Love for Hire
by Mardi Ballou
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Contemporary Erotic RomancePrice: $5.20
What I Liked:
This was one of the first erotic shorts I've read where I really felt like the character development helped me get invested in the story more than the sex. Unlike a lot of erotic quickies, it takes a bit to get into the sex in this book, and I thought it was a lot more believable (and still had some hot scenes, as well). The storyline was interesting, and kept the story moving. I thought the heroine was very well done, and she was actually my favorite part of the book. Yes, the hero was a hot guy, and he had a bit of the reformed bad-boy thing going on. But the heroine was someone I really wanted to root for, which is something I find that not enough romance writers are doing these days. They sort of assume that any woman deserves to have a great man, and don't spend enough time making their heroine someone that I want to end up with their hero. That was definitely not the case in this book. I liked her, I empathized with her, I thought she totally deserved to get the guy in the end, and I was very happy with the kind of person she turned out to be. All in all, good work!
Stephanie’s had it with men. She lost her home, business and reputation because of her boyfriend’s scam. Nick Love is a man on a mission. In an attempt to keep the FBI off his back, he has agreed to go undercover at a shady online dating service. Stephanie and Nick meet on an arranged date neither wants. Despite their best intentions, sparks fly the moment their eyes meet.
Soon they are both falling in love—and lust—but to play his role, Nick must betray Stephanie. Stephanie wants only to forget him and move on with her life. Knowing he’s got a lot to answer for, Nick sets out to seduce Stephanie and prove that with love, anything is possible.
Publisher’s Note: Previously published in the Down and Dirty anthology.