Between the Sheets
2008, Contemporary Romance
Warner Forever, $6.99, 400 pages, Amazon ASIN 0446618411
This is the first time I’ve ever read a book that actually made me feel sorry for those who get involved in public sex scandals. While some thrive in that type of limelight, others, like the main character of Between the Sheets, are humiliated and find their lives destroyed. While Wells’ book was a bit predictable, it worked for me because I enjoyed the struggle for personal justice and the characters, even if they might be just a little too good to be true.
Emma Jamison was a professional butler whose career was on the rise until she had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After incriminating tabloid photos surface linking her to the sudden death of the president-elect, Emma is a pariah. After video hits the Internet, she is the laughing stock of the entire country and the butt of late night television jokes. Branded an adulteress and a liar, Emma escapes to the small Louisiana town where her grandmother lives. The only job the now-infamous ex-butler can get is a position as the director of housekeeping at the retirement facility where her grandmother resides.
Unexpectedly, Emma’s grandmother rediscovers love at the facility with a charming man who is wealthy and suffers from dementia. The charming man has an equally charming grandson, with whom Emma has had run-ins. The same charming grandson, Max Duval, also just happens to be running in a highly contested race for the local district attorney’s office. Max, intrigued and more than a little attracted to Emma, comes to realize that all is not what it seems and he wants to discover the secrets surrounding the scandal. However, getting to know Emma better could go badly for him and his campaign - after all, no one would want to be openly involved with the woman who might have inadvertently killed the president-elect.
Max and Emma are both a little too idealized. Max is the defender of the innocent, former policeman, and hero in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and it’s obvious from the beginning that he’s going to be Emma’s hero too. Emma is the complete opposite of anyone you would ever imagine being involved in a sex scandal. Yet, as idealized as they both were, I found them believable enough and to be characters I could like.
The harassment Emma deals with is frustrating and she quickly gains Max’s sympathy as he witnesses what she endures on numerous occasions. I enjoyed her successes in the community when she does finally make some strides forward and at times her struggles moved me to tears. My only moment of true discontent came when Emma decides to investigate a possible solution to her dilemma on her own since her actions almost crossed over into TSTL territory.
Though there are no big surprises, Between the Sheets is a charming tale of a struggle for justice and romance once thought impossible. I enjoyed it.
-- Heather Brooks
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