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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Simply Sex

*** Simply Sex by Dawn Atkins. Contemporary romance.

I got this, signed, in a charity auction a while back.

Kylie Falls's sister Janie runs a dating service. She prides herself on being able to find the perfect match for anyone. And she's found the perfect match for busy attorney Cole Sullivan, but there's been a mix-up, and Deborah is out of the country, so Janie asks Kylie to meet Cole for the arranged date and convey their apologies.

Sparks fly, and they begin a relationship that's "simply sex." Cole's soul-mate will be back from London in a couple of weeks, about the time that Janie will be leaving town herself--giving up her small ad agency to work for a large agency on the west coast.

Meanwhile, the agency is having some problems--first there was a software glitch that had them making matches for people who were already married and double-booking others, then their phone number had erroneously ended up on the ad for a phone sex service. And now reporter Seth Taylor is trying to dig up the dirt on them. And while Janie's trying to steer Seth away from the damaging evidence and present only her successes, she's also falling for him.

There's a lot to like about Simply Sex. The hijinks with the phone-sex callers that Gail tries to convince to try the matchmaking service instead are by themselves worth the price of the book. And I very much liked that Cole and Kylie, and Janie and Seth all fill needs the other hasn't even realized they had; that what's right for them isn't what they thought it was.

But Seth was the only one I didn't want to smack upside the head before I was through. He was the only one who didn't hang on to some arbitrary rule regardless of his own feelings, or evidence against it.

Janie not only insisted that Seth couldn't be The One for her, she became very angry with Kylie for continuing to see Cole. Kylie kept denying her feelings for Cole and kept going ahead with her plans to join the other agency, despite mounting indications that she'd hate the job.

Cole was the worst. He'd never even met Deborah, yet he kept feeling guilty about her, and held back from Kylie because a relationship with Deborah would be so much better. And Deborah herself acted like a betrayed wife when she finally returned from London.

Any of those reactions would have been understandable, and actually added to my enjoyment of the story, except that they continued nearly to the end of the book. There's a point where dedication to a goal or belief in a theory crosses the line from admirable into TSTL-land, and all three of these characters crossed it.

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