Troubled Hearts
by Jolie Cain, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-433-9

Troubled Hearts starts with such a lurid and melodramatic bang that I find myself wondering whether this is a story previously published during the 1980s when everyone wanted to be the next Jackie Collins.

You see, twelve years ago, twenty-three year old Katherine Montgomery was harassed by her eighteen-year old stepson Beau ("You think I donít know that, Kat? You think I don't know that every night you crawl into my old man's bed and let him put his hands all over you? Let him shove his cock up inside you and fill you with his cum? You think I don't wish that it was me in there instead? And you know what else? I think you wish it, too. Do you cry out my name when you cum for him?") just before she and Beau stumble upon her much-older husband in his office getting some oral service from his secretary. Flailing around in dismay, Kat ended up in bed with Beau before she fled the morning after with the tattered remains of her dignity fluttering behind her back. Heh, heh, heh, this is comedy gold, I tell you.

Cut to present day, where poor Kat is still plagued by her poor taste in men. After messily breaking up with a Dom who mistook "submission" for "humiliation", she receives a phone call from his sister asking her to be Abby's bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. The only thing is, Beau is going to be the best man for the bridegroom Jack so this could only lead to some awkward reunion moments like a drunken shag in the chapel storeroom or something. Oh, what is poor Kat to do? Beau, of course, has plans of getting back with Kat and into her bed.

After the initial melodrama about the stepmother shagging the stepson after catching the husband shagging the secretary - call Jerry Springer, somebody! - Troubled Hearts mellows down somewhat into a pretty much non-stop sex fiesta. There is even a threesome scene involving Kat, Beau, and another woman because Beau learns that Kat wants to get it on with another woman so he'll generously arrange for such a session and even supervise while the two women go at it. There are some dangerous moments towards the end when someone starts to create trouble for the lovebirds, but all in all, this one is more about the jollies.

Kat is too high-strung for my liking as for some reason Ms Cain always has the poor dear being shocked or stunned by the turn of things. Still, I have to hand it to Kat. I may not trust her when she's holding a syringe in front of me (Kat is a doctor, by the way), but I have to admire a heroine who doesn't hesitate to throw a happy party for one when no guy is around as often as she does. She and Beau don't really have much of a personality here, but hey, they are at least having fun in this story.

Troubled Hearts is like those Jackie Collins type of stories in the 1980s - high on titillation, with everything else including the story seems secondary in comparison. If you are looking for a story with plenty of naughty antics between the main characters, this one may be to your liking. It has its share of moments due to the campy nature of the story. Just don't expect anything more, or else you're going to be very disappointed.

Rating: 71

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