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Monday, February 20, 2006:
My review: "Champagne Rules" by Susan Lyons
Champagne Rules
They were two strangers who met on a nude beach in Crete, drawn to each other and the magic of the location. Without words, and overcome by their powerful attraction, they find a cave where they spend the afternoon making love. Afterwards, they go their separate ways with the agreement that it was just a moment in time for both of them, and not meant to last beyond that afternoon....

Only Suzanne Brennan and Jaxon Navarre haven't forgotten each other. It's now four years later, and they still dream about that cave, and the intense connection between them. During a discussion with the the rest of the Awesome Foursome, Suzanne, who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, confesses to her girlfriends about the most amazing sexual experience she's ever had. The encounter has affected her so strongly that it doesn't take much for her friends to convince her to try and contact her dream lover. Placing an ad on the internet, she is bombarded with cheesy and suggestive emails, but before long, she comes across one that convinces her she has found her man... It seems rather unbelievable, but San Francisco resident Jaxon does come across the internet ad from the woman who rocked his world in Crete. Unable to get their interlude out of his head, he's searched the internet periodically over the years for a glimpse of his sexy blonde. Not really thinking he'd find her, he's more than a little surprised to read an ad that sounds like the unforgettable experience he had so long ago....

After contact is made, and names are exchanged, they agree they both would like to see each other again. Jaxon flies to Vancouver to meet Suzanne, and once again it happens on a beach. The attraction is just as hot as it was all those years ago, and before the night is over, the two indulge in some very sexy and erotic lovemaking. Unable to give up their physical relationship, they both agree to the "Champagne Rules"; to keep their relationship fun and effervescent and not go flat. This means not talking about their personal life, even to the point of not talking about what they each do for a living. The situation works for both of them: Jaxon is on the fast track to becoming a partner in his law firm and Suzanne has set her sights on marrying a Ward Cleaver- type of man, someday far in the future. Neither one of them is looking for a relationship, just great sex. But life doesn't always go according to plan....

This is Susan Lyons' first published story, and it holds a lot of promise for her future career. Writing for the erotic Aphrodisia line from Kensington, Susan has included a lot of the heat associated with today's stories of erotica, but she does it in a more traditional way. Jaxon and Suzanne have an exclusive relationship, with no additional partners to muddy the waters. Fans who like to read hot, yet traditional romances will enjoy this story a lot. I respect how the story touches on the interracial aspects of their relationship but doesn't dwell on them. Jaxon and Suzanne are just two people extremely attracted to each other, and unwilling to believe that the magic between them could lead to love. Other obstacles are realistic and believable, though they may have been resolved a bit too quickly by the end of the story. However there is a lot of substance to this story which allows readers to understand more about each character's choices in their lives. If you're like me, you'll be anxious to read more about the Awesome Foursome, and to find out more about Jaxon and Suzanne. I'm really looking forward to the next addition: "Hot In Here".



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