Reviewed by Sheena
Tech Sergeant John O’Donnell was never fond of his hometown. Too many reminders of poverty, his rocky family life, and the girl he was never allowed to have. Now he has exactly two weeks to sort out his mother’s finances before he heads back overseas. Two weeks that he’s determined to spend as far from his best friend’s little sister as possible.
Alea Heling has a naughty streak a mile wide. Sweet and simple? Boring.She’s been craving a bad boy like John since their wild days together in high school, and this time, she’s not taking no for an answer. But with every panty-meltingly hot encounter, Alea forgets one hard, cold reality—this soldier won’t let a fortnight turn into forever…and forever might be exactly what they both need.
Oy vey! I know what you are thinking. At least I know what I was thinking; yet another romance where the hero has some weird hands-off compulsion when it comes to his “best friend’s hot little sister who wants him soooo bad.” Can I just say a collective GFY to all the big brothers out there blocking when it comes to little sisters hooking up with their awesome friends? I mean the brother besties are not even ever douche bags!! Like oh yeah, your awesome bud who is responsible, loyal, handsome and kind is not good enough for your sister. Puh-lease. I immediately get annoyed when this misplaced obligation to lousy bro-code gets in the way of my couple. Then it takes 250 pages of brooding and “but what will her brother think…,” before my now (in my head) emasculated hero works up to finally get with the heroine. Thank goodness Kathy Lyons did NOT fall into this literary death trap! (I know dramatic, but seriously, that stuff kills me!). John is a great hero! He gives the obligatory nod to her brothers disapproval but he does not let that drive him. As a matter of fact, the issues that live between he and Alea have little to do with her brother and as a result is far more interesting and heartfelt.
John comes from humble beginnings. His father is harebrained and irresponsible and his get rich quick schemes caused his family financial ruin and traumatized John as a child. The lingering effects shaped his inner turmoil regarding wealth and duty. Alea and her brother Sam are from a very prominent family with a legacy of becoming wealthy attorneys A legacy that she is avoiding at all costs in favor of following her own hearts path and remaining a teacher.
Meeting in high school, John, two years older, has long held a hidden fondness for Alea and she fell in love with him when she was 16 years old. He went off into the military and she graduated, stayed local and is teaching at the town High School. His father dies and he returns home to assist his heavily dependent mother and sister while on a short two week leave. John is now faced with his long suppressed demons, self esteem challenges and Alea, she being the force that will help change his life.
Alea was my kind of woman. Young and fun but wise and responsible. She has long loved John as an adolescent and that tenderness ignites into full blown seduction when he returns home on leave. The daughter of a family with high expectations, she has almost a dual existence where she is a soft, blouse wearing demure daughter and by night a leather clad, thigh high boots wearing, pool stick wielding, hellion with a shock of red hair, seedy pool hall regular who goes by the nick name “sin.” Yes. In case you are wondering. She rocks.
John fights his attraction, but soon realizes he is no match for the electricity between them:
“You know,” she said. “I’ve been working really hard today to make sure your party goes well. I did it for your mom, but the least you could do was say something nice to me…”
He looked back at her, guilt making him flush. She had been especially nice to him and his mother. It wasn’t her fault that she embodied everything he’d run from as a teen. All the things he wanted but could never have….
He touched his mouth to her…need roared through him, hot and searing…he had to savor her.”
Much of this story is Alea trying to break through to John, showing him her pure love, and forcing him to see that despite their back grounds he was worthy of her. He worried and almost weirdly accepted that he was just going to be her fling before her inevitable entrance into law school. She was ready to chuck all of her prestigious law school acceptance letters and have a rewarding career as a teacher and see where the romance would lead. He was a hard nut to crack. He ran from her as often as he ran to her. Alea was steady as a rock and took him as he was, met him where he was, and literally mended his defeated belief system. She challenged him and did not run away and lick her wounds when he was difficult. She let it all hang out and it made her all the more brave and amazing.
Almost everything worked for me. I was intent to close the book and not look back if this had been a traditional “hey dude you can’t date my sister tale” but things were dynamic. It did get off to a sort of slow start, I sometimes felt as if I were being read to as opposed to reading and becoming immersed into the story. Though soon things picked up and I could really appreciate the characters. I also did not love that his family was so out of reach, we only saw or heard about them via John and given his background, it would have been nice to get that insight and glimpse at his sister and mother directly.
Surprisingly enjoyable read. Lyons used familiar contemporary romance themes but did not get caught in any trappings that would turn you off. The resolution was satisfying and just in case you thought I didn’t have some sweet smex for ya….I DO!
When he out hustled her at the pool hall on a bet with high stakes that led to the bedroom, John talked oooh- so dirty…
He heard a groan and didn’t know if he’d made the sound. “Are you finished?” he ground out. he had a shot to make, the winning shot to be exact.
“I’m going to tear that camisole off you with my teeth.”
He did his best to distract her. Every time she moved past him, he muttered something to her. Dirty somethings. He dredged up the most graphically sexual images he could think of to feed her imagination.
She was flushed and panting and a glisten of sweat appeared on her brow….
Big hands, clever fingers- all stroked and explored her wet center. She fell back on the bed in a shudder of delight.
This was a new author for me, but I am interested to see what else she has up her sleeve. Two Week Seduction certainly did it for me.