A Touch of Silk, by Lori Wilde

>> Friday, March 21, 2003

The last book I read this weekend was a Blaze, Lori Wilde's A Touch of Silk (excerpt).

Manhattan reporter Kay Freemont spends her days writing about sex — and her nights wondering what all the hype is about. So when sexy, single Quinn Scofield places an advertisement in her magazine for a wife, Kay decides it's way past time she found out!

Although Kay knows she's too repressed to live out her most forbidden fantasies, under Quinn's imaginative tutelage she becomes more in tune with her own sensuality. This city girl thinks she has time for only a red-hot fling — unless Quinn has his way, and she accepts his offer of a lifetime of incredible sex!

I was a bit doubtful about the personals thingie, but it turns out this book wasn't about what I thought it would be. I don't know what you think after reading the back cover blurb I quoted above, but I thought the story would be that journalist Kay would be investigating the "modern-day mail-order bride" phenomenon, or whatever she'd call it, and so would answer Quinn's ad as a way to do research. So, she'd go to Alaska (oh, the fact that it's set in Alaska is advertised by a sticker on the front cover. What are the odds that I'd read 2 books set there the same weekend?) and misrepresent herself to him. She'd be thinking she was there to see if he'd do as a husband, she'd be there for research, but wouldn't be able to resist a hot little affair. I had it all figured out, see?

Boy, was I wrong. Kay meets Quinn on a plane, where they lust after one another but that's it. Then they meet again at the magazine she works at, because Quinn is there to see about placing his ad (a full page ad) there. Kay's boss thinks it might be an interesting story, and sends Kay to Alaska to do research (all aboveboard, Quinn thinks it's a great idea and offers to show her around). I must say I liked this much better than what I'd imagined.

I had lots of fun at the beginning when the author described the men Kay had a secret weakness for, versus the guy who was actually her boyfriend. Her ideal guy would be:

... burly outdoorsy men. Strong, physical men, who played contact sports and repaired their own cars. Men who chopped wood and roasted raw meat over fire pits. Men who'd fight to the death to protect their women."
Sorry, but yuck. You can keep those guys, Kay. I want someone like the much-derided Lloyd:
"(a) brainy, pacifist vegetarian, who didn't even own a car, much less know how to work on one"
Now that's a man after my own heart. Problem is, as soon as Wilde described him, I just knew he'd turn out to be a bitchy, whiney, wimp, who'd probably be cheating on her. He was. It's disappointing, really, when the author takes such an obvious easy way out.

Ok, enough going off in tangents. The book itself was likeable enough, but I'm not a big fan of the heroine asking the hero for sexual tutoring angle, so I didn't get to enjoy the very nice sexual tension as much as I would have otherwise. And there was a bit too much emphasis on the goodness of small-town life for my taste. Quinn was the perfect guy, but sadly underwritten, and Kay was basically just a bunch of sexual neuroses. Hmm, it seems I liked this even less than I thought I had!

Still, this one made for easy reading. Just one problem with the style: breaks (that is, white space between one line and the next, I don't know what that's called) signifying changes in point of view. Sorry, breaks for me mean that either there's a change of scene or that time has passed. It's a little disconcerting when they use them like they do here. I think I've seen this in other Blazes, so maybe this is a new Harlequin house style, I don't know. Hate it, it throws me right out of the story.

Anyway, this story was kinda ok but unremarkable. My grade is a C+.

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