Friday, December 19, 2014

Wound Up-Kelli Ireland

Wound Up
Kelli Ireland
Harlequin Blaze, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798322

In Seattle, Beaux Hommes stripper Justin Maxwell knows tonight is his last performance having just received his doctorate in psychology though he has eighty more hours of practicum to complete.  In the audience on his farewell show is his former student Grace Cooper.  Justin has wanted her for years, but controlled his desire as he accepted that would have been immoral; but joyfully realizes not anymore.

After his final act aimed as if she was his only person in attendance, Justin and Grace leave together.  However, in spite of the best night of their respective lives, Grace the intern relocates to Baltimore in two weeks.  Both reluctantly accept their relationship has no future but things turn worse when they learn each volunteers at the not-for-profit Second Chances helping disadvantaged youths; particularly since Justin mishandles what this means after their one niter.  Still as they work together, the attraction turns into love but their attitudes re Second Chances remain a major schism.

The second Pleasure Before Business blazing romance (see Stripped Down) is a heated tale starring protagonists with youth traumas that shaped their respective adult lives.  An exciting relevant suspense subplot distracts from the prime theme of whether this couple in love can find the emotional fortitude to commit to a long term relationship; with readers cheering for them to make it.

Harriet Klausner

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