Live A Little!
Live A Little started out on shaky footing, gained a lot of ground with its self-deprecating heroine, but unfortunately went downhill again when she hooked up with the hero.
Cynthia Baxter is tired of her boring life. She’s an accountant, engaged (oh no, not again!) to a man more interested in his cell phone than sex play. One fine day she realizes she wants more out life, like romance and excitement. In an effort to spice things up, she buys a sexy magazine to get some ideas and convinces her fiancé to handcuff her naked body to the bed. But then his cell phone rings and he gets so engrossed in conversation he forgets all about her and leaves. No sensual bliss for our heroine, just an increasingly desperate need to pee. Cynthia cries out for help to an elderly female neighbor whom she spies through her window. Her humiliation is complete when her hunky new neighbor arrives instead.
Jake Wheeler, FBI agent, hunk extraordinaire, and Cynthia’s new neighbor arrives to save the day. Expecting a woman in distress, he’s a bit shocked when he discovers Cynthia’s actual predicament. He puts on his best business-as-usual face, keeps his chuckles to himself, and sets her free.
Jake’s working on a drug-smuggling case and needs an inside source to do some spying at the suspected firm. Ideally, he needs an accountant with loose sexual morals (don’t ask why, it doesn’t really matter), and can’t believe his luck when he learns that kinky Cynthia is an accountant. Cynthia has ditched the lame fiancé (hooray!), bought herself a sexy new wardrobe, and is ready for the excitement to begin even before Jake proposes his plan. She eagerly agrees to interview with the company and gets the job straight away. How conveeeenient.
Jake starts out as a bit of jerk. He has no qualms about putting Cynthia in danger when he thinks she’s a slut with a revolving bedroom door, (his ex was a slut, therefore sluts are expendable, or something along those lines) but once he learns she’s been putting on an act, he begins to feel pangs of guilt. Jake makes a lot of annoying assumptions about Cynthia during the course of the story. My opinion of Jake never did recover from the initial bad impression because we don’t get to know much about the man. What do we know about Jake? Well, he’s out to avenge the death of a close friend and he’s handsome, but he’s also crabby and bossy and, even in times of great peril, his boner is always ready for action. Sorry, but it’s difficult to take an FBI man seriously when he risks exposing himself and his secret mission in order to sate his sexual needs.
This Blaze story starts out on a fun note but goes awry once Jake and Cynthia hit the sheets. Despite their mission to ferret out drug smugglers, these two are laughably easy to sidetrack when there’s sex to be had. Cynthia has a terrific sense of humor and is an extremely likable character. I couldn’t resist this description: “Cynthia’s breasts just sat on her chest like lumps of unrisen bread dough with raisins on top”. Though she gains major points early in the story, I lost interest once she discovers she’s an adrenaline junkie who becomes sexually aroused in dangerous situations. I didn’t enjoy or understand her arousal during the situations she found herself in. Having silent sex on a cold, hard, probably dirty warehouse floor with a bossy, dangerous man while barely fifty feet from two armed guards simply isn’t my idea of a fantasy. Anyone else?
Live A Little is for those who enjoy light-hearted adventure mixed up with explicit sex. If you’re looking for any in-depth character development or a drawn-out seduction, you won’t find it here. What you will find is yet another couple who confuse lust with love. Reading about sex is a lot more fun when the sex is innovative, the tension is stretched to the breaking point, and the reader cares about both of the lead characters. If the reader doesn’t care, it seems voyeuristic and boring. These two sate themselves so quickly there is no time for the sexual tension to build. This book is amusing, but too often it ventures into voyeuristic territory. When the focus is on the witty heroine’s early mid-life crises this book is a B+, but when it switches back to her sexual adventures with the bossy hero it’s a pure D. Although I rate this story a C, I enjoyed the heroine enough that I’ll give Nancy Warren another shot.