Double the Pleasure

Lori Foster, Deidre Martin, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Penny McCall
2008, Contemporary Romance
Berkley, $15.00, 368 pages, Amazon ASIN 0425224066

Grade: B-
Sensuality: Warm

Double the Pleasure is an anthology anchored by Lori Foster’s latest story about the Winston men. Her story features twins who change places. While normally I shudder at that plot, Foster does a nice job with it.

Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: Warm

In Lori Foster's Deuces Wild we meet identical twins Dexter and Hart Winston. They are so identical that their mother has trouble telling them apart. Dex is an author, Hart is a painter, and they are both athletic. However while Dex is content to work out and run, Hart is immersed in mixed martial arts and he is good at it – really, really good at it. Hart is on the cusp of taking up martial arts professionally, but he doesn’t want his family to know until it’s a done deal. Hart asks Dex to take his place in his apartment while he trains and tries out, and since he is the Good Twin, Dex agrees. While at Hart’s apartment, Dex meets the neighbor Christy Nash, who is pretty and sweet as can be. Soon Dex falls for her in a major way, while Christy is puzzled. This the first time that Hart has ever been more than just flippant toward her.

Deuces Wild was a sweet and fun story. Dex and Christy are a likeable pair and I loved their happy ending. As for Hart, his fate is left in the balance but I know we will see him in the future. Grade: B+

Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: Warm

Deidre Martin’s The Luck of the Irish takes place in New York at The Wild Hart, an Irish bar owned by Maggie O’Brien’s family. As the story begins, the O’Briens are doing some remodeling and have hired Joe Kelley’s firm to do the work. Joe’s nephew Brendan is overseeing most of it, and he is handsome and charming enough to turn anyone’s head, even Maggie’s. Maggie, who is getting over a bad marriage to a feckless charmer, has sworn not to get involved again. But when Brendan asks her out for coffee, she accepts and things begin to percolate between them.

The Luck of the Irish is a fairly low key story. Brendan has a problem which he does not discuss with Maggie. She leaps to the wrong conclusion, but it all works out for them in the end. Good – I liked them both very much. This is a slight story with lots of charm. Grade: B

Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: Warm

Your Room or Mine? by Jacquie D'Alessandro was sort of like a Blaze book condensed. It wasn’t all that bad, but it lacked anything to distinguish it.

Jack Walker is an accountant and CFO of Java Heaven. He took the job to clean up the mess his predecessor left and has been doing a good job, but evidently not good enough for Gavin, who owns the company. Gavin has brought in a consultant, Madeline Price, who rubs Jack the wrong way - and the feeling is mutual. Madeline wants Jack and the rest of the department to go on a weekend team-building retreat, but even she is taken aback when Gavin arranges for her and Jack to get to the retreat early and go on an orienteering exercise by themselves.

The story can be summed up like this: She is such a starchy, prissy piece of work....oh my God she wears a thong!!!!! Lord I hate him, he has blocked me at every turn....oh my God, look at that chest!!!!!

Grade: C

Contemporary Romance
Sensuality: Warm

Abigail West is a doctor in Pottersville, Illinois where the people are unfriendly (frankly, I would be too, Abby comes across as a bit of a snob). She is about to do an autopsy on a body when she recognizes the corpse as belonging to Drake, whom she once had a love affair with. Drake’s body is rather warm for a corpse and when Abby bends down for a closer look, Drake’s eyes open and he grabs her by the throat.

Drake is an FBI agent, and someone is trying to kill him. Since Abby is with him, she is in danger too. It seems as though Abby’s grandfather Virgil Mason is in the Witness Protection Program and some very bad guys have found out about it. Drake and Abby spend almost all the book running from said bad guys and falling in love.

Penny McCall's Double the Danger certainly was action-packed and fast moving. Too bad the characters were so uninteresting. Grade: C

Double the Pleasure has two good stories and two average ones. Fans of Lori Foster’s Winston brothers will definitely want to check it out. For the rest of us, it’s all right – nothing special, but it helped pass a few rainy hours.

-- Ellen Micheletti

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