by Jacquie D'Alessandro, contemporary (2003)
Harlequin Temptation, $4.25, ISBN 0-373-69154-8
Jacquie D'Alessandro's A Sure Thing? is an ordinary story made enjoyable by the author's sense of humor and her characters that don't actually do too many stupid things in the name of sex. Unfortunately, these characters do too many predictable things instead, and in the end, this book is as forgettable as it is enjoyable.
Matt Davidson and Jilly Taylor are rival executives always competing to be the best ad exec in Maxximum (that's two X, by the way) Advertising, and Adam Terrell, the CEO, isn't above pitting these two for the sake of getting new clients for the firm. The latest antics of Mr CEO here has him sending those two to a Long Island exclusive resort, the Chateau Fontaine, to win him the contract of ARC Software worth one hundred million dollars. Since sexual harassment lawsuits don't exist in Harlequin Valley, our two rivals end up in the same room and predictably, there are no other rooms available to rectify the situation. Jilly is asleep when Matt walks in, he sees her in her lingerie, and wham, realizes that the imaginatively called Ice Princess/Freeze Queen is actually a hot babe under the suit. I hate to think what will happen if Jilly is a size-twelve woman. Will Matt even care to revise his opinion of her then?
The usual lust-and-writhe merry-go-round ensues. While I'm glad that Matt and Jill come to an amicable moment of fragile peace, long enough for the clothes to fly across the room, I wish the author hasn't used so many predictable hackneyed psychobabble and "this one time only" justifications of the main characters. I like Matt and I like Jill. The both of them are generally sensible and they have decent sexual tension between them, but they also take what seems like an eternity to realize that the story is coming to an end and they better get married soon. Along the way, they just muddle around while making each other jealous by going on dates with other people. Things aren't too exciting here.
While enjoyable while it lasts, I find it hard to remember much about this story once I'm done with it. Maybe that's how I should see A Sure Thing? as: an enjoyable candy that makes a nice appetizer to more hearty meals, but taken on its own, it's hardly a filling meal.
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