Make Me Crave
This is the second of Katee Robert’s books for the new Harlequin Dare line, and Make Me Crave is exactly the short, sexy, escapist fun you’d expect from a high(er)-heat Harlequin line. I doubt this book will be particularly memorable for anyone, but the island setting and low angst are a good way to cap off your summer reading with some steam.
Roman Bassani has followed (some might say stalked) Allie Landers to her island getaway in order to close a deal for his investor looking to buy her gym/women’s shelter. She’s uninterested in his business propositions and just looking for some stress-free time with her friend in the Caribbean before she goes home and faces the reality that her dream business is on the rocks financially. Roman conveniently doesn’t know what Allie looks like, so when he sees a hot woman sunbathing topless he’s willing to make one exception to his plan to keep this trip business only – getting this woman in bed.
Of course, the topless woman turns out to be none other than Allie. The pair agrees to put their business dispute aside for the time they’re on vacation and enjoy the island and each other. They can have a no strings affair for the duration and then go back to butting heads in a boardroom when they return to the real world. That is, if neither of them leaves the Caribbean with deeper feelings…
Although you don’t need to read the first book in the series, Make Me Want, prior to this one, I will say both of them left me with very similar feelings. The plots are incredibly weak and stakes are low. Allie is supposedly in dire financial straits trying to make her dream of combining a fitness center and women’s shelter viable, yet she has the money to spend on (maybe) a week in an all-inclusive resort that seems to only have about three guests and ten rooms. I could only dream of having such terrible finances! Roman’s plan to follow her there, with no real clue who she is, rather than wait on her return is flimsy bordering on creepy. Any emotion deeper than sex that is allegedly developing between the two didn’t happen for me. I love Robert’s books and I know she’s got better writing chops than this, so it made Make Me Crave comes off as superficial.
That said, I do think it’s an improvement over the previous installment in the series which was silly. If you ignore any plot feebleness, Roman and Allie are a really sexy pair and I did like the beachy setting, since it isn’t my usual type of read. Since I can’t afford a week at a beach resort, this was my substitute for a few hours, and it will totally work for that purpose. So read it for a quick shot of chemistry, heat, and to live vicariously through Roman and Allie splashing in the surf… not so much if you’re looking to have your heartstrings tugged.