Can't get enough Magic Mike? Let bestselling author Claire Kent introduce you to Matt Stokes, the sexy-as-sin male stripper and club owner who knows what it really means to bare everything.
Preschool teacher Elizabeth Marks isn't exactly thrilled to be attending a college friend's bachelorette party at a male strip joint. The sights—screaming women, half-naked hunks—are just as sleazy as she expected, with one exception: the man standing at the back, radiating sensual heat despite being fully clothed. When Elizabeth takes refuge outside, he chases her down and dares her to stay. It turns out that her mystery man is the owner—and, as tonight's headliner, the one guy Elizabeth wouldn't mind seeing naked.
Matt Stokes lives his life one day, one dance at a time. But as he challenges Elizabeth to get in touch with the passionate, impulsive woman behind her prim façade, she brings out another side of him as well. This girl isn't just another pretty face—or paying customer—and Matt can't help wanting more. Onstage, he's used to exposing his body. Now Matt will have to expose his heart. Because when it comes to real love, that's the one striptease that matters.
I’ll admit that the cover is what caught my eye and after reading the description I figured I’d give the book a try. I mean who doesn’t like a story about the girl who’s always done the right thing finally cutting loose and finding herself thanks to a bad boy who isn’t totally a bad boy? And then add in the fact that he’s a stripper, well a partially retired one, but still so I had to check it out. And while it was an enjoyable read with some steamy moments as well as sweet ones it didn’t totally rock my world, I just liked it.
Elizabeth was a little difficult to warm up to, though I could understand where she was coming from. She is the definition of Miss Prim and Proper: always doing the right thing by taking the socially and morally acceptable route in all situations which would be fine if she truly believed in it instead of following the path that her parents set for and doing it only to please them. That need to please has dictated her entire existence and while I wanted to shake her and tell her to pull the stick out, I couldn’t help be give her the benefit of the doubt because of how she was raised.
Matt on the other hand I liked immediately. Confident, insightful, charming, sexy and just has that it factor that makes you take notice of him. And though he isn’t entirely happy with where he is at in his life, he still makes it work.
Their courtship is a bit unorthodox and has a bit of an erotic romance bent to it as Matt gets under her skin and forces Elizabeth to question her long held beliefs as to what she wants her life to be. I did enjoy watching as Elizabeth breaks out of the cage she put herself in and the bantering, if you will, between her and Matt was actually fun at times. But I do wish we’d gotten more of Matt and his own transformation, not that we don’t experience it, it’s just that much of the book focuses on Elizabeth and her metamorphosis and I thought Matt’s own metamorphosis had more to it and it would have been nice to witness him working his own demons out more.
The writing was done well and while there were some plot twists you could see coming, there were a few that were definite surprises. The pacing though was a bit off for me. The beginning started out strong but it lagged a bit in the middle and once the scandal broke things felt a bit rushed, but in the end everything that needed to be addressed and tied up were and the conclusion was satisfying.
The Bottom Line: Though this book didn’t rock my world it was still an enjoyable read.
~ ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~