While on business at Florida’s gorgeous Emerald Coast, Wendy Carnes spots a woman who unknowingly changes her life. “White Bikini Babe” is the personification of sex, clearly ready for action—and watching her makes Wendy wonder: If she put on a sexy bikini and got a new attitude, could she get a hot beach guy of her own? Could she really indulge in casual sex for the mere sport of it?
Armed with a daring new bikini and a new attitude—along with the journal in which she records her secret thoughts on the whole adventure—Wendy soon finds herself engaging in a wild and very naughty affair with her perfect fantasy man, who pushes her to new sexual extremes she’s never even imagined. But at what point does the game become reality? When does the person you pretend to be become the person you really are? And worse, what happens when your private diary falls into the wrong hands?
When I'm in the mood for a steamy yet emotional erotic romance, more often than not, I'll turn to the ultra sexy writing of Lacey Alexander, and once again, I was not disappointed by my decision.
"Bikini Diaries" is the story of one woman who's always felt rather average and unnoticed, until one day at the beach, she sees the "White Bikini Babe" who embodies all the qualities Wendy envies - confidence, sensuality, intoxicating pleasure - and it prompts her to break out of her safe, passive shell. While on a business trip, she decides to take this opportunity while she's far from home to let her inner bad girl come out to play, and decides to try out a sexier wardrobe and find herself a man to play with while she tours the elite resort.
While out at a casual bar for the evening, she ends up catching the eye of Brandon, a sexy guy who looks like he belongs on a beach with his blond hair and intense blue eyes. Right away she feels that zing of attraction, and decides to act on it. Fortunately Brandon feels the same way, and they both engage in a hot 'n naughty encounter on the beach, thinking never to see each other again. But Brandon, the king of one night stands, realizes he hasn't gotten his fill of the delectable Wendy and entices her into having a wild affair while she's in Florida, no holds barred.
What happens next is several dirty and pleasurable nights that boost Wendy's confidence and bring these two closer together, even though they both agree to part ways when Wendy goes back to Chicago in a few days. Brandon loves bringing out Wendy's uninhibited side, and finds her responses to be incredibly arousing, and tries to push her past her comfort zone to bring out the incredibly wanton woman she longs to be....
As I've said, I'm a huge fan of Lacey's books, and I will add this one to the list of "wins", moreso than the last one ("Seven Nights of Sin"), because it was incredibly hot and exciting, but also because I really love how Wendy is more about enjoying this experience for herself. Part of her pleasure was derived from turning Brandon on, but for the most part, she was into her own fantasies, and proving to herself she could be confident and sexual and comfortable with her body. She was more assertive and more in control, and I didn't feel like she was deferring to Brandon so much as Brenna did with Damon (from SNOS), and I was very relieved about that. I do believe it's important that your partner just as into the action as you are, yet I feel that the story was more gratifying because Wendy was the one who reached out and went for her pleasure without needing permission first. She exuded confidence and went after what she wanted, and I totally respected her all the more because of it.
I also liked that Brandon was the one who seemed to be the one to start developing feelings for Wendy first, when he isn't able to let it go after one night, but instead seeks her out for more. Brandon has never been in love before, so his reaction confuses him, but he's confident he can walk away when she goes back home. Yet it isn't until he thinks she's just been using him that Brandon realizes his feelings have been hurt. I liked this vulnerable side to Brandon, that he forged a connection with Wendy that made it difficult for him to forget her so easily.
And it would be very remiss of me if I didn't mention the sex, which is scorching hot and very, very naughty. With m/f/m and f/f variations, it's wild and dirty, yet not gratuitous or empty. Even the f/f scenes, which usually aren't my thing (especially when the other woman's name is Stacy!), are incredibly sensual and hot, and are more about the pleasure the other person can give Wendy than about the fact she's being touched by another woman. Wendy realizes a lot of her excitement is because she knows Brandon is there, watching and getting turned on, but she participates more of her own free will than from his permission or encouragement. Wendy is thirty-four, long past the age of doing something just for shock value, so when she engages in dirty sex, it's because she really wants to, and because she believes there's nothing wrong with living out some of her most wicked and salacious fantasies. I wholeheartedly approve of her open attitude. Also, she's not stupid and reckless, and other than her impulsive decision to hook up with Brandon, is not picking up strangers in bars. She was rather lucky with Brandon, but it could have gone so wrong. I do have to suspend my belief at times like this though.
So if you are in the mood for a likable and raunchy romance, I think this one fits the bill. I know it can be a fine line between being erotic and being porn (Kati I think you know what I'm talking about here due to a recent read I asked you about that you considered to be nothing but porn), yet I think Lacey totally gets it right here. Wendy is the kind of woman I can imagine being friends with - she's smart, caring, assertive in her job, a little bit reserved but willing to put herself out there - so to see her having so much fun made me very happy for her. She wasn't ashamed of what she was doing, but let herself enjoy her newfound sexiness. It was a very positive experience. I yet again look forward to another sexy romance by Ms. Alexander ;)
Rating: ****1/2 out of *****