SHE'S ON TOP by Susan Lyons (see her website)
Kensington Aphrodisia, April 2008
Rina Goldberg's life is pretty good. She loves teaching music, playing with the symphony, hanging with her girlfriends, the awesome foursome, and she's even happy enough with Al, her boyfriend. But when Al asks her to marry him, she realizes that pretty good may not be enough. Before she decides on Al's proposal, she decides to get in touch with the one man who really sent shock waves through her system, Giancario Mancini. They'd been teenagers, each had been the other's first lover, and neither had guessed how special, unique, their lovemaking could be. But that had been when Giancario had shared Rina's ambitions and love for classical music. Now, he's a music video producer, constantly surrounded by beautiful and skinny women. One thing Rina is definitely not, is skinny.
When she follows through on her friends' urging, Rina isn't sure whether to hope that the passion she once felt for Giancario is gone, or that it is still in full swing. What she doesn't want is for Giancario to have filled out in all the right ways. Back in their teens, he'd been a skinny kid, now he's a powerful man. And Rina feels that he's way out of her league--not to mention impossible for a relationship since he spends all of his time on the road and has sold out on his talent to go into money-making popular music. Giancario hasn't forgotten Rina, though, and when she sends him an e-mail, he decides that he wants her in his life.
Giancario sets off to seduce Rina--in every way. Making love to her with the lights out (something she insists upon because of her poor body image) is wonderful, but it isn't enough. He wants to see her in candlelight, and he wants her to see herself as she sees him. If it takes a lot of time, and a lot of seduction, to reach that point, that's something Giancario is prepared to life with. One thing Rina realizes in a hurry--good-enough Al is not even close to being good enough.
Author Susan Lyons (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Lyons) concludes her Awesome Foursome series with a super-hot story. Readers will resonate with Rina--with her body image issues and her desire to have something more than a humdrum, good enough life. The foursome, themselves, continue to provide both wise advice and the kind of emotional support every woman needs as Rina attempts to make the right decisions about her life. Giancario makes a wonderful romantic foil. With his looks, money and musical talent, he's very nearly Rina's perfect fantasy--especially since he finds her voluptuous curves to be attractive and desirable, rather than the turn-off she is certain they'll be. Rina's struggle for success in her musical career, and her coming to terms with her unsuspected snobishness when it comes to the popular music Giancario loves, give her room to expand herself as her relationship with Giancario grows.
Lyons's writing is engaging, drawing the reader in, making us care about Rina. Fans of this series will be happy to see how the other members of the foursome are coming with their own relationships, and readers who enjoy a sizzlingly hot story won't want to put this one down. Lyons combines eroticism with compelling character--a combination that will really satisfy her readers.
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