What was missing from Savas's Defiant Mistress is present in this story in spades. Yes, I'm talking hot hot hotness.
Unusually, I suppose, the hotness has a purpose in the novel. Presumably to show how much the married main couple really trust and love each other. What also comes across is the enormous amount of respect they have for each other. But Merrick was taking Chloe's respect for granted. So whenever Chloe says to Merrick, "I love you but I don't want to go back to living with you just yet" all the readers know it is only a matter of time before she does.
Actually I applaud Chloe for holding out for as long as she did. Even though it got on my nerves a little, seeing how she gave Merrick everything else...including her ass. It's like she was saying, "Yes, we have great sex but....our marriage problems are about more than that." God bless her. She sticks to her principles until she sees Merrick making some changes in his workaholic lifestyle. Yes, she listens sympathetically both when he explains the reason for his driven workstyle and his promises to change. But she waits until she witnesses that change before she goes back to living with him. And even then she persuades him to attend marriage counselling with her. In so many ways Chloe is such a sensible person who knows exactly what was going wrong in her work/life relationship with Merrick and is going to do her sensible utmost to see that it doesn't happen again. I loved the mix of eroticism and total grounding in the story.
Merrick does everything Chloe wants of him. He even shares his Business with her. What does he gain. Well. He misses out on the serial marriages of many successful guys...he gets to stick with the woman who he's happy to admit he loves forever. And of course he gets a family of his own even though he's quite nervous about having babies. We're talking beautiful planned pregnancy in this book. Rarer than snow in July when it comes to erotics and especially series romances.
Words fail to describe how unsordid the hotness truely is. The hero's little quirk in this story is that he likes to gaze at his wife's genitals and admire their beauty. Isn't that lovely? Everything else I've read many times before. Chloe is never in any sexual peril from anyone in the whole novel. Isn't that the function of a caveman? To protect his woman from unwanted advances. Merrick is completely able to fulfill that role. I loved how he was attracted to Chloe from the first time he met her...and knew she would come to mean a lot to him.
Chloe and Merrick are a lot more straightforward than Neely and Sebastian from SDM. But their romance is way more satisfactory. Mind you. I should tell Chloe and Merrick that the most uptodate response to making out in public is not "Get A Room!" but "How much would you like me to pay so I can stay and watch the show?" (I got the impression that despite their little effort both Merrick and Chloe would be totally scandalized by such a reaction. tee hee)
At only 72 pages, a great 2 night read.
A word of advice about the epilogue. Do Not Bother. It is horrendous. All the reader needs to know is that Chloe is going to have Merricks baby and they are both very very happy together.
The remainder of the epilogue is pure set up for the romances of the secondary characters in the story. The trouble is the reader is supposed to care about people who are given no character build up whatsoever. Grace, Nick, Jackson....isn't a bit weird how all the workers in Merricks Company fall for one another?
I am going to read Candy's story though.
Final conclusion for anyone who has any doubts...................................................................................
Good. Good. Good. Hot. Hot.Hot. Hot. Excellent. Excellent. Very fine. A+
......happily another crime free novel.