This sexy novella is about creating an alter ego to seduce the unreachable man of your dreams. The seduction is meant to be for just one weekend, because in real life the hot guy would never look twice at the common girl beneath the fantasy seductress alter ego. Also, the guy is supposed to move to the other side of the country. Well, that's what Gia thinks anyway. But guess what, she's wrong, on both parts.FearlessCosmo Red Hot Reads by Harlequin | September 15, 2013 | 150 pages
Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
Promising career: check
Amazing apartment: check
The best of friends: check
Sex life: MIA
There’s just one thing missing from Gia Renyard’s life: sexual adventure. And the one man she’d like to have it with is her hot co-worker, Luke Monroe. If only company rules didn’t prohibit her from asking him out. So Gia comes up with a plan: make herself over into a fantasy seductress, follow Luke to a convention in Sin City, and have her way with him for one erotic weekend. The man will never even know who did him.
Everything is going according to plan—until Gia discovers that Luke is perfect for her outside the bedroom too. And suddenly she’s no longer content to let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas…
Genre & Keywords: Contemporary Romance, M/F, Fantasy, Seduction, Co-workers, Las Vegas
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames
Luke is Gia's crush, but Gia thinks he's out of her league because he can have every woman he wants and she's just a shy and common girl. When she and her three girlfriends have a 'girlz' night they come up with a plan for Gia to have her sexual adventure with Luke before he leaves their company for a new job. They give her a makeover and turn her into a hot and sexy woman.
Now, this is the part where I started to have my doubts about the set-up. Maybe it's the silent feminist in me that finds this a bit sexist or maybe I'm just not a fan of deception between the main characters, no matter how innocent. I don't know exactly, but I kept wondering why the heroine needed hair extensions, a dye job and a fake name, among other things, and why she could not just do the seducing as herself. Apart from that, I also thought that the idea of the 'girlz' club felt a bit too teenage-y and shallow. Gia's girlfriends didn't feel as real friends to me, perhaps because they hardly get any on-page time after this set-up, except for one of the friends later on.
Anyhow, the seduction takes place in Las Vegas and is, unsurprisingly, a great success. Luke lives up to his reputation, and more, in the bedroom. Gia discovers that he's not only hot but very kind and sweet too. The author is a master in writing sex scenes and mixing them with emotions, although we don't get every detail of their fantasy weekend together spelled out. Thankfully so, because that would have been exhausting considering I lost count on how many orgasms they shared. Needless to say, this part of the story is sizzling hot.
It's also the part of the plot where a connection between the main characters starts to bloom. They talk a lot, but again we don't get to read all of those conversations in detail, we're just told a few times that they talked. One important topic they talked about is written in dialogue though; it's about Luke getting bored easily and Gia's observation that he needs to challenge himself more. This is also beautifully translated into a sex scene. And it's the base for their connection; at least it's what Luke finds attractive in Gia. I thought it was a believable emotional development, which didn't feel as a rushed falling in love.
I'm not sure though about the actual falling in love part, later on, after Luke discovers Gia's true identity. Luke and Gia unexpectedly have to work on a project together after they return from their weekend of debauchery and Gia is trying to avoid Luke as much as possible to prevent discovery. However, a pair of red shoes adds a touch of Cinderella theme to their romance when the shoes give her away. Once Luke has found his Cinderella there's no room for anger, doubts or other negative feelings. The only thing that counts is that he has found her and wants his HEA with her, like a true fairy tale.
I felt that this last part could've gotten a bit more weight. It felt light and easy, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and given the fact that this is a novella it's rather fitting too, but for me a smooth and rushed ending like that is not as satisfying as an ending where the characters have to work a bit harder to get what they want. I like to feel more tension and to see them go through some emotional struggles. But, maybe that's just me.
Overall, this novella turned out to be an entertaining, scorching and sweet read, after my initial reservations about the need for a makeover for Gia. It's a fast-paced and sexy story without much tension or angst, with a cute and happy ending that was a little too light for my taste but which fits the nature of this format. Definitely a great read for when you're in the mood for quick & dirty and sweet & sexy all in one.