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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tea for Two by Shelley Munro

Tea for Two by Shelley Munro
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (144 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Xeranthemum

Lies and secrets have a way of returning to bite a girl in the butt…

Hayley Williams thought she was past the screwing-up stage of her life. These days, she wears her good girl persona well—except when she moonlights as a gypsy tea leaf reader in order to earn money to buy her own home. There’s something about Sam Norville, though, that prods her inner imp back to life. A chance meeting, a margarita…okay, two…a stolen kiss, and suddenly she’s back in hot water.

Sam, a successful businessman, doesn’t believe in love at first sight. Not anymore. For him, involvement with any woman means risking a run-in with the tabloid press. But his mysterious gypsy lover keeps him coming back, keeps him prodding her for more…like the truth. Of course it’s not love. No, sir. Sam only does lust.

Hayley knows she shouldn’t want Sam, especially since she lied to him. The right thing to do? Shove that naughty imp off her shoulder and come clean. But the pesky imp just won’t budge…

Warning: There be lies and secrets ahead, wrapped in pretty bows with margaritas, a one-night stand, fortune telling and a gypsy. Oh, and tea. Lots and lots of pots of tea.

Tea for Two is a wonderful story of seduction in slow sensual degrees. You’ll find yourself wanting to be in Hayley’s place just to experience that perfect moment, when the stars align and fireworks are tame in comparison.

The chemistry between Hayley and Sam is as romantic as a reader could wish. Ms. Munro taps into some of the hype we hear about. You know, “Go with the flow, it’s just sex.” As we all know, that reality is based on TV and tabloids who scream about the casual nature of sex, vilifying and courting it at the same time. For me, Tea for Two shows that cavalier sex isn’t without cost. The cost can be life changing, as in one’s future happiness. Ms. Munro’s story touched the die-hard romantic in me. I thoroughly enjoyed her backwards approach to the happily ever after, and its dynamics of falling in love despite things not being what they seem.

Hayley is delightful in a quirky and utterly charming way. She has dreams and is working hard to get there. I like how Ms. Munro played her off of the secondary character, Suzie. I also appreciated how the author totally sidestepped a worn out cliché of the ditched girlfriend. In fact, I think that whole scene was a class act in and of itself. I also was fascinated by Hayley’s family dynamics. Ms. Munro’s choice of conflict for Hayley was truly a character building event. By the time of the resolution scene I was so pumped for Hayley. Finally, a heroine with a spine!

Sam kept me grinning. There was something about his character that just tickled my funny bone and I totally enjoyed not only him, but his relationship with his family and his detecting skills. Sam could have been written many ways so it was refreshing to find a man who used his head even while fighting the ‘curse’. Sam’s got ‘husband material’ written all over him. Hear me sigh.

A strong point of Ms. Munro’s writing style is her relationships. She does not disappoint and you’ll enjoy each hot and seductive encounter between Sam and Hayley.

Tea for Two is a book I definitely recommend for readers who enjoy upbeat, funny and touching romances between two characters that come to life from the moment you meet them.

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