by Julie Elizabeth Leto, contemporary (2002)
Harlequin Blaze, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-79033-3
Red hot sexual tension, two main characters that actually resemble human beings, and a silly subplot about getting undercover - or is that under covers? - and all make Julie Elizabeth Leto's Just Watch Me... a pleasant little ditty to voyeurism and sex.
Jillian Hennessy and her obligatory accessory, a sassier best friend, are working on spying on some guy for her PI uncle, when she catches herself drooling over this hot guy in denim cutoffs and his buns of steel and shoulders wide enough to bounce every bar in Tampa. She has no idea that this gardener/lawn boy is actually a cop, Cade Lawrence, who is working undercover.
They have a mutual target: the man they are after is a conman who has successfully sued the Tampa Police Department under false pretenses. Cade, having to choose between pushing pencil on his desk or going undercover in this silly mission to expose said conman, chooses the latter. But all thoughts about their job fly out of their heads the moment they begin spying on each other. (Not very reassuring, I admit, especially as the taxpayers are paying him and her client her to do their duties and here they are, groin bouncing like bunnies in heat but hey, this is a romance fantasy, so I guess allowances have to be made.)
While this set-up doesn't lead to scenarios such as wild phone sex or heavy duty solo duties, it does however present enough sexual tension to singe the eyebrows.
A nice bonus is the fact that these two characters are refreshingly free from sexual hang-ups. She may has an unfaithful ex, but hey, she's single, available, and she has a libido. If she embarks on an affair with Cade, it's because she wants to. He too wants her for herself. No coercion, blackmail, sex for daddy ("Oh Daddy, I lost my virginity for you! Are you happy now? Will you love me now, Daddy?") - just two people falling in lust and maybe love in a nice, unforced pace.
There's not much meat in terms of plot, but Just Watch Me... boasts of adequately developed characters emanating healthy sexual chemistry like a nuclear station on a meltdown. So much sexual tension can't be healthy, but boy, it feels good while it lasted, huh?
Fans of Lori Foster may want to just watch Julie Elizabeth Leto.
This book at Amazon.com
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