Astor + Blue. Oct. 2014. 220p. ISBN 9781938231964. pap. $12.95. EROTICA
Erin Mitchell is forced to reevaluate her life, love, and marriage after nearly dying in a flash flood in South Africa. The photographer wakes up in the care of handsome, generous stranger Nicholas de Lanoy, on his beautiful Leopard Rock resort. Safe and healthy, Erin counts herself incredibly lucky—until Vince calls, and she's reminded of the abusive, possessive man she married. As her stay at Leopard Rock extends and her marriage crumbles, Erin and Nick begin a passionate fling that sparks entirely unexpected emotions. Is Erin living a fantasy life, or could Nick really be the one? De Jong's rich, tempting prose is as alluring as Nick's offer of no-strings sex, with descriptions of the lush South African landscape complementing the couple's mounting sexual tension. There is prevalent infidelity, which might deter some readers, as well as the depiction of an emotionally abusive relationship. However, such elements serve to build a substantial story that keeps the audience reading for more than just the sex, and the ending, while positive, retains the refreshing realism present throughout.
VERDICT While the grittier components of the plot may deter fans of lighter fare, readers shouldn't pass up this sensuous, entertaining novel.

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