This was a really good example of what Blaze books can be, when done right. I tend to have a kind of love/hate relationship with this line. I really love a romance where the sex is steamy and works to develop the relationship, and I've found some Blaze authors who are really good at that. However, when Blazes are bad, they tend to really stink. I especially detest: a) ridiculously contrived setups which are supposed to be sexy but are just silly, b) mechanical love scenes which add nothing to the story and are just there because the author thinks because this is a Blaze, she needs to add X number of love scenes, whether the story asks for them or not. Sadly, both a) and b) apply to a large percentage of the Blaze books I've read.
The good news is, they definitely do not apply to this one. As for a), the setup here is sexy and provocative, but not at all silly. Marco is a formerly undercover DEA agent whose cover has been blown. He's now on the run from the drug dealers he'd infiltrated and, knowing that they will try to get to him through his family, the first thing he does is to get them out of the way.
His mother is easy: off she goes on a cruise of the Mediterranean. Then it's on to Chicago, to try to get his model/actor brother out of the city. He lucks out, because Francisco has an audition in LA, but before he goes, he guilts Marco into covering for him and showing up to an audition for a sculptor. After all, they look similar enough, at least at first glance, and that way, Francisco's agent won't be pissed and he'll still have a job if his LA thing doesn't work out.
The artist who's looking for a model is sculptor Rey (short for Freyja) Martinson, and she specializes in naked men.Read more ›
Marco Flores was hiding out in Chicago. Things had gotten too hot for the Miami-based DEA agent while he waited to testify against his arch-enemy, the drug lord Juan Carlos Rodriguez, known as El Lobo. All Marco wanted was a place to lay low for awhile, but he got more than he bargained for when he agreed to stand in for his younger brother at a modelling gig. What Marco didn't know was the job was to pose nude for artist Rey Martinson, who was working on her breakthrough commission of a 10-foot marble sculpture of Mars, the god of war.
Things quickly heated up between Marco and Rey, and Rey's "no sex w/ models" rule fell by the wayside. The resulting sex scenes were definitely steaming HOT. (OK--here's where I must confess that I found the fruit and vegetable scene (especially the cucumber!) to be a bit over the top. It's probably just me, tho--maybe most readers wouldn't bat an eyelash. In fact, this little teaser might even pique some readers's interest. You know who you are.)
Marco and Rey had more going for them than hot sex. (How lucky can you get?) Ms. Donovan did an excellent job with her portrayal of two people from vastly different immigrant cultures getting to know and appreciate one another. The cool Swede and the hot Cuban complemented each other perfectly.
Shadowing everything was the threat that Rodriguez posed to Marco and everyone close to him. Marco had a very personal relationship w/ Rodriguez for almost 20 years, and bringing him down had been a near obsession. This storyline was very well done, believable, and added just the right amount of tension w/out overwhelming the romance.
Chicago artist Rey Martinson needs a model for a sculpture that she has been commissioned to do for a very wealthy client. This is the chance of a lifetime for Rey, but she just can't get into the project. Her agent suggests that a little sexual action might be just what Rey needs; Rey totally disagrees, until she sees prospective model Marco Flores. Marco is an undercover DEA agent who has gone to the interview with Rey as a favor for his look-alike actor/model brother Francisco, who has been called to California for a soap opera audition. Rey has seen dozens of nude male models, and has always remained unaffected by them, but Marco brings about wicked thoughts that Rey has not experienced for a very long time. Marco is also shocked at the feelings Rey evokes in him and is instantly attracted to her. When Marco sets out to seduce Rey, she is helpless in dissuading him and the two begin an incredibly hot love affair, sharing their bodies and eventually their hearts.
Rey does not know Marco's true identity, nor that he is on the run from a Colombian drug lord who is determined to get rid of Marco and those close to him before he can testify at an upcoming trial. Having his mother away on her honeymoon for several weeks and his brother across the country, Marco is certain that they are safe, but strange happenings make him begin to fear for Rey's life.
Rey does not expect to fall in love with Marco, although she finds herself doing just that. Marco is falling equally fast, and makes sure that Rey knows how he feels about her and his hopes for their future together, but he is unsure of how she will react when she finds out that he has been deceiving her about who he really is.