Author: Lily Harlem
Series: Book #1 in the Hot Ice series
Release Date: 17 December 2010
Number of Pages: 128 pages
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Source: review copy provided by author
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon
Grade: 4 stars
Goodreads appetizer: One hundred grand to babysit bad boy Logan “Phoenix” Taylor on a paradise island—seriously, how bad could he be?This review was originally posted at The Forbidden Bookshelf.
Frankly, it didn’t matter. Not when it would make my dreams of going to nursing school possible. I wasn’t even expected to talk to him, just hang out in a luxurious villa on a private beach and study. Simple, right?
But I hadn’t counted on Logan being so deliciously bad that he was oh so good. And when the temperature cranked to boiling point, he knew just how to satisfy the deepest, darkest part of my soul and give my body exactly what it needed. Amongst the sand and waves, we transported each other to an exquisite world of pleasure where only we existed, only we mattered.
But the heady mix of emotions and lust couldn’t keep things from spiraling out of control back in reality, where I had to keep the secret that I’d been hired to entertain him…even if it shattered my delicate heart. Even if it cost my destiny.
Brooke's best friend who is an elite call girl asks for Brooke's help in spending a week in a beautiful remote island villa with brooding hockey player Logan Taylor for which she would receive 100,000 dollars to pay for her nursing studies. However Brooke is no call girl, she only agrees to the vacation when it is garanteed sex is not part of the bargain and so she sets off to fly away to a paradise island with white sandy beach and turquoise water.
Hired was a great read. I loved how Lily Harlem did not jump head first into the sex scenes, but instead she strongly built the foundation of Brooke and Logan's relationship by developing their characters in detail. The very first love scene took place at 33% of the story! Until then we got a good feel of who Brooke and Logan were.
I enjoyed how real Lily Harlem made Brooke: she is an ordinary girl with curves, who isn't ashamed of her body but accepts it as part of herself, and it was great to see Logan appreciate her womanly figure and be attracted to her natural body type.
Logan is of course a wet dream come true: he is a professional athlete, so his droolworthy body is a given, as Brooke describes him shortly after meeting him:
"He may act like a Neanderthal but he had the body of a god."
I loved almost everything about this book: both characters were interesting and well developed, their interactions always kept me engaged be it a fight, a humourous banter, a sexy seduction or just ordinary chat. The writing was also fluent and kept things progressing naturally. My only complaint is that Brooke rather often had some internal syrupy gushing about how "they were destined to be together" which I felt too cheesy even with her eccentricities:
"But regardless of the method of our meeting the heavens had brought our souls together."
"Maybe, just maybe, Logan was the yang to my yin, my soul mate." This is said quite early in their relationship, about just after the first time they had sex.
"I was in love, there were no two ways about it. Without him at my side I felt empty."
I'm all for the H/H falling in love and not just having meaningless sex for the sake of it (though that can be fun too ;-p), but here I felt it was premature for Brooke to already feel with such certainty that Logan was her "soulmate" after only having spent such a short time with him (about 2 days).
Verdict: With Lily Harlem gradually easing the story into sensuality and introducing the sex scenes well after having established the characters and their connection, I felt like this was more of an erotic romance than an erotica novel. Sure the sex scenes were hot, but I would say the emphasis was rather on Brooke and Logan's emotional and romantic relationship than their bedroom antics. I enjoyed Hired a lot and will definitely check out Lily Harlem's other books!