A Shot of Sultry
Grade : B-

A Shot of Sultry is the second book in Macy Beckett’s Sultry Springs series. For the most part, it was a funny, not-quite-over-the-top romance, but it occasionally crossed that line for me.

After being caught up in a scandal involving bad sources and hasty accusations, documentarian Bobbi Gallagher is ostracized by her peers in LA. She’s stuck filming weddings when she gets offered a job: producing a reality TV show called Sex in the Sticks about a couple of rural guys, looking for love. It’s a far cry from exposing human trafficking rings, but it’s a paycheck, and Bobbi has an idea of where to go to film.

When she was four, her mother took her from Sultry Springs, Texas, and brought her to California. Her mother was a dug addict and eventually OD’d, and Bobbi was adopted by a gay couple. Meanwhile, her older brother was left behind in Sultry Springs, and they have only recently reconnected. Bobbi decides to stay with her brother and find a couple of local guys to star in her project. One of her stars is a local cop whose antics and womanizing are well known to be a coping mechanism for a broken heart, and the other is Trey Lewis. Trey is not the reality TV star type, but Bobbi’s brother Luke twists his arm and guilt trips him into signing on to the project in order to watch over Bobbi. Of course, Luke’s definition of “watching over” specifically means, “don’t have sex with,” but Trey and Bobbi’s mutual attraction is instant, despite an initial misunderstanding.

This book manages to toe the line between being outrageous and being ridiculous. The author’s sense of humor is bawdier than I typically prefer, but she has a gift with creative and unexpected (and sometimes raunchy) similes. Most of the side characters are close to being caricatures, but are given just enough realism and depth to keep them from becoming mere props.

The reality TV gimmick, though, seemed like a stretch. The details of production didn’t seem realistic. I would think that to create a television show, they would need significantly more footage than they ever seemed to get, with Trey always avoiding the cameras and spending more time with Bobbi than anyone else.

I have mixed feelings about Trey and Bobbi’s relationship. For most of the book, it worked very well. They open up to each other gradually, and while they definitely have physical chemistry together, their relationship is more than that. But I didn’t like the grand finale. The last line of the book left a very sour taste in my mouth.

I would have preferred more scenes between Luke and Bobbi. Their relationship is complicated, having both been affected very differently by their mother. They touch on this, but it doesn’t go as deep as I would have liked. We see more between Luke and Trey, and those conversations didn’t particularly endear me to either one. Their banter is the sort of raunchy guy-talk that seems more made up than realistic – but then again, I have no basis in saying what is realistic and what isn’t when it comes to private male discussions. I do know, though, that it felt over the top.

While I ordinarily wouldn’t choose to read a book with this style of humor, I can appreciate that other people will find this book hilarious. If you like outrageous humor and bawdy jokes, you’ll love this book.

Reviewed by Jane Granville
Grade : B-

Sensuality: Hot

Review Date : March 7, 2013

Publication Date: 2013/03

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