Packed with Pleasure

Author: Lori Wilde

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Release Date: October 2003

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT

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Eden Montgomery needs some inspiration.  The erotic gift baskets she creates have lost their edge lately, and her habit of always imagining the worst-case scenario has her convinced she’s going to lose her business.  Her customers believe she’s some kind of sex expert – how else could see come up with such creative, sensual baskets?  But nothing could be further from the truth.  A fire a couple of years earlier left her with scars, and she’s afraid to let anyone close enough to see them.  Her experience may be limited, but her imagination has kept her going - until now.

Alec Ramsey is the gorgeous, single editor-in-chief of a highly successful magazine for single men.  His business partner is about to give up the single life, and Alec just doesn’t understand it.  After losing his father at an early age, Alec’s confirmed-bachelor Uncle Mac has been his role model.  Sure, Alec loves to be with women but he has no interest in any kind of emotional connection with one.  Why would anyone why to tie himself down to one woman?

When Alec shows up at Eden’s shop looking for a gift basket, Eden’s creativity returns in full force.  She’s definitely found her inspiration!  Neither is interested in a serious relationship, so why not have a no-strings-attached fling?  Not only will the creativity Alec inspires help Eden’s business, she can jump-start her own sexuality without vulnerability.  Both agree it will all be in fun, only about sex and nothing more.  Worst case scenario?  Alec gets turned off by her scars and hightails it out of her life.  And if he doesn’t, she’ll finally have a chance to act out some of the sexual fantasies she’s created with her erotic baskets, all while reinvigorating her business with a new creative edge.  But the more time they spend acting out the fantasies, the more they begin to fall for each other.  That definitely wasn’t part of their agreement!  So it’s a good thing they set a time limit on their relationship.  Right?

I loved watching Eden and Alec gradually fall for each other, against their wills and in spite of their intentions to keep emotions out of the mix.  Instead they both grow emotionally, learn a lot from each other, and almost instinctively understand each other’s insecurities.  Eden’s scars aren’t all physical, and Alec helps her come to terms with her beauty, both inside and out.  Alec begins to question assumptions about his family that he’s always taken for granted, which gives him insight into his own life and the choices he’s made.  There’s a warm, entertaining cast of secondary characters who are looking out for Eden’s best interests.  PACKED WITH PLEASURE is filled with all of the heat I’ve come to expect from a Blaze and the humor I’ve come to expect from Lori Wilde.  I had a great time reading this one!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Alane

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