Looking For Trouble
By Missy Andrews
Jun 13, 2003 - 3:06:00 PM

Aurora "Rory" Carmichael is a good girl who is finally getting her chance to be bad. She has lived all of her twenty-five years with her grandmother and great aunt after her teenage mother abandoned her and her twin sister and then later overdosed. When they were fifteen her twin, Micki, ran away and Rory has tried ever since to follow the strict rules set by her grandmother and live up to the image that she has of her.

But, after finally getting a lead on the whereabouts of Micki after ten long years, Rory has decided that it is time for her to live her own life by her own rules. That life starts when, while filling out a job application, she notices a big, red leather bound book on a table in the reception area. She can’t believe it when she realizes that people are secretly tearing pages out of it. Despite herself, she is drawn to the book and when she discovers the title "Sexcapades" she realizes why the pages are being removed. The tome instructs the reader to remove a page, which will contain an illicit, provoking fantasy and then act out the fantasy. Being the good girl that she is Rory follows the instructions and removes a fantasy. Now all she needs to do is find someone to help her enact it.

Alec Manning, doctor of Sociology, is finally getting the bad boy inside him tamed. The son of a world famous oncologist, he lost his mother at a young age and his father was too busy saving other peoples lives to worry about his sons so he and his brothers were very wild and rebellious. This lifestyle carried over into his adult years and he saw nothing wrong with it until in his recklessness he had a very indiscreet affair with the wife of his department head at the last university at which he taught. After losing his job and all credibility as a professor he has spent the last six celibate months working as a bartender which is the only place where he allows his bad boy image to emerge. He uses this image to play match maker for people in the bar while he observes them for a research study that he hopes will earn him his re-entrance into the academic world. During the time that he is not at the bar he squelches what he sees as his true personality believing that doing so is the only way he will achieve his goals.

There is so much to admire about both of these characters, they are both goal oriented, determined, caring, honest, and will do whatever is needed to help meet the needs of the other person. Alec learns a lesson that we all must learn at some point in our lives and that is that we have to accept our WHOLE selves just as we are. It’s not all serious though because Rory keeps Alec on his toes through out the entire book because he never knows exactly what is behind her innocent smiles and seemingly guileless remarks. Not to mention the fact that he fights his attraction with everything in him and the more he fights the more determined and imaginative Rory becomes. After all she has "Sexcapades" to help her. In, Looking For Trouble, Julie Elizabeth Leto has found an almost perfect combination of seriousness and fun that hopefully will carry over into Up To No Good, her August Blaze which will tell Micki’s story.

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