Harlequin Connection: #956 in the now-sadly-defunct Harlequin Temptation line
Publication Date: December 2003
How Long It's Been In The TBR: Probably since December 2003. I'm sure I bought it brand-spankin' new from eHarlequin, being the ho for Christmas-themed books that I am. Don't ask why I remember this, I just do. Chalk it up to having no life.
Plot: Olivia "Liv" Kearns is under a lot of stress. The new CEO of the PR firm she works for is determined to attract a younger, hipper clientèle. Liv, while being good at her job, is young (in her late 20s) but wouldn't know hip if it smacked her in the face. Needless to say, her job is anything but stable. On top of that, her parents have announced they're divorcing on the eve of their 30th anniversary and her younger sister is getting married. Into this chaos waltzes Nick Matheson, a Chicago sports writer trying to get a scoop. He needs an "in" with a reluctant interviewee, who just happens to be a client of Liv's firm. Liv and Nick had a relationship that fizzled in college. She fell head over heels in love, he wasn't looking for commitment. In a nutshell? He got spooked and unceremoniously dumped her. But that's all water under the bridge now, right?
My Verdict: Lordy, how I miss the Temptation line! This story is everything I love about category romance. The conflict, characters and story are believable. We're talking real life here. Two college kids who were crazy about each other, but the timing was all wrong. He never forgets her, and she does her best to forget him. Better still? The author never panders to her readers by using cliches. Liv has just broken up with a boyfriend who told her she was frigid. Does she now think she's "bad" at sex? Of course not! She tells herself that he was the problem. She knows what "good" sex is and she wasn't having it with that loser! And the ending? What an ending!
He expected her to ask for particulars. Should they live together? Get engaged? Get married? Instead, she only smiled.Oh thank you baby Jesus! No sped up courtship! No heroine squirting out triplets in the epilogue! Could my life possibly get any better?
Final Grade = B+. If you see this one lying around that the UBS, snap it up. It's very, very good.
Final Note: Anyone know what the heck happened to Jennifer Drew? They're actually a mother and daughter writing team whose backlist is largely populated with Harlequin Duets (a line that never did much for me - sorry!). I'd love to know if they're both still writing, together or separately.