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by Sue Swift

Pub Date: Jan. 19th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59414-930-6
Publisher: Five Star/Gale Cengage

Fashion rules and business is troublesome, but sex is key to the spunky heroine of this romantic suspense.

Fledgling designer Cara Fletcher is stretched too thin to handle any more problems. Her first couture show is coming up, and she's gone in hock to pay for it. She's getting strange phone calls, only some of which come from her stoner ex, and through it all she’s frantically trying to keep cool for the difficult 12-year-old daughter who has only now come to live with her. But the petite fashionista's days are not getting any easier: Billionaire corporate raider Fletcher Wolf has sued her over a perceived copyright infringement, and her lawyer tells her he may have a case. To make matters worse, when she meets her ruggedly handsome adversary, who seems to want to devour her tiny, struggling atelier, Cara's first and strongest reaction is lust. Despite her frivolous appearance—she not only changes her hair color, she changes her eye color via contacts—the pretty designer is presented as a determined businesswoman. If only she could keep her mind off the big, bad Wolf. This being romantic suspense, it is pretty obvious from the start that Cara and her nemesis will find common ground and end up in bed—with marriage pending. But Cara's adventures give us an enjoyable inside view of the New York fashion world, and the book's main mystery, featuring a stalker whose actions escalate into violence, is well handled. Swift's (Spy Game, 2008, etc.) writing is swift and clean, without too many of the name-dropping shortcuts that clog up much chick lit and could hobble a clotheshorse heroine. If only every other page didn't have this supposedly mature heroine obsessing over Wolf's manly attributes or her own womanly physical reactions.

A heavy load of romance keeps the suspense secondary and limits the potential audience for an otherwise fun book.