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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rent-A-Husband, Inc. by Moira Reid

Rent-A-Husband, Inc. by Moira Reid
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (169 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Violet

Crete Gannon witnesses his brother’s murder and finds himself next on the hit list of a killer notorious for eliminating witnesses under police protection. He discovers the perfect place to hide, a location no one would think to look for him -- Rent A Husband, Inc. His plan is simple: he’ll work under a false identity, cloistered safely away inside some anonymous, lonely, old lady’s house then put his brother’s killer away when he testifies at the trial.

But Tasha Henslow, a bed and breakfast owner whose building faces foreclosure, is not lonely and she’s not old. Nor, unfortunately, is she anonymous. He can get the work done while avoiding the killer, but not if she recognizes him. How long until she remembers the perfect night they spent together before she left him in a cold bed alone?

Take one hunk of a man, add incredible joy, throw in two drinks plus way too many antihistamines, and this equals Tasha’s “Saturday Night Fever,” the best night of her life that she can only remember in glimpses.

Trying to open her dream Bed and Breakfast (B&B) is turning into a nightmare for Tasha Henslow. So her best friend Sage brings her a “Rent-a-Husband” named Sven. Sven’s name is actually Crete Gannon, and he is shocked to see Tasha is the lady he’s going to help. Years ago, they shared a night he still dreams about, but he was never able to find her. He can't stop thinking about her and wonders why she can't remember him. However, a one night stand years ago is the last thing he should be thinking about with his brother’s murderer hunting him down.

Tasha has no idea Sven is who she calls her “Saturday Night Fever.” Yet whoever he is, she cannot deny her attraction. Nor can she deny the fact that he’s saving her B&B from disaster. Tasha is plagued by self-doubt and thinking she’s not capable of doing things for her business since she initially trusted the wrong people. Crete does try to reassure her, but it doesn’t seem enough until she figures out he’s her fantasy man. I loved Tasha’s references to films, and calling her one night stand with Crete her “Saturday Night Fever” was fun.

Ms. Reid created two well-rounded characters in Crete and Tasha. They both had faults and were captivating to read about. Tasha discovering Crete was her fantasy man was the best part of the story, especially the great sex that followed. Ms. Reid also developed her villain. His motivations for his actions were sad but believable. Although his story was poignant, I started to resent the time spent with his thoughts. Sympathy for the devil works, but I don’t want the hero to feel guilty for doing the right thing.

The suspense portion works well, too. It was real and compelling. However, on occasion it felt like the book went off on tangents. For example, Tasha’s self-doubt just went on too long. Also Crete’s actions when he escapes from the villain kind of lingered. Yes, it makes sense to hide and what he did while hiding was noble, but did it improve or further the story? Although the story is solid it just needed some “tightening” on occasion.

Ms. Reid’s Rent-a-Husband concept really worked. I definitely could see a sequel with this concept. The sexual tension between Tasha and Crete was fun. If you’re looking for a book with a strong hero, smart heroine, evil villain, great sex, and good suspense, try Rent-a-Husband, Inc.

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