Chemistry Of Desire
by Melanie Schuster, contemporary (2011)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86223-8


Melanie Schuster's Chemistry Of Desire has a very familiar story. Todd Wainwright, a busy doctor, needs some R&R so his friend suggests that he stays at her family's cozy and quiet holiday cottage in Hilton Head a while. When he arrives, he stumbles upon his friend's sister Emily Porter naked in the shower. These two have been attracted to each other since they met at her sister's wedding, so you can imagine what happens during this wonderful holiday. And then Todd decides that their beautiful moments together are a mistake and runs back to real life.

If Todd seems like a jerk, well, he's actually more like a clueless dolt here, and trust me, Emily really rips a new one into him. Her blistering set-down on pages 119 and 120 is, if you ask me, worth every cent I've spent on this book. But there's more to this story than an angry sister forcing the hero to wear a colostomy bag - Chemistry Of Desire is all about fun. This is one of those books that can make me smile just from reading the words on the page. The heroine's friendship with her friends are too much fun to read, the banters and retorts in this book make me chuckle, and the chemistry between the main characters feels real. Even better, the characters are likable as well as with flaws, which is something I don't always find in Kimani books. Emily has self-esteem issues stemming from being a rather... not cute teenager in the past, although she never really lets this turn her into a one-woman pity party. Todd is smart, but he also has a tendency to put his foot into his mouth when it comes to Emily. These flaws come off as endearing rather than annoying, which only adds to the likability of the characters.

There really isn't anything here that feels really new or even different, but the whole thing is just a blast to read. The author's sense of humor is top notch here, her characters are just too adorable, and the secondary characters only add to the fairytale romantic comedy atmosphere of the story. This one certainly qualifies as a good pick-me-up read where I am concerned - I should keep this one aside to be reread whenever I need to chase away some blues.

Rating: 88


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