Friday, May 20, 2011

Five Umbrella Friday: Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl

Oh my gosh! Is it Friday again? Already? I lost a bunch of posts in the blogger crash last week and then my week kinda imploded . . . and oh my! I've got everything queued up again so next week is a full week of posts again. And tomorrow I'm guest blogging at Romancing the Genres where I'll be talking about why I review--Please visit and check out the lovely discussion among writers (and readers!) of many different subgenres of romance!

Today's pick of the week isn't a new book, but it one of the best things I've read this month (this year too!). And as bonus, if you love it, she's got two more books in this trilogy. I can't wait to check them out! I'm going to be reviewing the companion novella to this book tomorrow as my Saturday short.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All roads have pointed towards Victoria Dahl this spring—she was a major player in the DABWAHA tournament, is up for two RITA nominations, and is one of the most entertaining authors on twitter. But, with a TBR pile that threatens to explode my nook, I just couldn’t justify giving into my “click to purchase” desires. However, when the Judy Mays story broke, I immediately thought of Dahl’s Talk Me Down where a successful erotica author moves back to her hometown, trying to keep her secret identity a secret, even as she falls for the Chief of Police, who hates even a hint of scandal.

And my purchasing finger kinda slipped when I went back to read the blurb. I swore I’d just add it to TBR mountain, but next thing I knew I was halfway through the book, waking the baby for a third time by laughing out loud. If you haven’t read Dahl, her voice is similar to Jennifer Crusie, Rachel Gibson, Christie Ridgway, but with a bit more heat added to the same addictive blend of humorous banter and real emotions.

Molly writes erotica—she knows exactly what she wants from Ben, whom she’s had a crush on since she was a teenager. And Ben knows what he wants too, but he knows better than to want it from a woman with obvious secrets. But, when he can’t resist giving in to their attraction, he goes on a mission to uncover Molly’s secret identity.

Now, if Molly weren’t so in love with being mysterious and keeping her job a secret, she would have invented a cover identity long ago—freelance technical writer perhaps? Medical biller? No? Instead, she’s spent years playing the “How Does Molly Get Her Money” game with everyone in her life. And this is technically more honest than outright lying with a fake job, but it also ensures that the secret is going to come out at some point in a very public way.

And it does, but not until Dahl has wrung every drop of emotion out of Ben and Molly’s tentative, yet smoking courtship. I actually teared up shortly after the halfway point of the book with one the sweetest morning after scenes ever. The black moment is bleak, and I hurt so much for Ben. For Molly too, but I did think that she deserved to suffer a little bit for keeping the secret going. And thankfully, she suffers just enough for me to cheer when she gets her HEA.

There’s also a great suspense subplot with someone stalking Molly, which raises the stakes and keeps the action moving briskly along. All in all, one of the most fun contemporary romances I’ve read in years and headed straight for the keeper shelf. Now, the only problem is trying to resist the urge to read Dahl’s entire backlist in lieu of tackling more of the TBR pile.


  1. Read the backlist. Jump in feet-first or savor them book by book when you need something you know will take you for a wildly entertaining ride to the HEA. I love Victoria Dahl.

  2. I second that. Go ahead and read her backlist (both her Regencies and contemporaries). They are great.