The Waterdance
by Lucie Simone, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-518-3

The Waterdance introduces Watsu to any reader who isn't familiar with that kind of massage therapy. As Wikipedia puts it:

Watsu, a portmanteau of water and shiatsu, is a form of body massage performed while lying in warm water (around 35°C or 95°F). The receiver of Watsu treatment is continuously supported by the therapist while he or she rocks and gently stretches the body. Because it is performed in the water, the body is free to be manipulated and stretched in ways impossible while on the land.

I have no idea what this person mean by "ways impossible", however, so don't email me with such questions. What I can tell you, however, is that this story is narrated from the heroine's point of view. Nikki Thompson needs to relax and unwind after too long dealing with stock reports, but one wet session with our Watsu guru Ricardo and she's desperate to get immersed even deeper into the blue with Ricardo. Well, it could be worse. Nikki could have slept with a shrink and become a cliché.

While I'm glad that her fling with Ricardo helps her realize that she needs to play as well as work so she ends up having a more balanced lifestyle, I'm not sure whether the romance is as believable as the author wishes it to be. Nikki gets jealous over Ricardo doing to other women what he did to her, but getting into the pool wearing skimpy swim trunks and running his hands all over his clients' bodies is his job. Nikki's paranoia towards Ricardo's relationship can't be solved as easily as a declaration of love from Ricardo - who still has his job by the end of the story. I give them a week before Nikki's jealousy tears them apart for good.

Oh, and despite this novella being marketed as a "sweeter" erotic romance, I have to warn you, this one is still quite raunchy in many ways. The best moments in this story are when the author is describing the sensations Ricardo's touch is imparting on Nikki's body. It's too bad, therefore, that the author chooses to shove a forced love thing down my throat instead of ending the story by just letting the characters hang out and have fun. Having those two insist that they are love make this story end with a "Huh?" from me rather than on a high note.

Rating: 74

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