I can’t remember if I read Delphine Dryden before her submission or after but the one book that sticks out in my head is When in Rio where the hero says that he is a spanker with pretensions. I find her sex scenes to have a certain sense of humor, as if there is no question that everyone is enjoying themselves thoroughly. It’s kind of infectious. Safeword is an office romance where a little naughty teasing turns from thoughts to action.
I would have been fine if he had never made that joke about paddling. The whole thing could have stayed safely hypothetical, safely stowed in the subtext. Safe.
And it wasn’t even the joke itself—off the cuff, wry, accompanied by that wicked quirk of his lips that never ceased to make me feel fluttery. No, it was the look in his eyes as he said it. That moment of distance, of resignation. Almost a wistful expression. It was the look a person gets when he talks about his first love, the one that got away.
I could feel how strained my face must look as I turned around, stopping us when we were still a block away from the office building. Another friendly lunch, another round of hinting at things we both assumed would never materialize. But on the way back, there came that one moment, and it changed us.
Next up is Silverhouse by Sarabeth Scott.