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Friday, November 30, 2007

All U Can Eat

***** All U Can Eat by Emma Holly. Romantic erotica.

Emma Holly is on my must-buy list for a reason.

Troy, diner owner Frankie's boyfriend of 5 years, breaks up with her directly after sex. A week later, he and his new fiancee show up in her diner. Frankie starts getting over it when young ex-Marine Mike comes by, looking for work. She hires him as a cook, and decides to let him cheer her up, but as they're sleeping upstairs, they hear a noise and discover a dead body in the alley behind the diner--the best friend of Troy's fiancee, and Frankie's the prime suspect.

Police chief Jack West has had a thing for Frankie for a long time, and now that her boyfriend is out of the picture, he has a chance--except the murder got in the way. Both Frankie and Jack investigate from different angles, and find love along with the solution.

All U Can Eat is not one of Holly's more mainstream novels. Just FYI. If you read this expecting a straightforward romance, with the h/h having sex only with each other, and nothing more shocking than some oral, you're going to be... surprised. The sex scenes are many and varied. And they are, every last one of them, integral to the plot, show character development, and are full of emotion and sensual detail.

Take the first scene in the book, with Frankie and Troy, for example. You can tell that they genuinely like each other and enjoy their sex life, but that Frankie's settling, and that there's something Troy needs that he's not getting from their relationship. It's not spelled out--it's there in how they act with each other and in the few words they say. And it's clear before he tells her that Troy's ending the relationship. All that on top of hot, steamy sex.

It's all like that--Emma Holly is not an author whose sex scenes I skip, or even skim: I'd miss a lot of the turning points in her stories that way, besides which, they're never boring or repetitive.

The characters are all vivid and three-dimensional. Nobody's all good or all bad, and they all have believable motivations for their actions. One duo that was intriguing and I'd like to see more of is Dave and Pete, the Team Boys, of Dave and Pete's garage. They'd started out double dating, and end up bisexual. There's a bit of their emotional journey in All U Can Eat, but they're really not the focus of the story, so it's of necessity brief.

The mystery was clever and had a nice twist to it, and the romance was emotionally believable.

I don't know what else to say. It's so much easier to point out the things I don't like in a book. Emma Holly makes every word count. I have all her books; she's on my must-buy-as-soon-as-it's-released list; I'm a huge fangirl.


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hmmm...I only have one book by Emma Holly and that is "Cooking Up a Storm". It in my TBR pile, so I have not read it yet. Have you?
Oh, yes, I've read it. It's very good, as well. Steamy, of course. :)
Hmm sound good. Maybe I read it sooner. And I'm gonna go check on all the Emma Holly you have read and reviews, to see what other favorite book by her you like :)
i love most of hers - i think there's only been one or two i was meh over. Faerieville totally rocked. So did this one.
Fairyville is still stuck in my TBR pile. I'm glad to hear it's good, though I'm not surprised. :)
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