Review: The Sex Solution by Kimberly Raye

the sex solutionTitle: The Sex Solution

Author: Kimberly Raye

Mills & Boon imprint: Blaze

Year of publication: 2004

The heroine: Chemist Madeline Hale

The hero: Rancher/cowboy Austin Jericho

The blurb: Madeline Hale has come back to her Texas hometown on a mission. Twelve years ago, she’d been a chubby bookworm infatuated with bad boy Austin Jericho. She still has the brains — after all, she’s chief chemist for a cosmetics company — but now she also has the body and attitude to match. And she plans to use them — along with a new aphrodisiac lotion she’s created — to finally get Austin where he belongs… in her bed.

Austin doesn’t know what’s hit him. He’s wanted Maddie forever, but he always figured she was too good for him. Only suddenly, the tables have turned. The sweet girl has turned into a sex siren, and Austin has ditched his wicked ways to settle down with a nice little wife.

But Maddie smells so sweet, feels so soft and tastes so wonderful. There’s only one solution. The Sex Solution. And it’s going to be very, very good….

Standalone or series: Book three in the Jericho brothers series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: Madeline “Don’t call me Maddie even though every person in town does” Hale has come back to her hometown of Cadillac for a friend’s wedding. She’s been living in Dallas for twelve years and works for a cosmetics company; in order to get the promotion she’s been eyeing, she decides to take the two weeks she’s home to create a new lotion that will tease all five senses (I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d want to lick a body lotion. Just saying).

Maddie had a huge crush on Austin Jericho (whose brothers are Houston and Dallas, natch) in high school and when she runs into him, it’s game on. She’s determined to prove she’s changed from a shy, nerdy teenager into a sex kitten, and apparently the only way she can do that is to entice Austin into bed. Never mind that he turns her down flat on more than one occasion and is borderline rude. She’s having none of it and is determined not to stop until he gives in.

Austin thinks Maddie’s attractive but he’s not interested, because he has two weeks to find himself a potential wife in order to inherit one hundred acres of land from the lady who helped raise him as a child. This trope – where usually the hero has a certain timeframe to marry/produce an heir in order to inherit money/land/business empire – seems to crop up a lot, and I just don’t get why people put such restrictions on an inheritance.

Anyway, Austin finally agrees to help Maddie test her new lotion, he ends up at her place and they have sex. It happens over and over, although one night Austin gets all hot and heavy and then just walks out. This guy is so fickle it’s hard to know what he wants. But that’s okay, because Maddie’s going to get what she wants whether he likes it or not.

I couldn’t connect to either character, and I certainly didn’t buy their romance at all. There was an elderly relative of the bride who popped up more often than he should have, and all he kept telling Maddie was how fat she was o_0  This book was very much a case of tell, not showing. Don’t tell me they’re falling in love, show me. They were virtual strangers and they’re in love in less than two weeks? I can usually buy the short timeframe, but it didn’t work for me this time.