I bought Kidnapped!, a Harlequin Blaze - forbidden fantasies read, on the advice of Paperback Writer who raved about the tight plot and technically insane mastery that let her be absorbed into the story (So no talking to the author on this one, unlike my experiences with Jed) which is just what I needed so out came the maestro card and to amazon I went. Sad thing is, the book took nearly three weeks to arrive, when it did, I'd forgotten I'd ordered it - must watch finances and impulse shopping urges closer!
Kidnapped is about New York Socialite Tate Baxter who lives her life in a high security bubble. She suffers with agoraphobia and has intense fears of being kidnapped for ransom and murdered. She's gotten away from murderous kidnappers once before, but who knows about next time. So she has a lot of high tech, but invisible, security. Not so invisible is her chauffeur, Michael Caulfield. Mikey is a highly trained ex-CIA special expert guy. He's tough, focussed and hot with gorgeous blue eyes.
Tate's shrink offers up a suggestion to help her get over her fears of getting kidnapped by planning and enacting her own kidnap with help of specialist acting kidnappers. Yeah! That sounds good, we'll fake a kidnapping and you can work through your breathing techniques and coping mechanisms and shit, remember your happy place, find your happy place...got it, great. Except something goes wrong and she ends up kidnapped for real, thinking it's the staged kidnap. Michael, also thinking it's the staged kidnapping, lets her go. Uhm...shit!
So there she is, really kidnapped, terrified, sucking wind in mid-panic attack and the fucking actors aren't listening to her code word (which is: Stop. I found this lacking in originality. I'm sure S&M couples come up with better safe words than Stop, like "Armageddon" or "Spunk Monkey" but then if you are in the middle of a panic attack, stop may be the only word one can utter...so I let it go.) Lucky for her, Michael has her hooked up to GPS (in her handbag, I was expecting the under-wiring of her bra, but I digress) so he's able to follow and find her. He never calls anyone though, because he still doesn't know it's real and not fake, and Tate made him promise not to tell her Dad.
They both end up captive and there's a lot of worry talk about how they'll die, and how well Tate's dealing with this. Handcuffed together in a small bed, kind of cozy really, and then, well....confession time. Mikey is pretty good with a comb and gets out of his handcuffs, and the two manage a few passionate end of the world "Armageddon!" no no...sorry...ahem, yes they get jiggy in the waves on the boat of captive lurve. But did they handcuff each other or make us of said handcuffs? No. Forbidden fantasies pishaw! Ok ok, there was that detail about Tate having cut wrists from the handcuffs, so it's not S&M erotica, but she could've clamped up Mikey at least once! Oh, yeah wait - it's not me, it's Tate and she's got panic issues. *sigh* ok she gets the warm comforting cuddles under the duvet to the peaceful sway of the ocean.
The bad guys are bad, a wee bit cliche gangster types but acceptable. I kept expecting the big chef guy to be a double agent, but no, just a gangster with a penchant for French cuisine. Anyways, we spend a lot of time in Tate's head where she's building herself up, refocusing her confidence, as she's not had a heart attack or anything and she's coping well, and maybe she'll get a few kicks in before they toss her overboard. Bolstering reminiscences of pilates classes, yoga and self-defense coaching as well as a lot of supportive noises from Michael hint to me that an ass kicking turn about is coming Tate's way and I want to read about it!
I don't know how much more I can get into without revealing the story, as it is a 243 page story so the action is boom, boom, boom. They ultimately end up in the Cayman Islands where Tate has a bank account full of millions that the kidnappers want, and the plans for getting her to sign over her money all seems a bit thin, but works in the end. I kept thinking, Tate can just get into the office and say "Fuck you, I'm in a safe place. neener neener, I'm going shopping," and then kung-fu his kidnapper's ass all over the bank's fancy entrance. But then the kidnappers kept Micheal on the boat and threatened to kill him if she didn't sign over the money, so that was a bust. No, she goes in, signs everything like a good compliant wee chicken.
But, I was right to expect an ass kicking scene! And it came, and it was: A kick to the balls and a temper tantrum. What?! That's it?? I wanted a bit more damage than that. A Yoga strengthened high kick to the face followed by a few rabbit punches and a high heeled shoe piercing the bad guy's big toe. Something more! All that training and the bad guy is brought down by a knee to the nads. That was only one of two things that irked me, but they were both minor irks. The second one was they didn't mention a reward for Tate's safe return until the very end. I think that should've had a small mention somewhere earlier in the story when the Best Friend and Daddy Baxter have a conversation.
So it's rather good, for a quick read. It's something that could've been spread out and made even more intense, but I understand the market it was written for has it's stringent rules on word counts. I think it's a good sign that I wanted more from the story, that I could see it going further. It was very good with the uncertain outcomes, and kept me reading. Anyone want it? I'll post it to whoever e-mails me first at lyvvie at gmail.com.
Now for something completely different...
What the hell is this?!? (I love the music, BTW) I mean, it doesn't look sexy, it doesn't look comfortable, it doesn't look...right. It's just not right! And it's expensive!! Then there's this creepy mannequin that invites you to rub her and turn her knobs, and she rewards you with moans of pleasure. How long have women been saying "Are you trying to tune the radio or turn me on? Because you're failing at both." So Moaning Lisa isn't helping those inept nipple tuners one bit. When are they (Hey! Sex toy manufacturers, listen up!) going to get around to making a Cherry 2000 because I want a Barry 2000. No, no a George (Clooney!) 2000 with perfected mischievous smirk. Tell me, who would you want as your robot love slave? I can't be the only one who had Data fantasies after hearing about his extensive programming in many ways of pleasuring.