by Lyric James, contemporary (2008)
Samhain Publishing, $2.50, ISBN 1-59998-951-4
Temptation City is also the name of our heroine Aisha Turner's very successful male strip club. Not that she's easy to please. She's like Simon Cowell when it comes to judging prospective dancers for her club. The guy has one minute on stage to engage her attention, and if he can't do that, he's out. By the end of the performance, if she doesn't require a change of underwear, he's out too. Jalen Spencer doesn't just make her grade, however, she's pretty much itching to rip his clothes off his body.
Poor Jalen is an undercover cop on a mission to look into the possibility that Aisha is helping her brother in some money laundering. He's hoping to get a job as a bartender or something, but alas, she's only looking to hire a new stripper for her club. It turns out that he's a natural on stage. But as things heat up between him and Aisha, there is also his job threatening to ruin their developing relationship.
Temptation City actually surprises me, how wonderful. If you are expecting his secret to be revealed after the love scene and she will subsequently rail and scream that she will never trust a man again only to change her mind when he saves her, this is not that story, sorry. I'm not revealing anything more, since this is a short story and if I tell, there's nothing left for the reader to find out on her own. Let me just say that the two characters are intelligent enough to deal with each other. The chemistry between those two is very well done and their love scenes are sizzling.
The pacing of this story is good too. It feels complete, the relationship between the main characters feel plausible indeed, and I never get this feeling that the story ended too abruptly or that the characters are grossly underdeveloped.
Temptation City may be a short and quick read, but because Ms James does pretty much everything right in this story, it is also a very satisfying one.
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