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Behind the Red Doors
Vicki Lewis Thompson, Leslie Kelly, Stephanie Bond
Harlequin Anthology
ISBN: 0373835698
January 2003
Contemporary Romance

Heaven Scent by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Jamie Ruskin wants one thing. Dev Sherman, her best friends brother. And if she has to do it in the guise of testing out her new scents for her aromatherapy line she will. Too bad Jamie doesn't know that Dev's already hot for her but too nervous to make his move. Jamie doesn't think he'd look twice at her--what do they have in common--but why not see just how far she can go with Dev helping her out by testing her scents? Just how potent can they be? She's about to find out, and so is Dev!

Put a yuppie stockbroker and a brainy, plain jane together and you get fireworks with some humor thrown in. Ms. Thompson gives you two characters that pretend to be something they're not in order to be what they think the other wants, when in reality they find they have more in common than they originally thought. You'll laugh at Dev's reaction to some of Jamie's wilder experiments and chuckle at the lengths Jamie will to go through to hook her man. This is a light, fun read that's meant to be just that, with a touch of comedy thrown in.

Diamond Mine by Stephanie Bond

Just when she thinks she's seen the last of her one true love, Carter Grayson, and the guy she dumped on Valentine's Day, Faith Sherman is more than a little surprised to see him on her doorstep as the new security guard at the Red Doors, who's job it is to guard the Valentino diamond while on display at Faith's jewelry store. He's not happy about the job he's been assigned to and she's not that happy to see him after their last encounter. Still, she can't deny she's still attracted to him. It's unfortunate for her Carter's now engaged. Or so she's lead to believe by Carter. Things come to a head though when Faith's store is robbed and she finds herself locked in the safe with Carter, all alone with hours to kill.

At the beginning of this story I thought Carter was a total jerk. The guy arranges to meet Faith for a date on Valentine's Day, which he's late for. So late that she's leaving when he gets there. Not only is he late but he doesn't even realize it's Valentine's Day, nor does he seem to have a clue as to why she's so dressed up. His response to the reason why she's dressed up? "Oh...right." That totally lost it for me at that point. He came across as all brawn and no brains. My question once he meets up with Faith later? Is this the same guy? He's totally different from the prologue. So much so that I liked this new guy while I couldn't stand him before. I felt like I was reading a different story. It didn't make sense. Take out the prologue and you have a likeable hero. At least the heroine had the sense to dump his butt in the beginning.

Sheer Delights by Leslie Kelly

Schoolteacher Meg O'Rourke is horrified when she finds herself displayed in some of the sexiest, scantiest bits of nothing at Sheer Delights, a new lingerie shop. Especially when she never posed for any of the shots! Joe, a customer at Sheer Delights is anything but horrified. He's found his dream woman in the image on the screen. He's so hooked by his every fantasy that he purchases lingerie just to have an excuse to visit the store so he can get his fantasy fix. Too bad she's not real, or so he thinks. He finds out differently though when he literally walks in on what he believes is a woman being attacked and finds his fantasy come to life. What he really walks in on is an upset Meg, who's beside herself when she finds herself exposed for anyone to see.

Give me one Italian hero and you have one hot book! Joe is the knight in shining armor to Meg's feisty heroine. Seeing Meg conquer Joe, not that he's putting up much of a fight, will leave you with a big smile on your face. Ms. Kelly delivers plenty of steam in this tantalizing romance that only goes to prove she gets better and better with each book. Loveable characters, great chemistry and a fast-paced story keep you glued to every page from beginning to end.

Barb Hoeter, March 2003

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