The Real Deal
by Niki Green, contemporary (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-522-1

I have to hand this to Niki Green: this is a short story, but she goes ahead and spends the first few pages of The Real Deal letting me know that she has plans for an entire series revolving around the horny men of the Kiel clan. There are four more stories in the works, folks!

But first, The Real Deal, where poor Chase Kiel is pretty embarrassed when his teenage brothers find his runaway fiancée Willa Tate shaking her booty in a burlesque club. But Chase only catches up with Willa on page 32, when about one third of the story is already passed. And when I finally learn of Willa's reason for taking off like that from Chase, it has me shaking my head and wondering whether the author is trying too hard to imitate her favorite Harlequin Presents authors.

This story may work, if the author hasn't wasted so much space setting up the groundwork for her series or laying out sex scenes that add nothing to the story. The Real Deal is more like a half-baked cake, really, with characters whose story never really come together well because the author has her priorities in all the wrong places.

Rating: 67

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