The Case of the mysterious Harem Girl (costume) – “Impetuous” by Lori Foster
Yes that IS the tagline for this book. Get hyped.
Right from the get-go, “Impetuous” is about desire. Only, in this case, instead of making the reader wait a bunch of chapters, the smut is right up front in the beginning of the novel. Shy, insecure, schoolteacher Carlie is dragged to a costume party by her friend Brenda – who was nice enough to get her a smokin’ hot harem girl costume as well. At the party, Carlie (in disguise!) attracts the attention of Brenda’s hot brother Tyler, and the two share a wild night. She bails in the morning and – since she kept her mask on – Tyler has no idea who she is.
Due to some scheduling conflicts, Brenda’s husband (who is supposed to help Carlie out with an after-school sports project) has to bail and Tyler steps in. Immediately, Carlie and Tyler butt heads. He’s a cocky, womanizing lawyer used to women falling all over him, and Carlie has been wrecked by an awful divorce that has left her convinced Tyler would never be interested in her if he knew the truth of the woman behind the mask. She sees herself as fat and unlovable, and dwells in those opinions. (Apparently there’s a little sub-following of romance novels that feature leading ladies who have normal-sized bodies and body issues. Who knew?)
All that aside, Carlie and Tyler find they’re attracted to each other. Of course.
Carlie is all kinds of awkward – She reminded me of the title character from TV’s “Bones” on more than one occasion. Tyler is actually pretty emo for a character you would think would be a jerky douchebag. Both characters do become a tad insufferable toward the end, and it’s a little too much melodrama.
However, Ms. Foster keeps it all moving and it comes to a happy, open, conclusion.
SuchABookNerd Smut Index: Smutty? Not really – though the opening scene is an attention-grabber. From there, it plays out in a much more tame and introspective fashion. I think it all averages out to maybe a 6.