Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beguiled by Lori Foster ****

I downloaded this on audio - a recent release of the book that occurs before Caught In The Act, which I already had. This is Angel and Dane's story, with Mick from Caught In The Act as a teenager.

Dane Carter comes home to his family and the family business some 3-4 months after the death of his identical twin, Derek, to investigate. He's got it in his head his brother was murdered. Dane's a PI with his own firm - he left the family/business after his overbearing mother bought off his fiancée who was pregnant. The fiancée subsequently miscarried (or, he suspects, got an abortion) and he's been overcome with the guilt and the disgust of the situation. And now the guilt of not being there for his twin brother is a factor.

He's contacted by Angel who thinks he's Derek - she comes to his office because she needs his help. She's now a single mother - the child is Derek's, which comes as a shock to Dane. He plays along to learn what she knows of what happened. Apparently, Angel was a secretary in the records department of the business - Derek came on to her, and in one evening of passion*, impregnates her, steals documents from her in an act of corporate espionage, and later publicly dumps her. He expected her to abort the baby that resulted, and doesn't want to have anything to do with her. To top it all off, she didn't even find sex with him was all that great...

The attraction between Angel and Dane is instant, and Angel thinks over and over that something is different about Derek - he doesn't dress the same, he doesn't react to her the same - but for some weird reason she never knew Dane was Derek's identical twin, so she never suspects the truth. I mean, I got that she and Derek were never actually close, but she did know he had a brother. Well, that's explained because he had left the family under a cloud so they talked about him, but ...? I guess there weren't any family photos. Ok, whatever.

Angel needed Derek's help because she'd been receiving threatening letters and calls. She no longer works for the company - after her public embarrassment at Derek's hands, then the pregnancy, then a debilitating car accident, she can barely work enough to make ends meet. Dane immediately steps in - he buys her things for herself and the baby, and becomes a Sugar Daddy - which of course she hates because she is independent and feisty. The kind of help she needed was protection from the bad guy, but in her confusion over his reaction to her and their chemistry, she sorta neglects to mention all that at the beginning.

Once the relationship gets physical, Angel is confused even more because Dane is no Derek in that department! (makes ya wonder, though, doesn't it?*)

Meanwhile, over at the family business we meet Dane's overbearing mother and his sister Celia, affianced to Raymond. Raymond is being groomed to step in as CEO after Dane gets the company back on its feet. I'll just say that the narrator gives Raymond a smarmy voice which leads one to believe that maybe Celia doesn't have the catch of the season.

So, we gotta find Derek's killer and Angel's stalker - could it possibly be the same person?

The narrator on this book was slightly better than mediocre - her voice is pleasant, she does manage to have different voices for the characters and she was very consistent with them, even if I found both Raymond's and Mother's voices very obnoxious. That was probably deliberate, but came across almost more cartoony than realistic. It made me wonder every time Raymond spoke what was wrong with Celia that she even liked him. And there's a hint that Raymond wasn't fond of women either*... I also wish narrators wouldn't get breathy when reading intimate scenes - just a straight forward reading of what the author wrote has more impact, in my opinion and experience. Narrators should be required to listen to Kate Fleming and learn some tips - however, talent can't be learned!

My first reaction to the book is 3 stars, so I went back to see my rating for Caught In The Act - I gave it 4 stars. I feel about the same towards this one, with one exception - I loved the other narrator's voice for Mick. A Lot. The other narrator was male, and he dropped his voice a touch and gave it a little... depth, or something - I dunno, it was very sexy. The story affected me about the same, maybe it was a little hotter. So I guess I'll go with a notch above mediocre, which is 4 star territory.

* spoiler alert - as I said, it was an audio book, so I can't exactly go back and figure this out, but it's hinted that maybe Derek's problem with Angel was he preferred men to women in bed, and I finished the story not quite knowing if that was just an assertion by smarmy Raymond, or that is the conclusion one might come to considering Derek was apparently a dud in bed with Angel. Maybe if I had the book and could read the info he left for Angel again... Why he wanted her to abort the baby, though, is still a mystery, no matter what his sexuality, considering he was trying to protect her... and.... ok that part is confusing.

1 comment:

Heather's Fave Books said...

I liked this book. It isn't one of my favorites but one that I would re-read as I liked the story.