Watch Me
by Shelley Bradley, contemporary (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-59998-525-X


Two of the most successful authors at Samhain Publishing get together to present Sneak Peek, a series of two stories. Watch Me by Shelley Bradley comes first, followed by Show Me by Jaci Burton.

I have read Shelley Bradley's older historical romances - and if you look at those reviews, you'll realize that I am not her biggest fan - but her contemporary romances have been sitting pretty in my book pile all this while. Therefore, Watch Me is my first encounter with this author's contemporary romance.

Professional ballroom dancer Shanna York has a problem. You see, she is in danger of being sidelined from the upcoming California Dance Star competition thanks to her partner Kristoff Palavin being filmed in a sordid sexual encounter. She believes that the conservative judges are going to turn Kristoff and her from glitter to bitter if the DVD makes the rounds. When that happens, it's bye-bye to the World Cup Latin finals and hello to a career of teaching has-been soap stars and retired sportsmen on Dancing With The Stars. Not that there is anything wrong with Dancing With The Stars, at least not when Maksim Chmerkovskiy is on that show. Ahem.

At any rate, Shanna is 28 and she is not going to be able to restart her career at her age so she's determined to make sure that nothing gets in the way of her career. She receives a DVD of Kristoff's happy hour at that sex club Sneak Peek along with a note telling her that the DVD will make its round if Shanna and Kristoff show up at the California Dance Star competition.

Alejandro Diaz is the co-owner of Sneak Peek. When Shanna shows up, he's naturally attracted to her beautiful stereotypical ice queen/bitch personality. At any rate, the blackmail plot is soon shoved into the background as Shanna and Alejandro are soon getting it on with an audience or without, making all kinds of abandoned whoopee as the story moves into a familiar "let's school that haughty frigid bitch in sex" territory.

The sex scenes are so staged that I find them too exaggerated and even cartoonish at times to do anything but to giggle at them. I also find myself thinking that Shanna must be really pretty stupid since she is so afraid of Kristoff's indiscretion screwing up her chances even as she happily upstages him soon enough when it comes to kinky sex. And frankly, when I reach the point where I learn of the blackmailer's identity, I get really annoyed at how this whole story is nothing more than an excuse to tell Shanna that she has been a complete bitch because she wanted to be the best in her career. Watch Me is the equivalent of the "You need to get laid, you haughty frigid bitch!" insult, if you will, coated and packaged as romantic erotica.

So, Watch Me as I give this book the middle finger and delete it from my hard drive. I always think this book is a little strange anyway when the author doesn't want to say outright that a character is using the F word even as she happily describes in detail in that very same page the mechanics of a threesome romp in action. Sodomy is okay but apparently cursing isn't. File this under Waste of time.

Rating: 48


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