Sarah Mayberry loves to mix things up a bit from book to book. In one of her books, the physical relationship between the hero and hero might develop slowly—going from like to caring to the physical. Then you can pick up her next book, and the heroine and hero fall prey to immediate sexual attraction, which is what happens in Her Kind of Trouble, her newest release. The blurb lets you know that right away:
The moment Vivian Walker spies Seth Anderson she knows they're a match made in hedonistic pleasure.
Vivian and Seth first meet at the family dinner held the night before their older siblings’ wedding–Vivian sister, Jodie, is marrying Seth’s brother, Jason. Of course each has heard gossip about the other but still, they almost immediately recognize that they have similar attitudes toward life and relationships—like living in the moment. But both realize, with a little help from their sibling, that each is out of bounds to the other:
He bet she went off in bed—not because she was a redhead, but because of the suggestive curve to her lips. No fake orgasms and holding back for red. She’d go all the way and then some.
Someone nudged him and he turned to find his brother scowling at him.
“No.” Jason sliced a hand through the air.
“What?” Seth put on his best innocent face.
“That’s Jodie’s little sister, Vivian. She is absolutely out of bounds.”
Vivian. The name suited her. A bit different and naughty.
“She doesn’t look out of bounds.” Seth gave her another once-over. Her high heels were serious business. The stilettos made from shiny silver metal.
Jason moved to block his line of vision. “Think of her as a nun.”
“Never gonna happen.”
“Then think of my hand around your throat, squeezing slowly until your ever- loving eyes pop out of your head.”
Seth laughed. “Wow, you are really serious about this, aren’t you.”
“These people are about to become my family. Apologizing for my humpy-dog brother is not high on my list of things to do.”
But you know what they say about forbidden fruit.
She took a sip from her champagne flute, considering him over the rim.” So how do you see this working? We slip out between the main and dessert and I do you in the alley? Or were you thinking the bathroom?"
He choked on his beer, going from semihard to hard in no seconds flat. Then she arched her eyebrows and he knew she was yanking his chain.
That is not how it went down, but it did go down at her sister’s wedding in the back of a limousine.
“Listen, Seth…I had a great time. But just so you know, I’m not really looking for anything. I’ve got a lot going on with my studies, I’ve got a graduate show to prepare for…”She trailed off awkwardly.
He was silent for a long moment, his expression unreadable. “So, what, this was just one night of the best limo-monkey-sex ever, no strings attached?”
She couldn’t tell if he was pissed or not. He didn’t sound pissed, but there was something about the way he was holding himself that made her a little nervous.
“That’s another way of putting it.”
He grinned hugely, his posture and expression relaxing. “I knew you were my kind of girl when I met you, Vivian Walker.”
Keeping their night a secret, they individually go their separate ways, only meeting up intermittently at family events. But after ten years both are back in Melbourne.
Vivian’s big plans to become a fashion designer never came to fruition, but along the way she discovered her talent as stylist. After spending time in the States, she realizes that she misses home, so she returns to set up her own business.
Seth gave up his dreams of making it as a rock star, but still he will never be a straight arrow, like Jason. But he is a successful business owner, even if his business is non-traditional, owing a bar called the Night Howl. And he will soon be a father too—again going the unconventional route. He and the baby’s mother, Lola, have no plans to marry. Their relationship ended before she even discovered she was pregnant, but Seth is determined to do the right thing for his child, even if he finds it frustrating dealing with Lola’s youthful cavalier attitude toward parenthood.
When Jodie and Jason ask Seth to be co-guardian to their two young sons, along with Vivian, he thinks back to the wilder Vivian, and makes some derogatory comments about her suitability. Of course that gets back to Vivian, and she calls him on it. Both of them were in the limo that night.
But during Vivian’s confrontation, Seth receives a life-changing phone call, leaving him to care for his infant daughter alone. Vivian is there to help him out. And from there their relationship changes again. Vivian and Seth’s attraction to each other is just as compelling as the attraction a positive charged proton has for a negatively charged electron.
“You coming in?” He started for the pool.
“I haven’t got anything to swim in.”
“Hey, swimsuits have always been optional in this pool, babe.”
She could hear the laughter in his voice, knew he was winding her up. He didn’t really expect her to skinny-dip. He didn’t think she’d be so foolish.
Something irrepressible bubbled inside her as she contemplated his dare, an echo of the wildness that had sent her sashaying toward him across the balcony at her sister’s wedding all those years ago.
She stood and reached for the hem of her tank top…
She took a step closer to the pool, arching her back a little to make her breasts pop. Seth’s mouth dropped open a gratifying half inch. Reaching behind herself, she found the clasp on her bra. She held the pose for a long, suggestive moment.
“In your dreams, Anderson.”
It is hard to conceive of a more perfect match than Vivian and Seth, with their sense of adventure and dare-devil attitudes. While some might find the culmination of the relationship, especially the declaration of love, mistimed, others will believe that love is for the living, and will rejoice that two perfectly matched individuals, finally realize that they belong together.
Leigh Davis, Blogger