Author: Lori Foster
Book Summary: Grade school teacher Carlie McDaniels trades in her frumpiness for the look of an exotic harem girl, at least for one costume party. So long, spinsterhood--and hello, tall, dark and handsome Tyler Ramsey....
Even after the best night of their lives, Tyler hasn't guessed the identity of his harem hottie...and Carlie plans on keeping him in the dark. After all, a gorgeous guy like Tyler would never fall for his smart-talking best friend. And Carlie's not sure she wants to know what would happen if he ever unveiled the naked truth!
My Review: This is Lori Forster's first book, originally published in 1996 and reissued in a new hot avatar in 2009 by Harlequin. I read this as a part of an event on Goodreads, where we were to read one book by Lori Foster in August. I don't know why I always end up (unknowingly) picking up the author's first/second attempt. This book had a new looking cover, and turns out.. it was old wine in new bottle!
Anyways, back to the story, the book is about Carlie (I kept thinking of her as Charlie :) ) and Tyler. She is a school marm, who has been hurt in the past and has gone through a bad divorce. He is a yuppie lawyer, who is apparently a Casanova. The book starts with Carlie's BFF Brenda coaxing her to wear a harem costume to her costume party. She comes in the costume, wig and mask.. he (dressed as a pirate) sees her and its lust at first sight! They end up having a very hot encounter in the pool house after which she disappears.
After this, the book is all downhill. Carlie comes across as a bitter and mean person. She is also a wimp! There were times in the book when i felt like shaking her and telling her to stop behaving like a loser and start living. The author has given undue importance to facts like, a) Carlie dresses in dowdy clothes to avoid male attention; b) Carlie has gone through a bitter divorce; c) Carlie dresses in dowdy clothes to avoid male attention; d) Tyler had a troubled childhood; e) Carlie had a troubled childhood; f) Carlie dresses in dowdy clothes to avoid male attention after her divorce... you get the point.
Tyler is OK I guess, just don't understand what he sees in the woman. This is clearly a older Harlequin romance, evident by the amazingly verbose dialogue and use if PG rated words in most of the book. the sex scenes were obviously updated as they were hot, but just didn't fit with the rest of the book.I have read Lori Foster before, but don't recall her as being so bad. Well, I might just pick up one of her newer books to find out for sure.
As an aside, while seeing her page on Goodreads, I just read that her latest blog is about " Should authors update books before they're reissued?" .Yes, Lori, you certainly should.
I rate this book as a 1.5/5 as it was an OK romance, just a little lacking in well-written characters. I read it as a part of my 100+ books in 2011 challenge, 100 E-books challenge and of course as part of the Lori Foster event on Goodreads.