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    Jorrie's Ebuzz: The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
    Shelby Reed is an author you will see rec'ed again and again when people ask for good ebooks. And The Fifth Favor is a fave.

    Summary bes here
    Imagine a world where a woman's every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams. Such is Avalon, an elite, private club in Washington, D.C., that caters solely to female desires. There, magazine reporter Billie Cort meets Adrian, the club's most infamous companion, with the intent to interview him for an article on high-dollar male escorts. Billie can't foresee, however, how quickly Adrian will strip her defenses and expose her true desires... and in the process, fulfill his own yearning for love.

    Our Guest buzzer, Jorrie can be found on her blog and is about to join the 'e'author world with her Samhain novel, Haven.

    Jorrie's Buzz
    I really wrestled with this book. Why? It's well-written, the characterization ranges from solid to riveting, but the premise was a bit of a hard sell for me. (The premise is also, perhaps not coincidentally, one that fascinates me.) Also, I actively disliked a couple of plot developments-but I don't want to spoil the book and, to give Reed credit, she handles them well.

    So, Adrian is a high-priced male escort. Not in any way a fake prostitute. He's twenty-eight, beautiful, and makes very good money at his job. We become acquainted with him gradually which works well because he's tortured and complicated.

    Billie is a reporter. She doesn't seem particularly well-suited to her job, or to interviewing Adrian, but she does both. They are attracted to each other and thus their relationship begins.

    Reed builds that relationship slowly but surely. Her pacing is excellent; the book barely falters. (Okay, you can tell I'm not a hardcore erotic romance reader when at one point, after Reed has totally captivated me with the story, I think, oh no, not a sex scene _now_! But I am a repressed fuddy-duddy-oops wrong post.)

    Anyway, there _is_ a fair amount of sex but I certainly can't level the charge of plotless series of sex scenes. This is an intense, dark, emotional read that got right under my skin. Storytelling is at its core.

    I found the heroine a weak link. I couldn't quite see why Adrian liked her—apart from the fact that she was there, which admittedly counts for something, but not enough. Reed's portrayal of Adrian is strong and fascinating and carries the book. I have to admit I'm on the fence in believing the HEA. But I know Adrian is in a better
    place and that makes me happy.

    Highly recommended. I will be reading more Shelby Reed. I love to react this strongly to a book.

    Thanks for the buzz, Jorrie! The Fifth Favor's excerpt can be found here and you can buy it here. Enjoy!
    1. Adrian did carry the book and like you, can't fathom what he saw in Billie that made her so different either, maybe being gullible is attractive? She did get on my nerves a couple of times but that's not a negative comment, actually a plus for the author to make her readers react strongly to her characters. I agree, this was a solid read and I have her backlist to enjoy. I'm savoring those titles, too. She's working on another book, so, I won't rush to read all of her books.

      Also, when you think of Ellora's Cave, I think of Shelby Reed. She's elevated my opinion of them just by reading her books. This is the author I was wanting to read when I went searching for an author there. So glad ReneeW and Karen Scott did some ebuzz on her.

      Long post, sorry. I'll toddle off now.

      Thanks Jorrie! And of course, Sybil.


      By Blogger Avid Reader, at 6/07/2006 09:37:00 AM  

    2. This was my first Ellora's Cave book, actually, and a big success. I'm impressed.

      As for Billie, I've found as I've read more and more romance that I want a better reason for the hero's attraction than innocence/gullibility/vulnerability. Not that I haven't used these myself, but I want more. Now there were a couple of times where Billie said, no, in a context where Adrian was used to women saying, yes, and I wish Reed had hit that harder.

      But anyway! I feel silly saying too much since Reed is an excellent writer. These are my reader reactions. As a writer, I admire.

      By Anonymous Jorrie Spencer, at 6/07/2006 11:14:00 AM  

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