Sunday, February 15, 2009

REVIEW: "Flirting with Temptation"

Title: Flirting with Temptation
Author: Kelley St. John
Rating: 4 stars
Babette Robinson changes careers and lovers as easily as she changes hairstyles. But after losing her last job, she's beginning to see that her feather-to-the-wind mentality can be unsatisfying in the long run. She's been helping a string of friends solve their relationship problems, and when one pal points out to Babette that she could make a career out of curing people's romantic ills, she decides to dub herself "The Love Doctor" -- a match-mender-for-hire.
Living in Birmingham, Alabama, with its elite class of wealthy women, Babette has access to the ideal clientele, including the well-known Birmingham socialite Kitty Carelle. Having unceremoniously dumped her lover, Kitty now regrets her hasty decision and wants him back. Trouble is, the man Kitty seeks to recapture is none other than Jeff Eubanks -- Babette's ex! The carefree Babette of three years ago had written him off with a shrug, yet now she can't help remembering that he did give her the absolute best sex of her life...not to mention his charm, good looks, and brains.
To save her newfound career and prove she can stick with something--if not someone--Babette is determined to mend Kitty and Jeff's broken relationship, but Jeff has other plans. He was crazy about Babette when she suddenly bailed on their relationship, and after Kitty did the same he became convinced that no woman can ever commit. To prove his point, Jeff issues Babette a challenge: no flirting for a week, and he'll talk to Kitty. That is, if, after seven tempting nights on the beach with Jeff, it's still with Kitty that she wants him to reconcile.
Flirting with Temptation, one of the books that I recently received from a publisher (see my last post for my happy ranting!), was a pleasant surprise. As I've said many times before, I'm not usually into contemporary romances, chic lit, whatever tag you want to place on the books. My shelves are filled with mostly paranormals and historicals, and that's about it. When I venture into the 'other' genre of romance, it's not very often that I find myself enjoying the book. This is one of those rare ones that I found to be a fairly pleasant read.
Although the characters were not my favorite (For one, I had a problem with the heroine's name being "Babette". No offense to the author, who came up with it, or to any ladies out there with that name, but it just didn't quiet cut it for me. It reminded me of Babette, the neighbor from the TV series Gilmore Girls, and every time I'd see the name in the book, well, it just kind of ruined the 'sexy' effect for me), they were not horrible either. I just wish that we had been able to connect a bit more with them through the story, especially Jeff and Babette. It seemed like we found out only the bare minimum about them, and that was it. Of course, most of the people introduced in this book gave me a good chuckle now and then, but still, nothing very deep.
The story line was okay: not my usual thing (kind of tame, but, again, it's because contemps are not my usual cup of tea), but I didn't outright hate it. It had it's moments, and it gave the book a nice, lite feeling. I know that some think that 'lite' is a bad thing in a book, especially a romance, but that's not true. For the most part, when I say that a story was 'lite', I mean it in a good way. It's not heavy or complicated, and for some readers, that's just the kind of story they want. For others, it's a nice reprieve, a treat after a long hard day, or after a long stream of (choose your favorite genre and put it here). It's carefree, funny, and sexy.
While the romance may not have been the 'awe' factor that I have found in some of my all-time favorite ones, it was still very nice and sweet. (Rekindled love between separated lovers... Sigh. Brings back old memories, right?) The sex scenes were a bit few and far between (not always a bad thing, of course...) but the few (brief) ones that were in the book were nicely done. Not scorching, like an erotic romance, but not too mild either. I wish there had been a bit more, but the point of Jeff and Babette's story was to prove that, in the end, they had more than just "great sex" in their relationship, so I understand the reason behind the author's decision.
There are more than a few witty remarks in the book, and I chuckled at a few. Over all, it's a great, fast-paced romance. Perfect for warming up with during the mid-winter blahs, but also a good choice for poolside reading during the summer.
4/5 STARS! Kelley writes a wonderful contemporary, a sweet and funny take on a 'Love Doctor' and her story. I read it over Valentine's weekend, and it was a refreshing break from all of the fantasy world romances I've been reading, so I'm sure that it will prove to be a satisfying read for others as well.
Until Next Time,


Anonymous said...

Great Review! I'm with you in that generally I'm a historical and paranormal girl. But I have found that lately quite a few contemps have been drawing my attention!

The_Book_Queen said...

Thanks. Glad that you enjoyed it. :)

You are right-- I've found that I like contemps, when they are written well, capture my attention *and hold it!*, etc.