A Perfect Fit
I’m not sure what I expected with this one, but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. It could have been just one more in a growing line of zany comedic romances that don’t offer much past zippy dialogue, but because of the characters, it was more.
If you held a gun to my head and forced me to tell you where in the humor continuum A Perfect Fit fits, I’d have to say closer to Julie Garwood then Dara Joy’s latest (High Intensity). Brooke Welch reminded me a bit of a Garwood heroine, petite, fiery and liable to make mistakes when she takes matters into her own hands. In this instance, she’s kidnapped Alex Bradshaw thinking he is the married man who got her younger sister pregnant. She wants to force him to take responsibility for his actions, but doesn’t find out until too late that the man she has taken to her parents’ old cabin is the new owner of the condom factory where she works.
Alex quickly figures out that Brooke isn’t going to hurt him, and it suits his purposes to keep her in the dark as to his actual identity. Battling fatigue and migraines, he’s come to Quicksilver, Oklahoma to investigate the factory after receiving a tip about misdeeds there. He’s hoping to figure out the problem and continue with his much needed vacation. Brooke’s taking him prisoner actually makes matters easier for him. Once Brooke realizes that she’s grabbed the wrong man, Alex has the perfect lever to force her to spy on her fellow employees.
The goings-on at the condom factory are not all that engrossing and the villain is pretty evident from the first time he appears. The fun of this mystery is in watching Brooke skulk around town trying to investigate inconspicuously, while providing for Alex who is staying hidden at the cabin.
Alex and Brooke have great chemistry and they know it. Despite her best efforts, Brooke is hot for Alex, even when she thinks he’s her sister’s lover, and that heat comes through in every exchange.
“Look, Mr., what is your last name anyway?” Those bedroom eyes gleamed with something she couldn’t fathom. She thought it might be amusement.
“Whatever you want it to be.”
“You think this is just all a cute little game don’t you?”
“Not at all. I think you’re totally serious.” And with that he began to unbutton his shirt.
Every conversation between these two is a tease, both for them and the reader. The author is wise to let that be all there is for a while, building tension until the reader is more then ready for Brooke and Alex to make love.
The element that surprised me more then the level of humor was the slight delving the author does into Brooke’s history and emotional problems. Her parents were killed when she was in college and she’s had to raise her younger sister. Now that Dee is ready to fly the coop, Brooke isn’t sure what to do with her life. She’s managed to keep her own grief contained, with dish-throwing episodes as outlets, but now Alex is forcing her to stop focusing on others and take some time for herself. As pleased as I was to find this level of depth, the author stopped short of providing enough of it. Brooke’s anger is cleared up in a couple of scenes and Alex’s daily migraines just disappear and are barely mentioned again. These details were just as much of a tease as the dialogue, but they don’t have the same satisfying resolution.
A couple of editing errors may distract, but Brooke and Alex’s sexy interactions will keep you reading. It’s always a sign of success for me when I finish a book by a new author and immediately search the library catalog to see if I can find any others. You can probably guess what I did today.