Sex, Straight Up
A couple of weeks ago, I snapped this up during the Harlequin sale on Amazon. Ignore the title, it’s a sweet romance that masquerades as something spicy when it’s really just shorthand for a romance that starts with physical intimacy and works backward to an emotional connection.
From Amazon: Meeting a handsome loner on a deserted beach in the Hamptons was like being hit by lightning. One steamy weekend in bed with Daniel O’Sullivan and Catherine Montefiore was marvelously woozy from a delicious cocktail of sun, sand and superhot sex. Abruptly, though, Catherine’s forty-eight hours of fun are at an end when her family’s exclusive auction house is hit by a very public scandal. She’s ready to step in and save the day, but she’s hoping Daniel, her hot Irish hunk, will lend a hand. After all, he’s got the necessary skills and, straight up or not, Catherine wants another long drink of Daniel before another forty-eight hours are up and her legacy is lost forever!
Daniel’s wife was killed on 9/11 and he has been mourning her for several years. Convinced the best way to honour her memory is as a living memorial, he has rejected his family’s attempts at matchmaking. When he agrees to a party weekend at the beach, he finds refuge with the quiet, and quietly attractive, woman staying next door. They have a weekend fling and when they return to everyday life, their professional circumstances throw them together.
Despite being a little lost, Daniel is otherwise a lovely guy who mostly needs to give himself permission to move on. In some ways he has started to and Catherine is the catalyst to make the final breaks which, in turn, helps her move forward in her life as well. There was nothing new in Sex, Straight Up just two people who are a little lost finding each other. It was a quick, heart-warming read and I liked O’Reilly’s style enough to track down another of her books.
Hot Under Pressure
From Amazon: Boutique owner Ashley Taylor hates flying. Especially when there’s a sugar-fueled little hellion on board. But then David McLean (sexy!) sits next to her, and suddenly Ashley finds herself hoping the delay will last forever—and that David won’t notice her comfy pink bunny slippers (sadly, the opposite of sexy). David does notice Ashley, and when the flight is delayed overnight, they can’t get to the airport hotel fast enough. Off with the slippers and in with the zing! Fortunately, America is filled with cities—L.A., New York, Miami—and nothing says “smoking-hot passion” like an intercontinental affair!
Ashley and David meet on a delayed flight, get busy in an airport hotel room, and then carve out a relationship based on random and periodic visits. They keep thinking that the intense passion will die out and while it calms, it also makes room for a genuine connection between the two. Ashley’s home-life is broken, though not irretrievably, and creates a lot of obligations owing to an unhealthy sister. David’s life is a barren and rocky place where seed can find no purchase (H/T Coen Brothers) because his wife cheated on him with – wait for it – his brother and – there’s more – divorced David to marry said brother and now – still more – she is pregnant with their first child. And you thought your Thanksgiving Dinner was awkward!
I found some to the elements of Hot Under Pressure a bit much, specifically [SPOILER] that Ashley may have a difficult family situation, but she owns three stores in the Chicago area and somehow it is her who completely uproots herself and moves cross-country in the end. David had a movable career and I call bullshit.