Johnson: Hot PinkBerkley
(Paperback) ISBN 0-425-19682-8
The stars seem to align to bring Chloe Chisolm and Rocco Vinelli together in Hot Pink -- they meet in the elevator as she flees a bad blind date and he escapes from a family party. Lust flares immediately, and they hook up for a night of incredibly steamy sex. But Rocco neglects to mention one teeny problem -- his engagement. Sort of.
Rocco and his siblings plan to start their own business with financing from Jim Thiebaud. Jim's spoiled princess daughter Amy set her sights on Rocco a long time ago. A real pro at wheedling anything out of her parents, she begins dropping hints about the couple's engagement, despite his utter lack of interest in her. Rocco merely feels obligated to go out with her a few times in the name of securing the financing.
But Rocco can't get Chloe -- and the out-of-this-world nookie -- out of his mind. They keep bumping into each other, at an art tour and a party, and they keep hooking up, even after Chloe learns about Amy. Chloe tries to push him away at first, then gives in, then pushes him away again after Amy threatens Chloe. Rocco tries to get through to Amy that he never plans to marry her, but she refuses to believe that.
Chloe leaves town for a weekend, and Rocco tries to track her down, determined to win her over. He first talks to Amy's father, clearing up the matter of whether Jim's money comes with Amy as well. He ends up finding Chloe back at her apartment and she accepts his explanation about Amy's obstinacy -- until Amy shows up in the middle of the night claiming to be pregnant with Rocco's child. Chloe can't take any more, but Rocco can't either. He threatens to tell Amy's parents about her terrorizing behavior.
In Hot Legs, Cassie Hill enjoys her art museum job, even if her boss, Arthur, ranks as one of the world's greatest pigs. She puts up with a lot of harassment because she needs the paycheck -- she got the house in her recent divorce but not much else.
The theft of a priceless painting by Rubens forces Arthur to call in help to find it. Bobby Serre, a longtime friend of Arthur's, ranks as one of the greatest art bounty hunters in the world. Despite her ugly divorce (and demanding ex), Cassie finds herself attracted to Bobby. She believes him indifferent -- the bounty hunter lifestyle permits him to live all over the world and date supermodels -- but Bobby lusts after her.
They hook up for great sex, but the arrival in town of Bobby's ex-wife complicates things, especially since she wants him back. Cassie doesn't believe Bobby when he says he wants nothing more to do with his ex, and after Arthur sends Cassie out of town on a business trip (orchestrated by Bobby's ex so she can spend more time with him), Bobby gives up and leaves town. A month apart gives the two plenty to think about, but overcoming their stubbornness could prove difficult.
Susan Johnson does a wonderful job of writing erotic novels, but her plots could use a bit of work. The basic plot line of instant attraction, hot hook-ups and a meddling other woman get a bit old quickly. Also, she seems to put a bit too much emphasis on just how well hung the hero is and just how big the heroine's breasts are. One or two mentions suffice; repeating it every time one thinks of the other gets stale and downright silly. But she does write very snappy dialogue and infuses the characters with nice emotional depth.
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