Wet and Reckless
Wet and Reckless is book four in the sexy contemporary Private Pleasures series by Samanthe Beck, and it’s filled with the same hot good times as the previous books in the series.
Roxy Goodheart is a musician, but she’s gotten herself into a spot of trouble. Having shoplifted her own guitar from a notorious Nashville pawn shop owner, she’s now hitchhiking, in the rain, on Route 19 outside of Bluelick, Kentucky. Officer West Donovan pulls over for her. It turns out that the pawn shop owners haven’t reported the theft as they prefer to handle things themselves, so finding no warrant for Roxy, West takes her into town. Since the estranged grandmother Roxy was hoping to see had passed away, she ends up taking a waitress gig and renting the diner owner’s spare apartment – which happens to be downstairs from West.
I wasn’t thrilled with the names. Roxy Goodheart smacks of Roxy Hart, from the musical Chicago, and I could never remember if the hero was West Donovan or Donovan West. But the characters are quite nice. I always enjoy a good boy with a dirty streak, which West is, and Roxy is given the backstory of managing an opioid addiction recovery.
This is the author’s fourth book set in Bluelick, and we do encounter protagonists from the previous books, who are slightly generic but not grating. I like that Bluelick manages to have the vibe of a real small town, not an idealized 1950s TV one (the amusing local stoners are a major part of this plot).
The cop hero is a difficult fantasy to navigate in the U.S. these days, and I’m especially put off by books where the cop throws influence around to obtain a happy ending for the heroine. For most of this book however, West’s law enforcement status isn’t relevant – his reminders to people not to drive drunk or leave doors unlocked would have been equally credible coming from a caretaker principal, minister, or EMT (albeit one with a kinky streak). None of the sex has a cop fantasy or occurs on the clock, although Roxy likes to call him “Officer Donovan”. Towards the end, West does use police resources to find the people threatening Roxy, but… they were committing a crime, so I think that’s legitimately his job. If you can’t read police at all, obviously, steer clear, but as cop heroes go, this is a pretty safe one.
But the reason to come to a Samanthe Beck book is the sex scenes, which here are hot and generally well-written. West gets consent from Roxy to be bossy and goes for it. The characters slightly overindulge in dialogue, but that does help us see their personalities.
While this author has yet to break into the DIK ranks here, with three straight B+s, she’s a reliable and consistent performer. If you like hot contemporary romance, Samanthe Beck should be on your bookshelf. If she’s not, you’re missing out.