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Sunday, April 22, 2007:
"Smart and Sexy" by Jill Shalvis (April 2007)
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Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Brava (April 1, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0758214456
ISBN-13: 978-0758214454


Noah Fisher has worked for months to make Sky High the most prestigious charter airline in California. He's long overdue for a break - something involving ski slopes, cold beers, and hot ski bunny babes, not necessarily in that order. The itinerary doesn't include being hijacked by Bailey Sinclair, gorgeous widow of one of Sky High's wealthiest (ex-) clients. But here they are, and being crammed in a cockpit with the scared, stubborn, unbelievably sexy former model he's been fantasizing about invokes Superman tendencies that could get Noah in serious trouble.

Baily is desperate to find the stash of money hidden by her conniving, thieving late husband - before the bad guys he owed find her. It's a long shot, but nothing compared to the gamble she's taking by being so close to Noah. Every minute in his company has Bailey thinking about doing crazy, reckless things like touching, grabbing, kissing...and oh wow, being kissed right back. Suddenly, seat-of-your-pants seems like the only way to fly, and maybe it's the altitude playing tricks, but this is one trip she never wants to end...

The past six months had been extremely difficult on Noah, however now he's ready to get back in the swing of things with some much-needed R&R - on the slopes, and between the sheets. But fate has other plans, in the form of one beautiful ex-model who's always set Noah's heart racing, even though he had no business noticing the very married Bailey Sinclair and all her assets. But Bailey is widowed now, has been for some time, and she wants something from him. Really, really badly. Looking into those baby blues of hers, how can he possibly refuse?

Bailey hates having to depend on yet another man for anything, but thanks to her lying rat bastard of a dead husband, she's in deep trouble, and the only person she believes is willing and able to help her is seriously sexy pilot Noah Fisher. Bailey's felt an instant attraction to Noah since the very beginning, but as a married woman, she honors her marriage vows. And now that her not so dearly departed hubby has left her with nothing but trouble, she turns to Noah almost unwillingly, yet desperately needing a way out of a really bad situation. Once he takes her where she wants to go, she plans on ditching him for good...only Noah has other plans.

Noah can think of worse things than being held hostage by the gorgeous, young widow, but not many. Suffering through his own troubles, he's in need of some serious "down time", but when Bailey hijacks him, he knows he's going to see it through to the end, whether Baily likes it or not. After all, he may never get the chance to be this close to her again, and he doesn't plan on passing up this opportunity to be with her, even if it's just to spend days being chased by bad guys.

I'm fairly new to Jill's books, though I visit her blog just about daily because she can convey so much with so few words. And she's funny as hell. I know some readers don't care about the author's personal lives, etc., but getting to know one through their blog paints a picture as I'm reading the story, and I happen to enjoy imagining how the author might have been thinking as they wrote a particular scene.

An issue I did have with the story was that I had a hard time with the heroine's name: I've known way too many people who have dogs named Bailey, so that threw me as I was reading it. And another thing that should have bothered me but didn't was that Bailey had some of the TSTL characteristics that can really ruin a book - she foolishly wanted to try to evade bad guys on her own, she wore silly shoes that are not made for walking much less running, she's not getting the obvious clue (the one her rat bastard hubby gave her the last time she saw him) until nearly the very end - but I liked Bailey, and considering that she was in danger, and at least smart enough to be realistically scared about it, I could forgive her these little quirks. Especially when she so stubbornly wanted to protect Noah. She adored the guy, wanted him bad, and cared enough not to want to see him get hurt. As stupid as that sounded - because without him she'd probably end up dead - I really, really liked that about her. She was a great match for Noah.

And was there hot sex, you ask? Oh yeah. Really scorching sex. Now that Noah had his fantasy crush within reach, he was not stupid enough not to act on their mutual attraction, and wow, you could have lit a bonfire with the sparks and heat these two generate! Every woman should have a man like Noah, if they don't already. Yeah, he had this crazy crush on her, but he didn't get all sappy and mopey and depressed about it. He respected that she was off-limits as a married woman, and didn't go chasing after her when her husband died. He was honorable. But he's a guy, and he wants her something fierce, so their first night together, he's not going to be a martyr and suffer in silence when they could both benefit from a night between the sheets. He's gonna get some. But he's gonna also make sure she enjoys it. Several times, in fact.

But things are not all rose-colored after a night of orgasms. They're not out of danger yet, and still go several days being chased by the bad guys, barely one step ahead of getting caught. Yet through it all, they work as a team, and slowly open up their bruised hearts as they learn to let go and fully trust in each other. You can see the attraction slowly turning into something deeper, something stronger, and it's wonderful to watch. I fell in love right along with them. This book made me sigh with happiness. I just loved it so much. Jill, you done good. Better than good - you rock!

Another thing is that this is book #1 in a trilogy, so fortunately there are more fun and games to be had. Noah and Bailey didn't survive their adventure without a little help from Noah's friends: Shayne, Brody and Maddie, who all work for Sky High. They have a lot of history together, and I look forward to finding out more about them in future stories.. Be sure to check out the blurb for "Strong and Sexy", Shayne's story, here.

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  1. I'm glad and I bought this book. I even put it on my special shelf, "To be read soon." LOL

  2. I do love Jill Shalvos' books! I'll have to put this on my TBR list! Thanks Stacy - great review!

  3. Crud. I need to prrof. Shalvis.

  4. *snort* p.r.o.o.f.

    And that is my clue that it must be bedtime.

  5. LOL Lori. Thanx for the laugh on an early Monday morning. I enjoyed the typos :)

  6. I almost bought this on Saturday but had already spent too much money when I spotted it! Must get it soon :)

  7. I can't wait to read this one. I love Jill's books and her blog. She cracks me up and helps me start my day with a smile.

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