She’s a temptation he can’t resist…
Roxanne ‘Rocki’ Monroe’s life is full of secrets and hidden heartaches. Cole Stanton would love to heal her pain and chase away the ghosts of her past, but she’s just a complication he doesn’t have room for in his life. Or so he thinks.
It doesn’t take Cole long to realize he’s more than willing to let temptation get the best of him, more than happy to deal with complications if that’s what it takes to get her.
What he has and what he needs are two different things…and what he needs is Rocki.
Once again Shiloh Walker “hits one out of the park” with this novella that is so beautifully written, with such an edgy feel to it, using language efficiently so that a blockbuster story fits in a relatively short number of pages. It is also self-published, and in my experience, self-published works often fall short for some reason. I am not really sure why, but in this case, Ms Walker has succeeded where others fall short and has provided a stellar reading experience for those who have long loved her work as well as those who are only now discovering her writing.
Roxanne (Rocki) Monroe, a young widow who has been alone for five years, encounters studly Cole Stanton as he enters her lingerie shop with his fiancee, a woman who is also opening a lingerie shop and but who looks upon full-figured women as “cows.” Yet unbeknownst to her–she is on a mission to get in touch with Rocki’s “designer”–the first look exchanged between Rocki and Cole is noteworthy, unsettling, and deeply disturbing to Rocki, because he is the first man since the death of her husband to “make her heart flip.” Yet he is not her type–he is the “taken” type. After exchanging several moments of conversation with his fiancee, she begins to feel sorry for Cole as the lady reveals that she is disdainful of BBW and will probably not be a friendly competitor. Actually, she’s a bitch!
Cole seems somewhat distanced from his lady — he seems to be looking at her as if she were a stranger, and in truth, that is how he is feeling. What ever happened to the woman he loved–and he now realizes that the loving part of the relationship is definitely in the past. He may be her business partner, but he isn’t going to be her husband.
This story is really about the attraction this woman holds for a man who always thought he was most satisfied with women who were blond and sleek. Now he realizes that Rocki is just what her nickname implies: lush. And he now realizes that “lush” does it for him. And even before Rocki finds out that Cole and his lady have parted ways, she still can’t seem to get him out of her thoughts. Add in the complication of a stalker from the past that again enters her life, and this is a book that is not placid or one that cruises from first date to wedding. Rather, it is a story that addresses what could easily be a real-life situation and which probably will be one that most women can understand. In its own way it is very erotic. But in the end, the reader is captivated by the honesty of Rocki, her staunch loyalty to her friends, her deep sense of understanding she has for women who need to discover their unique beauty, and her willingness to be open about herself and her needs. Cole will also be a man that most of us would like to know–up front about his attraction, yet he is sensitive to Rocki’s pain at being once again burdened with the sickness of an old boyfriend, wanting her well-being more than his sensual fulfillment. What a guy!!
I have long delighted in Ms Walker’s writing, in the subjects she chooses for her stories, for her willingness to wade into real-life circumstances and craft her characters with flaws, painful histories, unwieldy emotions, etc. Her stories are often uncomfortable and at least for me, call up responses that are deeply emotional. This novella is a wonderful addition to her writing accomplishments, and I hope that other readers will enjoy it and find it just as compelling as I have.
I give it a rating of 5 out of 5–I just can’t find anything I don’t like about it.
You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place