Grade : A

Does your significant other wonder why you are so fond of romance? Is he a fan of mysteries and suspense and would not dream of reading a romance novel? Do the covers of romance turn him off? Well then, slip him a copy of Susan Andersen's Exposure, a wonderful romance novel in suspense novel's clothing.

The cover is lurid blue and red and features a pair of long legs wearing black hose and high heels. There are no pastels, hearts, flowers, or half-naked clinches in sight so he can read it in a public place without fear of embarrassment. There's enough action and suspense to please any guy, plus there's a wonderful love story that's the main focus of the book.

Emma Sands has discovered that her foster father has been videotaping her every move and may be behind the deaths of her brother and her husband. She withdraws all of her money, grabs the tapes and leaves her home in Louisiana trying every trick she can think of to avoid leaving any clues for him to follow. When Emma's car breaks down in the small town of Port Flannery Washington, she and her daughter Grace meet the town sheriff Elvis Donnelly.

Elvis is six feet six inches tall and has a prosthetic hand and a bad scar on his face courtesy of a bomb blast while he was a Seattle policeman. Elvis is grudgingly respected by the town as a lawman but not as a man. His mother was a promiscuous tramp and he grew up with a reputation as a swaggering bad-boy. There are a lot of residents who can't forget Elvis's past, but Emma has no problems and thinks he is a sexy man; hook, scar and all. Emma is a beautiful, friendly outgoing woman whom it is impossible not to like and she quickly becomes friends with the townspeople. Her attraction to Elvis and his obvious love for Emma's little daughter, Grace, causes the people of Port Flannery to look past Elvis's trampy mama and for the first time really see him for the good honest man that he is.

Susan Andersen does an exceptional job with her depiction of Grace, Emma's three year old daughter. Grace is precocious and speaks in baby-talk - two characteristics that usually turn me off, but not this time. Grace is a charming little girl and she becomes friends with Elvis almost immediately. Her first reaction when she sees him is to look at his scar and say "owie". When she gets a cut on her face, she says that now she will have a "scaw" like "Elbis". If anyone says anything about Elvis's appearance, Grace sets them straight, she thinks Elvis is "hamsome".

There is no whodunit in this book; we know all along who the villain is, but we are kept in suspense as to just what he is going to do. Emma's foster father does manage to trace her to Port Flannery, he hires some goons to steal the tapes and cause several "accidents" and several people turn up dead. Meanwhile, the sexual tension between Emma and Elvis just keeps getting more and more intense until it peaks when they go to a dance hall. Keep lots of ice water handy for this scene.

Exposure is exciting, fast-paced and the ending, featuring kidnapping, chases, cliffs and guns will please any action junkie. So give a copy of Exposure to your romance-resistant loved one. The cover won't embarrass him and he may be pleasantly surprised to see what you have been raving about all this time.

Buy it at Amazon/Apple Books/Barnes and Noble/Kobo

Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti
Grade : A

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 19, 2005

Publication Date: 1999

Recent Comments …

  1. Having that problem too – just now, hugely enjoyed Spite House by Olivia Dade, m/f CR done wonderfully. Strong rec.

  2. I really didn’t think you were criticising anyone, so we’re good! There was a discussion on AAR some time ago…

  3. But, queer romance are as real to me as non-queer, so I still don’t understand your thinking. I still want…

Ellen Micheletti

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