Series: Lovestruck Librarians, Book 3
Author: Olivia Dade
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Pump Up Your Book
Passion Between The Stacks
Helen Murphy loves her supportive family, her close-knit circle of friends, and her part-time job at the library. What she doesn’t love: the fact that she’s a thirty-six-year-old near-virgin who lives in her parents’ house. Eager to move out and reclaim her independence at long last, she’s determined to get the library’s new Community Outreach Coordinator position. Even if that means working side-by-side with the one man she desperately wants to avoid–Niceville’s ambitious mayor Wes Ramirez, who happens to be her only previous lover, and the source of her greatest humiliation…
Wes needs to make up for his disastrous one-night–actually, make that one-hour–stand with deliciously nerdy librarian Helen. As they plan the city’s upcoming May Day celebrations together, he’ll try to prove he can do better, in bed and out. It may take every bit of his creativity and determination, but their budding romance has already gone down in flames once . . . and he’ll be damned if he’ll let Helen go a second time.
I like older virgin heroine romances. There are a lot of contemporary books out there where the heroine is losing her virginity at a much younger age. Nothing wrong with that. It mirrors, for some, reality. So Helen, the older virgin heroine, was a real treat. Despite having a pretty full and happy existence, she was desperate to rid herself of that annoying V Card. Unfortunately, her experience was, um, definitely less than stellar.
I've read a lot of books where the guy totally rocks in bed. He knows how to touch, kiss, suck, lick, pinch, pull, spank, and bite. His concern is making sure his bedmate's satisfied long before he dons a condom and slides home. Wes... Well, he wasn't that guy. Matter of fact, it was kind of endearing that he was horrible in the sack with Helen, lol.
That's where this story gets interesting. While it is about former lovers reuniting and love forming between them, it's also about a second chance and redemption. Of the sexual nature. Which, admittedly, was a little weird. I mean, when was the last time, honestly, you read a book where a character's goal was to make up for that God-awful first time?
The road from Awful to Amazing wasn't easy for Wes and Helen. Forced contact over a shared project ensured they'd have multiple opportunities to talk about everything and anything and, maybe, find some common ground worth standing together on.
A man's lack of confidence in bed might seem slightly off-putting to some. It was for me at first. But Wes was a nice break from the well-bedded men I'm used to reading about. I like his determination to make things up to Helen. I like that he was willing to put himself out there again because, hey, he could've totally snorted and said, "That's all on you, babe." He didn't so that makes him okay in my book.
While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn’t read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Did women really get kidnapped that often? 3) Where did all the throbbing come from? 4) What was a “manhood”?5) And why did the hero and heroine seem overcome by images of waves and fireworks every few pages, especially after an episode of mysterious throbbing in the hero’s manhood?
Thirty or so years later, I have a few answers. 1) Because my mom apparently fancied pirates at that time. Now she hoards romances involving cowboys and babies. If a book cover features a shirtless man in a Stetson cradling an infant, her ovaries basically explode and her credit card emerges. I have a similar reaction to romances involving spinsters, governesses, and librarians. 2) Yes, at least in romantic suspense novels. And it’s still gloriously dramatic. 3) His manhood. Also, her womanhood. 4) It’s his “hard length,” sometimes compared in terms of rigidity to iron. I prefer to use other names for it in my own writing. However, I am not picky when it comes to descriptions of iron-hard lengths. At least in romances. 5) Because explaining how an orgasm feels can prove difficult. Or maybe the couples all had sex on New Year’s Eve at Cancun.
During those thirty years, I accomplished a few things. I graduated from Wake Forest University and earned my M.A. in American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I worked at a variety of jobs that required me to bury my bawdiness and potty mouth under a demure exterior: costumed interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, high school teacher, and librarian. But I always, always read romances. Funny, filthy, sweet—it didn’t matter. I loved them all.
Now I’m writing my own romances with the encouragement of my husband and daughter. I found a kick-ass agent: Jessica Alvarez from Bookends, LLC. I have my own stack of books in my closet that I’d rather my daughter not read, at least not for a few years. I can swear whenever I want, except around said daughter. And I get to spend all day writing about love and iron-hard lengths.
So thank you, Mom, for perving so hard on pirates during my childhood. I owe you.