Skintight Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Andersen (Hot & Bothered, etc.) deserves to go to the head of the class for this emotionally charged romance, which delves beyond the seductive surface of topless Vegas showgirls to recognize their athleticism and heart. Treena McCall's dream is to open a dance studio, but the 11 months she took off from dancing in la Stravaganza to care for her sick new husband, Big Jim, left her a widow, deprived of her savings and out of step from the rest of the troupe—a tough situation for a 35-year-old dancer. She possesses a World Series baseball that could secure her future, but Big Jim wanted her to give it to his estranged grown son, Jackson. A math whiz known as Jax on the pro poker circuit, Jackson needs the baseball to clear a debt with a nail-gun wielding Russian. Jax doesn't know that Treena would hand it over if asked, so he approaches her incognito and attempts to seduce it out of her. Too late, he realizes that his heart is at stake and that no one will win when he shows his hand. Andersen again injects magic into a story that would be clichéd in another's hands, delivering warm, vulnerable characters in a touching yet suspenseful read.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Professional gambler Jax Gallagher is sure that Las Vegas showgirl Treena McCall married his father for his money. Now he is going to have to get to know his young, widowed stepmother so he can retrieve a priceless baseball he recklessly bet in a high-stakes game with an Elvis-impersonating mobster. Treena McCall went through her husband's fortune to get him the best medical help when he was dying of cancer, only holding on to the baseball he said he wanted his son to have. Now she has no idea that Jax is that son. Soon, she is falling for Jax, and in spite of himself, he is falling for her. Sex, lies, a bad guy in white polyester, and a prized baseball add up nicely, while a delightful secondary romance featuring a buttoned-up, retired librarian who becomes a hot mama adds humor. Written with Andersen's signature sass and sizzle, this book will appeal to fans of Sandra Hill and Rachel Gibson. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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The story begins as Jax listens in on Treena's 35th birthday celebration in a bar at the fictitious Aventurrato Casino on the Las Vegas strip. Treena, recently widowed, had been married to Jax's father, Big Jim McCall, and is now in possession of a valuable World Series baseball handed down by Jax's grandfather. Jax knows exactly who Treena is, but she has no idea of his real identity.
Jax's image of Treena as a gold-digging trophy bride is wildly inaccurate, though, as he starts to discover during his staged pursuit of her, the ultimate goal being to abscond with the baseball. Jax finds himself throwing away opportunities to find the ball, however, as he falls in love with Treena, even though his health is dependent on his plan's success, since the man he lost it to on a bet is threatening to break his hands. As things between Jax and Treena deepen, Jax realizes he needs to come clean with her about who he is and why he sought her out. Naturally, he does it too late.
At this point, unlike an unfortunate number of her contemporaries, Susan Andersen does not fabricate a contrived emergency that throws our hero and heroine back together, nor does she stumble through a sloppy resolution that drags on. Instead, she comes through with flying colors, taking the opportunity to really show us what these characters are made of, from the wrenchingly painful depths of their emotions to how they behave under pressure.
Though I didn't get as excited about this book as some of Andersen's others, I liked it a lot. I appreciate her female characters in particular; strong, self-sufficient women with both feet on the ground, working hard and fulfilling their own lives without giving up an ounce of vulnerability or femininity. This book has the added bonus of a deftly-handled senior romance as a side story that fits neatly, as well as a tease into what will next surely be Carly's story.
This was a very nice, very satisfying modern romance with surprising depth.
Jax meets Treena but hides from her that he is her stepson albeit older than her. He is shocked that she is nice and seems to genuinely like her dad and fails to come across even remotely as a gold digger. As they fall in love, he knows he cannot steal the ball though he will be lucky to survive the beating from Kirov's thugs and fears she will hate him when she learns who he is.
Treena is a nice person (perhaps too good) who actually nursed an ailing Big Jim throughout their short marriage, which in turn cost the dance captain spot. She loved Big Jim like a father and mourns him when she meets the son, who she falls in love with like a lover. Jax appears selfish at first but ultimately tries to do the right thing. Kirov is an interesting Elvis loving thug. Together this threesome makes for a fine romantic suspense with the action coming late.
That sets the scene for some heavy romancing that seduces both Jax and the dancer, Treena. There's a secondary romance that's charming as well (between Treena's older friends - a retired librarian and an inarticulate handyman). The author is even able to make a sexy moment out of dusting the furniture.
Switching between the hero and heroine, one gets insight into their thinking and really empathizes with each. Jax is sophisticated, yet vulnerable and Treena is quite genuine and caring. Great characters that you would like to really meet and a fun read. This was my first Susan Andersen and I've already bought another of hers and can't wait to start reading it.
This one is hard to categorize. It's not exactly a romance, not chick lit, not exactly a mystery but still it has a blend of each and moves to a new level. Enjoy!
A chance meeting with a sexy poker champion gets her heart racing again. Jax Gallagher is everything she ever wanted in a man. Talk dark and handsome... he is even more than she ever wanted, as he is also her late husband's estranged son, with the intention of keeping his parentage a secret, and romancing the ball right out from under her. She is not sure she wants to get involved, as she needs to concentrate on the career she put on hold while nursing her husband,, and going through both their life savings.
The night that Jax found out his father died is the night that he realized there would be no reconciliation. He would never have the chance to understand why his father kept him at arm's length and never was there for him. A math prodigy, Jax was shipped off at an early age to fend for himself in an adult world. Making a rookie error, he was out of cash and bet the 1927 baseball to a Russian card sharp, and lost.
As he sets about to insinuate himself into Treena's life, he does not count on falling for her, as she is nothing like the gold digging bimbo he thought she would be. As they get closer, and the Russian more adamant about getting his baseball, Jax struggles with his heart and his conscience, and discovers that his father was not the callous bastard he thought him to be. And that baseball could make all Treena's financial dreams come true. What's a guy to do?