Author: Allie Standifer
Genre: Spicy RomanceReviewed by: Maria
This is the first book in a new series based on a club opened by a six friends who happen to be successful women. The author did a good job of writing a story that kept my attention from start to finish with an interesting theme, engaging plot and scintillating dialogue. The title is easily read in an afternoon.
Olivia “Livia” Paisley is a retired model whose life has completely changed in the last three years. A health situation while on a photo shoot put her in a hospital emergency room. The doctor, Huntington Winslow, basically told her that she had two choices, either eat real food or die at a very young age. Her six foot body could no longer exist at the weight of 120 pounds. Livia took the doctor’s advice and started to eat a healthy diet. She became a successful model for one of the world’s biggest “real size” clothing lines and then retired at the age of 32. After her retirement, she and five of her friends opened up a club for women of any size to relax, dance and have fun. Former friends said the club would be a failure but it’s been a success since it’s opening the year before.
While her business life is going great, her dating life is at a standstill. Betrayed by someone she trusted, Livia has not let any man close since. Only a bet from her 5 friends and partners has her thinking about hooking up with a man who she keeps running into all over town. Livia’s friends and business partners are great secondary characters and you can tell that they will probably be focus of the other books planned for this series. These women guard each other’s backs and are more than willing to take revenge on someone who they believe has done them wrong. There’s a great scene in the book where the women are confessing the revenge that they took against Livia’s ex-fiancée, it was humorous and dare I say inspiring.
Ethan Newton is described as being over six feet, with brandy colored eyes and an imposing figure. He’s a successful businessman, who works in the family oil business. He’s intrigued and attracted to a woman that he keeps running into all over town, first at a restaurant, then the movie theatre, the dry cleaners and now “Club Botticelli”. Ethan realizes that he wants this woman more than any other woman he’s ever wanted and proceeds to flirt and eventually proposition Livia. He’s surprised when she admits to being one of the club owners and they proceed to go upstairs for a night of explosive sex in her apartment above the club. The problem comes the next morning when both Livia and Ethan realize that their hearts are on the line and when outside situations cause some problems. They will need to decide if they want to take a risk and see where their relationship could go.
I really liked how the author dealt with Livia’s growth as a woman, first from realizing that one doesn’t need to be a size 2 model to have a fulfilling and successful life, to realizing that even though you’ve been burned being open to love is always the right choice to make. I also liked how Ms. Standifer had Ethan realize that being with a woman who actually ate real food and had a body with some curves, was what he was looking for. At one point Ethan also realizes that he’s made some assumptions about women and he begins to get a new perspective on the gender as a whole. The author included some hot and well written love scenes and I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.