by Veronica Wilde, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-497-1
Veronica Wilde seems to be determined to get appointed as the Queen of Cougar Romances or something, as A Cradle-Robbing Christmas is the third spicy romance of hers where the hero is... uh, pretty young. He is 21 while our heroine is 37.
Of course, in order for the fantasy to be palatable, Logan Chase behaves like a much older and definitely much more mature man than your average young man fresh out of his teens. In fact, in this story he behaves more like a father figure towards his friend. Logan decides to spend Christmas at his friend Zach's place, which puts him in close contact - oh, I'm so funny today - with Zach's mother, Gillian McKutcheon. Gillian has recently divorced. Her husband left her for a younger woman, so it's only fair play that she makes a play for a younger man, no?
On the bright side, Ms Wilde doesn't force a white wedding on me by the last page, which is good as a wedding, especially considering how soon the characters get naked with each other over a short period of time, would be really hard to believe. The author, however, has the characters behave as if they are madly in love. I am not sure whether I can buy that it is love these two are feeling. Still, the sex scenes are pretty hot, which goes some way in keeping the cougar fires alive in this story. Also, I wish Logan isn't so serious in this story, though. Sure, a responsible fellow goes a long way in making the fantasy palatable to some readers, but Logan often is in danger of being the oldest 21-year old in the world in this story.
Perhaps if the story were longer, the characters could have been fleshed out better. I also wish that the author has allowed her characters to take things easier and just enjoy their fling instead of rushing to reassure me by the last page that the characters are really in love and they will be together for a long time - I feel that this story will be more believable if the author has shown me how the characters enjoy each other's company and let me draw my own conclusions about the direction of that relationship.
At the end of the day, this story is readable, but I feel that the author's previous two stories of a similar theme for this publisher are stronger efforts than this one.
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