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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ex-Wives, Extortion, and Erotic First Editions by J.L. Wilson

Ex-Wives, Extortion, and Erotic First Editions by J.L. Wilson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (275 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Water Lily

Cryptic notes about 'sexy' books from his murdered ex-wife lead security executive Jack Kacincyzk to Odetta Burnett -- bookstore owner, erotica connoisseur, and a woman who loves a mystery.

Jack and Odetta decipher those clues on a road trip that reveals their own insecurities about aging, love, and commitment. Mistrust and misunderstanding make them separate at journey's end, but they're soon reunited when Odetta is attacked by men who are after the 'sexy' books she and Jack brought with them.

To cap off their adventure, Odetta finally unravels the last clue, leading them to a pornographic web site and a powerful politician who wants them dead. Can they escape in time to crash Odetta's ex-husband's wedding to Odetta's ex-best-friend? And can she and Jack find the courage to take a chance on love and maybe find a wedding in their future?

I love J.L. Wilson’s books. I think I’ve read everything she’s written. Her more mature heroines and equally mature sexy heroes are a nice change of pace from the gorgeous young things frequently populating romances. I find their personal histories, their baggage, and their more mature sense of self refreshing. Her mysteries keep me riveted, her characters make me laugh, her sexy bits are well done, and her characters actions are usually well motivated.

J.L. Wilson has done such a good job with building the relationships in her stories I've read in the past that I have very high expectations, and I have to admit that this one disappointed me a bit.

Odetta Burnett’s comfort level with erotic terms and books makes Jack Kacincyzk blush. Her use of Rom expressions is charming. Jack’s secretive history is intriguing as is the mystery of what his wife left him. But I found Odetta a bit crass. I didn't understand why she and prudish Jack hook up or why she asks him to marry her.

Please understand, the book itself was good and I definitely enjoyed it. It was just that neither Odetta nor Jack felt completely real to me, and Wilson’s characters usually pop off the page. I expected a stellar read and got a good read.  The mystery was solid, though, and I can't complain about the tight writing.

Wilson's Ex-Wives, Extortion, and Erotic First Editions was absolutely a good book, and I recommend it, as well as her entire backlist, to any fan of romantic mysteries.