REVIEW: Naughty But Nice by Jill Shalvis
Dear Ms. Shalvis:
All this talk about RITA, RITA, RITA, got me to buy your June release, ShadowHawk, which I liked enough to head to my basement to my to be read shelves to see if I own any of your past Blazes. Alas, this was it. Fortunately for me, this was a good one. I wonder why I missed reading it the first time around?
Cassie Tremaine Montgomery is a good girl with all the bad girl trappings: the family history; the reputation; and the body. At 17, she’s endured 4 years of near constant ogling but she thought one guy in her town was decent and that was the Sheriff. Only on prom night, when she thinks she going to be saved from her drunk, grope happy date, Sheriff Taggart makes a creepy and inappropriate proposition. Cassie vows that someday she’ll come back, live on Lilac Hill, give the town a what-for, and get the Sheriff.
Cassie wasn’t really ready to come home but a stalker made New York a dangerous place for her. At the urging of friends and her cousin, Kate, Cassie return ten years later as a successful lingerie model and sets up house in her mother’s home on Lilac Hill. Her mother inherited the big house from one of her many lovers. (Kind if the ultimate finger there).
Sheriff Sean Taggart does everything that a small town sheriff does, from wrangling with stupid teenagers to delivering babies. His duties also include checking out the complaints about some out of towner speeding around in her convertible playing loud music. Cassie and Tag’s meeting is full of flirtation until Cassie realizes that the Sheriff is a Taggert. She freezes up like an icecube and speeds off. Tag isn’t quite sure what to make of it but decides that if she is going to be in town, perhaps she’d like to pass the time with him.
In order to win her over, though, Tag must overcome Cassie’s disgust of the uniform and her general disdain for men. He must prove to her that he is not rule by his lower organs. Oh, how she tests him, in one of the hottest scenes I’ve read lately.
To some extent this storyline reminded me of It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Philips. The heroine is a good girl whom everyone thought was bad so she played up the bad girl image. The uber sexy guy is deciding that its time for Mrs. Right who will be some “sweet” woman but can’t quite take his eyes off hotness personified.
There are so many great things about this book such as Cassie’s surprise that her small town has changed in the past ten years; that not every man wants just her body; that she can stand and fight for herself.
My biggest complaint is the lingering insertion of Tag’s desire for a “sweet” girl. By the lengths he goes to show Cassie and then reader that he’s a good guy, not just a quick lay, the internal conflict seems forced.
This Blaze, though, definitely lives up to its title of being very Naughty but also very Nice. B+.