fall in line. If she doesn't remake Hush in the Devon Hotels image, she'll be cut off.

But there's always been a strong attraction between Trace and Piper, and so when she convinces him to let her show him what Hush is really supposed to be like, what the experience would be for couples, the very public it's intended for, the result might not be what Mr. Devon expected.

MY THOUGHTS: In a word: disappointing. I didn't particularly care about the characters and I wasn't sold on the concept of the Hush hotel.

For starters, I didn't buy Piper's image. It seemed to me hard to believe that she could have such an overblown reputation based on basically nothing. I mean, sure, I know tabloids like to make up stuff and put the worst possible interpretation on everything, but come on, this was way too much.

I also had a hard time seeing why I should be rooting for her hotel to be a hit just as she had planned it, without any compromising with her father. The truth is, no matter how much she protested, I felt the Hush concept was a bit sleazy and tasteless, and believe me, I'm not particularly prudish. I suppose the main thing was that it was hard for me to get excited about yet another place where the rich and famous can be pampered for huge amounts of money. I should want this to succeed, why? Because the rich and horny deserve a place like this? Bah.

As for Trace, I never completely warmed up to him. Sure, as I said, I did think he had a point in his arguments about Hush being tacky, but it bothered me that in his determination to force Piper to make Hush into yet another stodgy Devon hotel I saw an element of a childish "since I had to conform to my dad's expectations and give up my dreams, then so do you".

Leigh writes well and I liked that, as always, her characters feel hip and modern, but this one is not her best.



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