Erotic Research by Mari Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Julia and Ross have been coworkers and best friends for ten years. She is a best-selling romance novelist and he is her editor. But for those same ten years, Julia has been somewhat of a recluse - she hardly dates or goes out. Ever. And then her cat dies and she loses it.
To help her out of her funk, Ross suggests she try writing erotica and he gives her a ton of books and the keys to his mountain cabin so she can go do "research". But underneath his helpful exterior, Ross is plotting to seduce his best friend. He's been in love with her forever and he can't keep it from her any longer. BUT, he fears his somewhat kinky sexual tastes might scare the somewhat vanilla Julia.
While Julia is secluded in Ross's cabin during the winter, he drives up from the city for a surprise visit (and hopefully a seduction). Of course, they get snowed in together. And that's when things really begin to heat up. (bad pun, *rimshot*)
The sex is, whoa, incredibly hot. And about as un-vanilla as you can get! While it starts off as "research"....or at least that's what Julia thinks....it quickly turns into so much more. What these two crazy kids had was a failure to communicate! Both have always had the hots for the other one, but neither of them ever had the balls to admit it. But I swear, during the story....I just wanted to slap them both to make them confess their feelings to each other. They're bubbling just barely below the surface....it's the subtext of every word they say to each other.....and yet it goes unsaid for so long! It's so frustrating as a reader, but as frustrating as it is.....it's that much more satisfying when their feelings true finally do come out.
I can't think of a hotter fantasy than best friend turned love of your life. And if said best friend-turned-true love can also manage to give you the best sex of your life....well, that's all just icing on the cake, baby.