BLOG REVIEW: Tasting Candy by Anne Rainey

25y.o. heroine has worked as a secretary for almost a year now.
Ever since they first met months ago, she's had a crush on her boss' brother, tall and rugged Hero.
But she hasn't done anything about it no matter how reciprocal the attraction seems to be.
Her trouble with panic attacks is part of the problem.
Construction-contractor Hero witnessing it at the gym strengthens his decision to get to know her more personally. Despite her running away from him, he doesn't waste any more time. He goes to her house immediately to get some answers.
Leading to some knowledge about her difficult past.
and their first kiss,
 
which soon spirals into more. 
Hero curtails his desires to ensure that she feels safe with him.
She, however, wants more.
And he feels too much to deny her what she wants.
She puts a limit to their relationship when it became too much for her.
Is he too much for her to handle at this point in her life?
How long will he wait for her?

I like reading novellas because they're short, to the point, & gets to the goods of the romance quickly. But this novella got to the goods and pretty much wrapped up Hero and heroine's big romance block in 2 days. Yup, 2 days. I couldn't believe it either. This book had some good plot elements and even extended Hero and heroine's instant attraction at first sight to many months until their actual getting-down-to-it moments. So, it didn't make sense why everything had to happen in 1 day. 

     ---------SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details--------------- 

Heroine's major reason for not pursuing her mutual attraction to Hero was because of her insecurity and fears from being date-raped (her drink was laced with drugs) over 1 year ago by a co-worker. Her panic attacks from feeling cornered by men resulted from it. She'd been managing all these issues through ongoing therapy but still didn't feel ready to date anybody. She had been having erotic dreams and secretly crushing on Hero when he'd visit her workplace but never thought to do anything about it in real life. Hero himself had been staying up nights since they met months ago, having hot thoughts and dreams of heroine. He could tell from heroine's expressive face that she was attracted to him as well. Yet he didn't pursue it since she wasn't the sexually-forward and obviously experienced women he's used to dating. He finally decided to do something about their mutual attraction and soon after he arrived at the gym she was exercising at, he witnessed her have a panic attack. 

From that point on, the following happened within 24 hours (give or take a couple hours):
1. she told him about her family background and her date rape & the fears that resulted (including looking provocative to men so she hides her body in loose & frumpy clothing
2. he affirmed that her past won't stop him from being part of her life 
3. he told that he'll wait for her to be ready to be intimate with him because he assured her that  they will be intimate
4. they shared their 1st kiss
5. he asked her to be his date at his parents' cookout
6. he openly showed his affection towards her with his family
7. they make-out with clothes on per Hero's stipulation back at her house
8. pieces of clothing start coming off as their make-out session progressed
9. they went from kissing to home-base within a few hours
10. Hero was limiting their make-out session but, as heroine got sexually more turned on, he began conceding more and more to her requests/demands for more until he finally gave in to her request for sex a few hours later
11. they had intercourse at least 4 times by morning
12. he went from thinking that sex with heroine will get her out of his system while they were making out to confessing his love for her the next morning after their shower sex
13. she told him she needed space to think about their relationship and kicks him out of her place

On day 2,
1. heroine dressed in her sexiest & most figure-hugging dress when she goes to share with her therapist what all happened
2. she figured out what she wanted when talking to her therapist and decided to do a strip-tease for Hero
3. Hero's all sad and worried about what it meant that heroine kicked him out of her apartment after their wild-sex night and his love confession
4. Hero's worry and sadness didn't last long at all because in came heroine in his office and locked the door to do a striptease
5. she told him she loved him 
6. they talked about how birth control will probably not be needed since they both want kids

     ------------------------------------------------------------END SPOILERS-----------------------------------------

It was a lot to take in 2 days. And there really was no set timeline or emergency that necessitated them rushing into their romance that fast.  I would've liked the book more if it took place even within a week's time. It would've made it more realistic and I wouldn't have to suspend belief. It would've made it seem healthier too. Heroine's rushing into sex with Hero in less than 1 day made her responses seemed unhealthy, given her issues.  Hero was a sport to try to fight off her sexual demands. But her assertiveness and verbal and physical willingness plus his great sexual desire for her and months of celibacy on her account easily broke through his self-imposed sexual limits. He was a good guy in his rugged and frank alpha-male way, with plans on being considerate and patient with her to be ready to be intimate with him later. He didn't expect her to yield herself that fast to him. And neither did I. Maybe it was the shock of her instant willingness to have sex with him, after her panic attack that morning and months of being a blushing and shy good-girl, that paralyzed him from fighting off her sexual demands. Maybe. 

Despite their quick hook-up, I liked that they had a months-long infatuation with each other. Although they didn't really talk then, they affected each other enough to think obsessively about and dream of each other for that long. Heroine was unsophisticated and led a sheltered life with loving adopted parents who died 5 years before. We don't really know what she did before or even after that. We know she's a hard and efficient worker. I'm not sure why she hardly dated and what she did with her free time.  We know even less about Hero, except that he worked in the construction field, was close to his family, and didn't have long-term relationships. I would've like to know why he only had sexual relationships. Overall, Hero and heroine were likable characters. They seemed like a good match with a good future together.

I moderately recommend this book.
2.5-star

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