“Renowned for her sensual writing, Candace Schuler defines hot in this sizzling encounter between a tantalizing free spirit called Zoe Moon and the very proper, very controlled grandson of her mentor. Reed Sullivan doesn’t know what’s hit him when Zoe and his grandmother combine forces to loosen him up. But Zoe alone is enough to trigger a meltdown! And that’s really sexy.
Or not. Actually not since the book’s single love scene unfolds somewhere near the end and could best be described as perfunctory. Oh, baby. And then there’s all the hype.
First we have Blaze: Red-hot reads. Next, we have the title, Uninhibited, and all that it implies. Last, we have the back cover blurb (as described above). What we don’t have is a story that even comes close to any of this build-up. I didn’t read Uninhibited because I was looking for a hot read; I read it because it was assigned to me. Yet, a certain level of expectation was raised by all the “hot” hoopla. If I had read the book looking for a sensual delight, I would have been sorely disappointed.
Uninhibited is the rather bland tale of a wealthy and conservative Bostonian, a kookie cosmetics peddler, and the matriarch who wants to put some money into seeing the kookie cosmetics peddler become a success.
Kookie Zoe Moon makes her own cosmetics from recipes she herself has developed. She wants to be the next Max Factor (well, Maxine Factor perhaps). Zoe needs money to do this. Wealthy Boston lady Moira Sullivan plans to sink some bucks into Zoe’s business, and to ensure success, asks her conservative great-grandson, Reed, to become Zoe’s business advisor. But Reed incorrectly jumps to the conclusion that Gran has set him up in the hopes that Zoe will become Mrs. Reed Sullivan IV. So, instead of approaching her in an adult, professional and business-like manner, Reed treats Zoe like she’s some kind of criminal, all the while lusting after her perfect body.
We know Zoe has a perfect body, because she tells us so … over and over and over.
“Zoe was well aware of her effect on most men. Just the sight of her was often enough to turn the weak-minded among them into slobbering, adoring idiots … Fair or not, her looks gave her an edge she had come to depend on in her dealings with men … Most men went a little slack-jawed when she gave them her slanting, sideways glance … Zoe began to needle him subtly, mocking his pretensions with a provocative little smile, using her expressive eyes and her centerfold body in an effort to make him squirm … It wasn’t that Zoe minded being thought of as attractive, or having men think she was sexy or beautiful … because she was all of those things.”
Wow, get some self-confidence, won’t ya, honey? Your self-pity is killing me.
Need I go on? I just about tossed my cookies after all Zoe’s self-talk about how great she was. Me, I like a humble heroine. Somebody not so incredibly full of herself. An unbelievable plot device later on makes things worse when we realize that Zoe is all talk and no action.
Reed is okay. He’s handsome and sexy and all, and he plays rugby and collects marbles. He, too, has a perfect body, but he keeps quiet about it. There are several nice-enough secondary characters, including one who is willing to loan Zoe all the money she needs. Why Zoe refuses the money and goes with Moira Sullivan’s bank account doesn’t ring true to me.
In fact, very little in this story rang true to me. There were times, later in the story, when some things did begin to come together and I could see how Reed and Zoe might end up together, but it wasn’t enough to make me buy the whole package.
Fans of this author may like Uninhibited, but I can’t really recommend it otherwise.