Who could resist a book with an exotic dancer as the heroine? Okay, so she’s an exotic dancer working to support her two kids and ailing mother. She’s still a rarity in the land of debutantes and rancher’s widows.
Jordan Sommerville comes into The Swine, a local bar, to convince the owner to impose stricter drink limits on his customers. Before he can get down to business, he’s distracted by the performance of Georgia Barnes. Georgia does not strip, she just prances provocatively in tight costumes. It’s lust at first shimmy for Jordan. When an over stimulated audience member grabs Georgia, Jordan steps in, and soon it’s an all-out brawl.
Much of Jordan and Georgia’s courtship takes place during the same evening, which ends with Jordan giving Georgia the foot rub of her life. Jordan’s attraction only gets stronger the more time they spend together, but Georgia has mixed feelings. Jordan is attractive and kind to her and her children, but she doesn’t have much faith in men and she’s determined not to depend on one.
Beneath all the glitz and Lycra, Georgia has the heart of a Puritan. I admired her independence and devotion to her family. Jordan is a little pushy and proprietary for my taste. But the nice things he does for Georgia make up for it. The morning after they meet, he washes her dishes. Forget candlelight and roses, if a man can operate a Dustbuster, I’m swept off my feet.
Surprisingly, most of the book’s conflict focuses on Georgia’s reluctance to accept Jordan in her life, rather than his problems with her profession. Not that the book takes a pro position on exotic dancing; The Swine is a hellhole and Georgia’s boss is a snake. Georgia gets no joy from shaking her groove thing, but it’s the best job she can get. I found it refreshing that no one in Jordan’s family disapproves of her because of her job – in fact, his brother’s wives come to the club to cheer her on.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first three quarters of this book. Lori Foster has the ability to make a scene come alive through the details; everything she describes conjures up a mental picture. But near the end, the plot fizzles out. There’s a long scene showcasing a family barbecue, where Georgia and Jordan’s respectful families revel in their admiration of one another and the general swellness of life. After about 5 pages, I felt like I had been in the sun too long. The Swine and Georgia’s future there are dealt with as an afterthought.
This is the last book in the Buckhorn Bothers series, but it stands on it’s own as a fine rise-of-the-long-suffering-heroine story. Fans of the series will probably enjoy watching Georgia find a nice guy who loves her for herself, although I bet he misses some of her old outfits.