It seems like ages since I’ve posted a book review, but when you get the opportunity to read a thick, juicy slab of hot romance, it’s nice to let people know about it. OK, I have a slightly vested interest here, as I originally picked up the first book in L.C. Wilkinson’s Rapture series, All of Me, for Xcite, and so I was eagerly awaiting the sequel when it landed in my inbox.
In All of Me, we were introduced to actress Flick Burrows, one-time soap opera sweetheart (think one of the Slater sisters minus the leopardskin and fishwife overtones), now about to revive her career in a production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest set to tour Italy. She begins what she thinks will be a brief fling with hot young restaurateur Orlando Locatelli. Everything seems stacked against them – the significant age difference, the dark secrets from their teenage years both Flick and Orlando are struggling not to be defined by, the insecurity that Flick can’t help but feel in a profession that sidelines women as they grow older – but against all the odds, they begin to make it work. Then Flick lands a starring role in a detective series set in the 1980s and being filmed in New York City, which is where All of Him begins.
Where the first book is more of a straightforward contemporary romance, brought to life by the authenticity of its theatre background and the growing heat between Flick and Orlando, All of Him kicks the action on a level. The storyline has a strong element of mystery – someone is sending Flick poison pen letters and seems determined to wreck her relationship with Orlando. There is no shortage of possible culprits, and a good number of red herrings are thrown in to keep the perpetrator’s identity a secret as long as possible. The sex action is also more intense – it was quickly established in the first book that Orlando likes to watch, and Flick enjoys exploring her exhibitionistic side (probably only natural for someone whose professional career is acted out before an audience), but a trip to a live sex show and a very special burlesque performance form two of the erotic set-pieces here and are beautifully described.
Add to this the fact that while Flick may be older than Orlando, she’s no stereotypical cougar, having none of the brash over-confidence and a need to hunt for young prey that term so often implies, and All of Him has a depth and thoughtfulness that can sometimes be lacking in erotic romance. Plus anything set in New York is guaranteed to entertain me – even if it makes me think a visit to the city (as opposed to the Stadium) is long overdue…