Review of LEAD ME ON by Victoria Dahl (see her website)
HQN Books, January 2010
Her mother was a prison junkie, marrying men serving life sentences. Her stepfather was a prisoner falsely accused and set free. Her brother has been arrested for stealing purses and is suspected of murdering young women. So, Jane Morgan has a goal--date and marry a nice stable white-collar guy, settle down to a peaceful live, steer clear of her family's past and current entanglements, and definitely have nothing to do with a man like Chase. With his tattoos, his dusty workboots, his dangerous attitude, and his muscles, Chase is much too dangerous, much too likely to throw her into her past. But Jane can't deny one fact...Chase turns her on in a way the office pretty-boys simply do not.
Jane's decision to give herself a birthday present, to let herself enjoy a single night of pure sex with Chase might not have been her most thoughtful moment, but surely it shouldn't change her whole life. With that life tilting out of control, however, Jane finds herself having to rely on Chase. To her surprise, Chase seems reliable and she can't help waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Chase doesn't mind being taken advantage of by a sexy woman...at least at first. And he certainly doesn't object to helping her out with some of her issues. But he senses that there is more going on in Jane's mind than helping her brother or collecting some long-overdue good sex. Until she can face her past, she won't be able to face him or a real relationship with anyone. But facing her past is the one thing Jane has sworn NOT to do--to the extent that she's even changed her name, her hair color and would change her family if she could. Then again, Chase knows his one secret just might scare Jane away forever. Once he's savored her taste, that's the last thing he wants.
Author Victoria Dahl writes a super-sexy story. The chemistry between Chase and Jane works--with aspects of the forbidden fruit for both of them as well as what the reader will recognize as a more fundamental similarity between the two characters. Both Chase and Jane have had to overcome their pasts (hers, a lifetime spent in prison waiting rooms, his the death of his mother and his father's turn to alcoholism). Both have achieved economic success, yet feel the lack of connectedness in their lives. Chase is a bit further along in his path (which is lucky because Jane is pretty messed up) but each struggles with the discovery that they can only free themselves by embrasing what they fear most.
If you're looking for a really sexy story with some moving emotional growth, LEAD ME ON is definitely worth the read.
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