Friday, 29 June 2012

Wicked Game, Mercy Celeste

Mercy Celeste cannot write a bad book. Another sexy, interesting read.

- Review by Kazza K

When the book started out I wasn’t sure if I was going to go the distance, but I'm so glad I did. There's a definite quirkiness to the characters, their relationship, their banter, sex, and the writing.

Jaime Dalton is an NFL player needing a PA. Cass Pendleton is an out of work school teacher needing work - it's an economically desirable match. The problem is they know each other from childhood, and there are plenty of memories of mutually shared personality clashes that make you think this is going to be a personally undesirable match. Along with why TF would you do this to yourselves?

Jaime and Cass, aka Lord Ironman and Pepper Potts, grew on me. They really turned out to be a great pair, and I loved their “I hate you” line, this is a phrase very well known to all in our household, so it held personal affection for me, and I seriously laughed out loud at times about it. Jaime asked Cass to lift her breasts for him -
J: “That’s it, baby, lift them high. Oh yeah, Pepper, that looks nice”.
C: “I still hate you.”
J: “Hate me all you want, but you lust after me, and that’s all I need to know.”

And after Cass had been away from Jaime, for a bit of space -
“I still hate you.” He just laughed. “Come home, Pepper, I miss you hating me to my face.”

I liked Cass - her intelligent, independent air, that she didn’t know anything about football, that Jaime was a childhood frenemy who received no adulation for his sporting prowess from her. He becomes more than her employer; he became a confidant, friend and lover. However, along the way, there are moments when Cass is not sure how Jaime really feels about her, how she feels about him. Are they just having fun or is this arrangement going somewhere?

I really liked Jaime. He was self-assured, bordering on painful at times, sexy, sensible, and a guy who loved their banter and snarkiness, that Cass didn’t treat him like someone special, that she was grounded, didn't lust after his money, and had a brain in her head. He was developing feelings for Cass, you could just feel it in the way he regarded her, but were they deep enough, and why didn't he move her into his room? Was there something in the way? Just how strongly did he care?

The things that stopped it from being 5 stars for me were - the hiring of Cass was somewhat expedient, the mystery as to who was behind the scenes causing trouble, was an easy guess; but I feel that these parts of the book were very much secondary to the interesting romantic and sexual advancement of the protagonists. The character development - childhood competitors, opposites, to sexy partners, (with a kink), to actual lovers – plus the banter and the sense of camaraderie were the most central and satisfying themes of the book, and I appreciated this very much.

Once again Mercy Celeste delivers a nicely written sexy, sexy read – lord above the NFL sideline phone sex alone was worth it - interesting characters, great chemistry, no great angst; rather a simmering tension, which helped the book move along nicely. This is, yet again, a different model from the other books of hers I have read. I love the mixing up of themes, characters and style.

I seriously didn’t want work, cooking, family, talking in general, or sleep to get in the way of me reading this book; however, I’m crazed when I don’t sleep so this was vetoed by my (selfish) family. I must say that I highly recommend Wicked Game as a sexy, enjoyable read.

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