Sex Drive, by Susan Lyons

>> Monday, August 15, 2011

TITLE: Sex Drive
AUTHOR: Susan Lyons

COPYRIGHT: 2008
PAGES: 320
PUBLISHER: Aphrodisia

SETTING: Onboard a flight, Hawaii and Canada
TYPE: Contemporary romance
SERIES: First in a series

Prof. Theresa Fallon’s ex-husband gave her good reason to swear off men. But when, on the flight from Sydney to Vancouver, she’s seated beside one of Australia’s ten sexiest bachelors, she has reason to question that decision. It’s a long flight, but thriller writer Damien Black has ways of making the hours fly by! From there, it’s not all that big a step to enjoying a stopover together in romantic Honolulu. For the cynical Theresa and the far-too-experienced Damien, this journey is a special one. To their mutual surprise, they’re on a wild ride to love!
I started this series with the second book, Love, Unexpectedly, and I loved it so much that I immediately bought the other two that are now out. The concept of the series is "Planes, trains, automobiles and a cruise ship", each of the books involving a journey.

Just as her sister in Love, Unexpectedly, Theresa Fallon is making her way to her baby sister's wedding in Vancouver. Theresa is a university professor in Australia, though, so in her case, the journey involves a flight. But because this is a romance novel, that flight is not the sardine-in-a-tin experience most of us will have experienced (and which made me doubt whether the "planes" entry in the series could actually be romantic!). Oh, no, frequent flier Theresa is upgraded to business class, and her seatmate is sexy author Damien Black. And even though Theresa is supposed to be the boring, serious one amongst her sisters, but with Damian, she very definitely is not!

I really, really like Susan Fox/Lyons brand of 100% character-driven romance. Her characters actually talk and get to know each other. So much so that even though this is one of those normally ridiculous plots where characters fall in love after knowing each other for a day, it didn't feel ridiculous at all. That was simply because of the quality of the conversation. They talk about themselves and their history, but they also talk about their worldviews and what's important to them, their aspirations and dreams. Which is probably why I was never bored for a moment in a book that's basically just talking and sex.

And speaking of the sex: Sex Drive is supposed to be erotic romance, but to me it felt like plain, "normal" romance, albeit with quite a few sex scenes (which is why I've categorised it as such above). It's obviously hard to draw the line, but both using my personal definition (erotic romance is when the relationship is developed mainly through the sex) and the one I see used pretty much all over (that to qualify as erotic romance you need to have something "kinky"), this fell square on the "just romance" side. The heat level was sort of like a vintage Linda Howard!

Now, I am NOT complaining about this. In fact, if anything, I thought there was a bit too much sex here. The first few scenes did serve to develop the relationship, but after a while, there didn't really seem to be all that much at stake in them, so, well-written as they were, after a while I found them a slight bit tedious and hoped they'd soon get back to the talking.

I also thought that the almost immediate sexy developments didn't really square with the person Theresa was supposed to be. But then again, I suppose that was the whole point: that with Damien, the previously stuffy and conservative professor wasn't quite as stuffy or conservative. Hmmm, looks like I'm making up my mind as I write this! Yeah, I'm fine with this.

So, interesting characters, a fun plot and a very believable romance = another winner!

MY GRADE: A B+.

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