Sunday, October 18, 2009

Review: Carnal Innocence by Julie Miller

Title: Carnal Innocence
Author: Julie Miller

Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: November 5, 2004
Publisher: Mills & Boon
ISBN: 0263840638
ISBN-13: 9780263840636

His business would be her pleasure!

Caitlin McCormick: An overprotected girl, who longs for independence and adventure. She is a
good girl...with a weakness for bad boys.

Sean Maddox: An avowed bachelor, career focused, who is in need of a
good woman.

Sean's latest assignment has him posed to infiltrate a hedonistic island resort where anything is possible. But he can't go alone.

Caitlin can't resit—him or his offer. For the first time she has the chance to experience danger...and raw sexual desire. She's determined that by the end of her adventure, she'll know just how
bad Sean really is.

My rating:

Before ruling on an ongoing Bureau investigation a judge retires after returning from a weekend trip to Pleasure Cove Island. A few days later an ambassador turns up dead, also just returned from Pleasure Cove Island. Coincidence? The FBI doesn't think so. There must be something hinky going on on that island and Sean Maddox is about to find out.

Unfortunately, he needs a date and since his love life is literally nonexistent, he has no other choice but to ring up one of his partner's special friends.
But as he arrives at Cassie's apartment, he discovers she's gone off with someone else, but her roommate, a blond Amazon with great legs is available.

English teacher, Caitlin McCormick wants nothing more than to experience an adventure. So when a rugged, beastly-looking FBI agent asks for her help in maintaining his cover, what is she to do? She accepts. The only problem? Well, they should look convincing in their act as lovers. Unfortunately, Caitlin's measly two sexual encounters (with the same man) aren't much of an experience. But lucky for her, Sean doesn't mind teaching the teacher.

Oh, what a fun, sexy, light, quickie of a read this was. A pleasant surprise as far as HQ Blaze books go. It had a load of story, but didn't hold back on the sexiness either. And though the sex scenes were hot, the author kept them on the sensual side, which was a nice respite from the newest stories in the line.

Somewhat it reminded me of Beauty and the Beast with the awkward, almost six-foot high heroine with an Amazon build thinking she was anything but beautiful and feminine until Sean, an overworked, workaholic, emotion-hiding FBI agent came along, hoisted her up against his chest and made her see what it meant to be a woman.

I absolutely loved those two together, learning from each other, learning together, working together. Sure, some suspension of disbelief is needed, but though it all happens in a short amount of time (a weekend), the romance still had time to build, though the attraction was there from the start.

Caitlin needed some time to get used to. She was a little too innocent for this day and age, daydreaming instead of living her life (all thanks to her overprotective father and brothers and her height-related issues). At the beginning of their adventure together, she was sometimes borderline TSTL, but luckily grew out of it and made the reader see just what drew Sean to her.

Sean didn't need all that time to get used to. As soon as he appeared on the scene, he grabbed my attention and held it until the last page. This guy was the epitome of leading man. An alpha with enough common sense to know when to stop pushing and change tactics to get what he wanted. A "beastly lion" with a heart of a kitten. All steel on the outside, but a total marshmallow on the inside.
Can I have one of those for my own, please?

The story was interesting, intriguing enough to hold the reader's attention, yet never overshadowing the romance blossoming between Sean and Caitlin. It actually helped their story to move on and evolve.
Now, that's what I call a nicely thought-out plot. Everything flowed nicely, characters and plot twining perfectly together to make one heck of a good read. Wished it was longer though. I wasn't prepared to say goodbye so soon.

A 5-star keeper and a huge THANK YOU to Danielle for recommending this one.


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