by Alisha Rai, contemporary (2010)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-891-8
Leyla Karimi didn't believe in Cupid, but she figured there had to be some mischievous mystic force at work in the universe. After all, something had forced her to purchase a home that practically butted patio to patio with the home behind hers. Something had induced her baby brother's best friend to rent the other house a few months ago. Something very pressing must have kept him from buying blinds.
Yes, some mischievous force had to be tinkering away somewhere in the universe. Because nothing else could explain why she had decided to come sit on her porch swing to unwind after the hectic day. And nothing could explain why she was currently staring at Mason Barrett's almost naked body with more than a little bit of lust.
Okay, a lot of lust.
I love reviewing a body work which can be aptly summarized using the first three paragraphs of the story. Alisha Rai's Veiled Desire is an interracial romance featuring an Indian heroine. Mason Barrett is the object of Leyla Karimi's voyeuristic affection. Four years younger than her, tanned, broad-shouldered, and with a tendency to walk around the house in his white boxer-briefs, Mason is the perfect eye candy for Leyla after a hard day at work at the lingerie store. Still, it won't do to lust after a man who thinks of her as a big sister, right?
The last story I've read by Alisha is her debut romance, Glutton For Pleasure. I know she has another body of work out subsequently, but it came out at a week when I was busy with real life and that one has been languishing in the TBR pile of my hard drive ever since. Anyway, I have to say, while Veiled Desire is a short story, this is, in my opinion, a far superior work compared to Glutton For Pleasure. The conversations flow in a more natural and less stilted manner, there are less contrived attempts to spice up the story, and the characters feel more real to me. After reading this story, I'm tempted to fish out the author's previous effort from my TBR pile and take a look at it.
I don't have much to say about Veiled Desire, but what I have to say is all good. This is a short but enjoyable sexy story featuring two adorable characters with convincing chemistry and rapport. If the author keeps this up, she'd end up on my list of favorite authors.
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