Exposed to You
Berkley / November 6, 2012 / $15.00 print, $9.99 digital
It's not often you're hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she'd never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.
Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?
In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?
The first book in this series, Addicted to You, was one of my favorite books of 2011. I love the world that Beth Kery has created, but what's even better is that Exposed to You stands alone; it helps to have read the others, but isn't necessary.
What draws me in to Kery's writing are her characters, who are amazingly centered. I love that the hero and heroine have a great sense of self. It's nice to read books about people without any sort of dysfunction or terrible history as a crutch. That's not to say that they're just fluff. Both Joy and Everett have a lot of substance. Joy in fact had cancer, and is struggling with the recovery and life “after.”
Everett is one of my most favorite heroes, and I would love to see more like him across romanceland. He's well adjusted, willing to be in a relationship, hot, but comfortingly normal. He's everything “usual” of a romance hero—a world reknowned actor, obviously wealthy, painfully attractive, but he's also nice. Everett thinks of himself as a regular guy, but also understands that he's lucky and blessed. There's none of this “poor little rich boy” or “my life is so hard” pity party going on. What I also loved is that he had a regular childhood, and a good support group.
Beyond the fabulous characters, what sold me was the emotional journey. This was a romance in the true sense of the word. It's the hero, and the heroine, meeting, and adapting, growing together emotionally and physically, to make a lasting relationship. I know that Everett and Joy are going to have their happily ever after. They don't need each other, but they want each other, and they're both the better for it.
Just writing this is making me want to re-read it. Oh, and of course, I also have to give a shout out for the amazingly hot scenes. There is some chemistry and sex that is just off the charts. So don't think that's lacking.
Great characters, a believable HEA, and hot sex. What else could you want from a romance novel?
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