All of Me
This book is a good, hot, fantasy read, and for a while I wondered exactly how to review it. Parts of it brought emotion front and center; parts of it made me roll my eyes. How does a reviewer judge a book like that? I suppose it helps to give it further explanation.
Twenty-two-year-old Nora Armstrong has moved from Ohio to New York to start her own jewelry making business. The day of her arrival, she is coerced by her cousin Harlan into being, for one night, what is commonly called “arm candy”to the rich, handsome, available-but-doesn’t-want-to-appear-so, David Waite. Harlan explains to the innocent Nora that the term “arm candy” refers to a beautiful model-type woman, who socially clings to the arm of a gentleman for an evening, no sex involved. Nora, of course, being a somewhat young, mid-western gal, is faced with a dilemma: say no, which is what her pure heart tells her to do, or say yes, because doing this one favor for her cousin might get him the work he needs from David Waite. You see, Harlan is an up-and-coming party-planner; David Waite is one of the top fund-raisers in Manhattan. Nora agrees to play “arm candy” once – and only once – because she owes Harlan a favor.
David Waite is a dashingly handsome Brit whose wealth and good looks have always been sort of a handicap when it comes to women. They mostly wanted him for his money or power. One such person was Helena, who dumped him after she was able to climb to the top of her business by virtue of his connections. David thought he loved her, but found out how wrong he was too late. Since then he’s vowed not to get involved in a real “relationship,” but doesn’t want to attend all his society functions alone for fear of looking available. So, he asks Harlan to set him up with a model, strictly for “arm candy” – no sex involved. In comes Nora, though little does she know it’s for more than one night.
The pretense of this story is cute. I say cute because throughout the book there is a feeling of unreality, as if one were reading a fantasy. For starters, Nora is a twenty-two-year-old virgin. Okay, we’ve all complained about too many virgins popping up in series romances, but with Nora I could buy it – if she weren’t so darn wise. Twenty-two is not that old. I’m sure there are lots of women that age in America who are virgins. But Nora is somehow. . . mature beyond her years. She has stamina and class and wisdom I’d expect in someone closer to thirty.
And then there’s the sex. Whoa! This book really sizzles, and it’s quite tastefully done. Most of the lovemaking is toward the end of the book, but when things steam up, it’s sauna time! The lovemaking, however, although well-written, emotional, and passionate, is also just a tad close to being perfection, mostly due to David’s perfection as the perfect mate, and wow, does Nora ever enjoy it! He is so centered on Nora and her pleasure that it is pure fantasy, and a pure pleasure to read, though somewhat beyond the credible for a couple’s first time, or a virgin.
The secondary characters are entertaining; the prose delightful and at times quite funny, if not occasionally maudlin. I recommend this book whole-heartedly, but with caution. There are so many un-realities that All of Me is a fun, quick, hot read for a sometimes too idealistic story. Take it for what it is and enjoy!