After Hours, by Vicki Lewis Thompson

>> Thursday, July 14, 2005

And now for something hot: After Hours, by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Two strangers hold nothing back...

For years, levelheaded lawyer Eileen Connolly has been fighting a reckless craving—for sex with a stranger. Well, it's now or never. She's about to commit to her boyfriend—a decent guy who's as irrestistible as an unglazed doughnut. All she wants is one wild, adventurous night. After that, she'll be ready to settle into predictability.

Then gorgeous Shane Nichols shows up at Eileen's office to fix the phones. In his tight jeans and tool belt, he's a walking, talking chocolate-glazed, cream-filled eclair. And suddenly one night doesn't seem like enough to satisfy Eileen's craving for something so wickedly delicious...
Well, hot it was, and ended up being pretty romantic, too. However, I wasn't completely comfortable with certain character motivations, so I'd grade it a B-.

The part I had most problems with was the very beginning. I found Eileen's willingness (no: eagerness, actually) to have a fling before she accepts her boyfriend's proposal distasteful. It's wasn't really the fact that she was planning on cheating on him that bothered me (and, in spite of all the technical hair-splitting about whether it was cheating or not, I thought it was), it was that she was so ready to marry this guy, when she felt the way she did about him. She didn't even like the man!

I also wasn't convinced by Shane's immediate decision that this was the woman, that he needed to lure Eileen away from Benjaming because she was the person who'd finally manage to make him relax and enjoy life again. Love at first sight isn't my favourite thing to find in a romance novel, but I can buy it, if it's well done. I can be made to forget the whole "But you don't even know her/him!" thing, but here, that didn't happen. Shane's conviction left me scratching my head.

But after that, once they got started with the actual adventure, most of my reservations faded away. If I call these scenes scorching, I'm falling short of the mark, really. And the best thing is that they weren't at all gratuitous, in that Lewis Thompson succeeded in showing Eileen and Shane falling in love and starting to trust each other, a bit more in every scene.

My happiness with the story dipped again near the end, when Eileen makes some truly moronic assumptions about what Shane is like, but on the whole, I enjoyed myself with After Hours.


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