Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Fancy Free by Shelley Munro
This was an interesting read for me - very different than I had expected. There are lots of surprises and juxtapositions. The story is set in the present day but at times it had the feel of being set some bygone era. The hero is suggested to be a lothario but is no empty-headed pretty face, rather an educated man working in product research. The story has the trappings of an erotic romance but the mystery and humor elements were very strong and I very much enjoyed them. At the opening of the story Alice Beasley goes to the reading of her aunt's will and is shocked to find that she's inherited her aunt's condom company. She also has to stay around for six months or she only gets a smaller chunk of change. Alice is not greedy, but she has some school debts hanging over her head and she craves financial security because of how things were in her younger years. Her uptight, controlling boyfriend is not a happy camper. He rather coldly informs Alice that his stodgy employers will look down at him for having a fiance associated with a condom company. I like that Alice didn't back down and she stayed and followed her own path, leaving the dour fiance to book it out of town. This also clears the way for James (manager of aforementioned condom company) to flirt shamelessly with Alice and entice her. Through work, they work closely together and become romantically & sexually involved. The only obstacles to them being completely together are in their own minds. Alice thinks she might just be another notch on his bedpost and that their sexual relationship is only work motivated. He thinks her constant preoccupation with money and the state of the company indicates a greedy and grasping nature like his mother and sister. Besides the romance there is the mystery of corporate sabotage and leaks. Alice also finds that she is being stalked by a very creepy couple disguised as a clown and a dog. This story was able to keep my interest throughout. I would look forward to another story in this setting perhaps involving Luke.