Intimate Fantasy is the third book in Harlequin Temptation’s Fantasies, Inc. mini-series. Each are penned by different authors and while each stand alone, the common thread among them is intriguing. Fantasies, Incorporated is a Fantasy Island-type resort that fulfills the wildest fantasies of their select clients.
Injured firefighter Tony Moretti is running low on self-esteem and has come Fantasies, Inc. to heal after being dumped by his longtime girlfriend after she saw his facial scars. His entire persona was tied up in his job and in helping people. Because of his injuries, he feels useless. To fulfill Tony’s need of being needed, the resort creates a role for him: In the guise of the eye-patched Michael, he patrols the resort at night and rescues people. What he doesn’t know is if they really needed rescuing.
Kyra Cartwright has come to Fantasies, Inc. for a final fling before marrying a man she doesn’t love in order to save the family business. At first, Kyra’s plan to meet a man and have a wild fling seemed more than a little seamy, but after her wild fling with the mysterious Michael, she begins to question the morality of what she’s doing. Of that I was extremely glad, because meeting and sleeping with a mysterious stranger who may have been paid to sleep with her ranks right up there in the “ick” scale for me.
Kyra is an intelligent heroine; she analyzes what she is doing in her life and has no illusions about her future marriage. During the day, Kyra confides in the friendly Tony, who seems like the other half of herself, while having her wild fling with “Michael” at night. This Zorro-type storyline is nothing new, but the physical change between Tony and Michael was more believable here than it often is. And, because Tony is such a wonderful hero, the story rises above average.
The thread running through all three books is that the owner of the resort, Merrily, has unknowingly hired her youthful love as a pilot – she thinks CJ was killed in Vietnam – and watching him secretly woo her is a very poignant thread stringing the series together. This thread is so compelling that I have already ordered the first two books and can hardly wait to watch the romance of Merrily and CJ develop.
Intimate Fantasy is a book I can recommend, but only with some qualifications. It’ll definitely take a while to like the heroine, but the hero is terrific. The outlandish storyline is kept in check by Kenner’s writing style, which keeps the story flowing quickly, and her sly sense of humor in playing off the Fantasy Island theme.