Putting it to the Test

Lori Borrill
April 2008, Series Romance
Harl Blaze #392, $4.99, 216 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373793960

Grade: B-
Sensuality: Hot

When I began reading Putting It To The Test, I worried about the book's premise: a sex survey in the workplace to determine placement on a much sought-after assignment. Although this unbelievable premise sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, I actually was able to suspend that part of reality enough to enjoy the book.

Carly Abrams, a talented Web designer, is desperate for the next big job at the design firm where she works. For the last two years, all major assignments have been given to Matt Jacobs, a man Carly secretly desires, yet openly resents. When she learns that Matt (unbeknownst to him) already holds one of the two positions with the other position to be filled by a female chosen based on how closely her answers match Matt’s on a sex survey, Carly manages to get his answers and cheat. Though she learns from his answers that she and Matt are surprisingly compatible in the sex department, she’s also convinced that he really is the self-centered jerk she’s always believed him to be.

Matt Jacobs, ex-baseball player, is determined to prove himself as the best designer in the business. However, his attraction to and inability to get along with Carly has plagued him for two long years. He is suspicious when the sex survey pairs them to work together on their firm’s largest and most important client. Once Matt learns that his suspicions are correct, he plans to make Carly sweat a bit.

Although the sex survey premise was hard to believe, I have to say that the story told by Borrill is completely believable – workplace romance plagued by competition. I also found the characters believable as well as likable. Both are plagued by family problems that aren’t out of the realm of probability for today. However, this may be a drawback for some since not everybody wants reality in romance.

My only moment of real annoyance was a result of Carly getting a little hysterical over a big misunderstanding. However, as I read, I was reminded of all the stupid things I did in relationships and realized her reaction might be plausible considering the reality of romantic relationships. Some pacing problems cropped up about half-way through, but the author revved things up again in the final third of the book with interesting emotional complications for Carly and Matt.

Putting It To the Test turned out to be well-written, somehow believable, and featured characters I liked. While there were only two love scenes in Carly and Matt’s story, both were incredibly hot and truly blush worthy. This one earns a recommendation, albeit a qualified one.

-- Heather Brooks

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