Feels Like The First Time by Tawny Weber

feels like the first timeTitle: Feels Like The First Time

Author: Tawny Weber

Mills & Boon imprint: Blaze

Year of publication: 2009

The heroine: Freelance consultant Zoe Gaston

The hero: Video game designer Dexter Drake

The blurb: Zoe Gaston needs to unmask a mystery man for work. She also must survive her dreaded high school reunion—and the costume party that opens it. So Zoe, once voted Girl Most Likely to Die a Virgin, comes dressed as a dominatrix…whip and all!

Her scandalous costume catches a secret lover. But Zoe is shocked to discover the sexy body she’s been so thoroughly enjoying belongs to Dexter Drake—her oldest friend! And he’s hiding something bigger than just his identity….

Standalone or series: Part of the Dressed To Thrill series, but can be read as a standalone.

The review: This is another book I have mixed feelings on. Zoe Gaston decides to attend her ten year high school reunion because she’s looking for a classmate known online as Gandalf – he’s one of the hottest video game designers in the business. Everyone is talking about him at the reunion, but she needs to find him because her sister-in-law is convinced Gandalf can help turn Zoe’s brother’s fledging business around.

Zoe was never popular in school; she was a goth geek whose only real friend was maths geek Dexter Drake. A year younger than her, he stuck by her when her parents died in a car accident at sixteen. Despite them being the best of friends, they lost touch when she left school – and town – and they haven’t seen each other in ten years.

When Zoe spots Dex at the hotel his parents own where the reunion is taking place, she’s stunned. He’s grown into a tall, sexy guy she finds herself lusting after. What she doesn’t know is that he had a crush on her all those years ago, and that crush is reignited when he sees her again.

The opening dinner is a costume party, so Zoe’s sister-in-law orders her a costume but the shop delivers the wrong one – she gets a dominatrix costume. She wears it anyway and runs into a masked man called Aragorn, with whom she makes out in the dark. He kisses and runs, and she wants to hook up with him again.

You can see where this is going, right? Masked man = Gandalf = Dexter. Zoe figures out the masked man is Dexter before she has hot sex with him, but he doesn’t know that until the next morning. Anyway, in the end, Zoe decides she loves Dex enough to stay in her hometown; he reveals himself to be Gandalf and helps her brother.

What made this a mixed bag for me was Zoe. I really couldn’t get much a feel for her character, and I can’t really say why. I absolutely adored Dex, and his grandmother was a hoot. I can see why Zoe fell in love with Dex, but couldn’t see why it was mutual. Various characters kept listing all of Zoe’s attributes, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Le sigh.

The sex scene had a major error, which threw me out of it: before they start, Dex decides he wants Zoe to leave her boots on and nothing else. He takes her boots off to pull her jeans and underwear off, but two lines later… he’s kissing her leg just above her boots. Zoe apparently owes magical boots that put themselves back on after thirty seconds! Worth a read for Dex.