This post is among the first of what I plan to be many romance (and love story) reviews on this blog, because in addition to writing, I love-love-love to read.
Wicked Sexy was my first J.T. Geissinger novel, and I’m happy she’s prolific because I want to read more. How could I not, with the book's protagonists – an ex-Special Ops officer and an MIT-dropout-hacker with a photographic memory? These two might get together? Oh, and the forced proximity trope + enemies to lovers, with some age-gap and, Will they get out of this alive and, you know, save the world in the process? I'm in.
The suspense grabbed me from the opening scene and I loved seeing the obviously experienced Tabitha in action, incriminating brief case in hand. And then once her assignment is done, her interaction with her neighbor offers such a humanizing counterpoint to her and Juanita's hard, protective outer shells. They both get, and arguably need, each other.
For readers who are also writers, the ladies' secret handshake of a catchphrase is a fantastic example of "show, don't tell."
Tabitha and Connor's meet (again) cute might have given me the creeps in another story or a less talented author's hands, but it was so just-right for these two, with their history and their lines of work. It made me smile as I read those pages, as did the heroine's nickname for Connor. I still giggle when I think of it. (😂 Like now.)
The book is billed as a sexy, fast-paced thriller, so let's get to the sexy: Yes. Yes. YES. I love the exploration of the 'What happens now, after one incredible night?' question. (The same question that led me to write Silently and the rest of my Transformation trilogy after an initial short story about a couple's one unexpected night together.) Tabby and Connor's on-page chemistry is off the charts, intense and supremely well done. That is to say, 🔥HOT.
While we're on the subject of sexy, can we please talk about Connor? His physique, his quiet, deliberate movements, his control and loyalty, his flawed and self-aware nature. (Fans self.) He was such a desirable and believable character – and such a contrast to the chilling psychopath.
For me, Wicked Sexy has just the right balance of humor, suspense, and steam – all blended so seamlessly. Descriptions mention the story's high stakes, and I agree. They really are high, and the characters do not make it to the end unscathed. Suffering is had; walls come down.
So, tuck a tag of tricks, looker. I'm off to choose my next J.T. Geissinger read.
Review note: I purchased this title. All opinions my own.
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