***FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Brook Cottage Books.***
Truth? I usually have issues when the heroine is involved in something like stripping, which is pretty much the category into which Lizzie’s side job falls. It’s not that I’m judging; it’s simply that I can’t identify with the character or really understand her the way I want to. But I just couldn’t pass up a book by Melissa Foster, and (as I should probably just expect by now), Lizzie made perfect sense to me.
She wasn’t necessarily proud of her secret life on video, but she was absolutely proud of the reason she was doing it. Determined to keep herself out of perpetual debt and give her younger sister the same security, she hosted her own sexy cooking show online but did her best to preserve what little modesty she could and also conceal her identity. Lizzie was pretty much the definition of a woman taking care of her family and doing exactly what she needed to, to create a better life for herself.
Blue was just about the sweetest, sexiest romance novel hero I’ve read. He was immediately taken by Lizzie, and he didn’t give up on her, despite her constant rejections — yet he did it without turning into some creepy stalker. He made his interest clear, treated her with friendship and respect, and just kept trying, sure that they could have something great if she’d just give him a chance. Their friendly past also gave them just the right kind of history for their romance to quickly take off without ever feeling rushed.
I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Lizzie as she and Blue became closer, and that’s what made the story so compelling. Lizzie was caught between that proverbial rock and a hard place, knowing that Blue would certainly take issue with her Naked Baker alter-ego but being unable to resist falling for him all the same. The closer they got to happier ever after, the more problematic the consequences would be when the truth came out.
Blue’s reaction when she eventually came clean was just as realistic as the rest of Lizzie’s story, though. He was angry and jealous and all tied in knots, but the good guy in him just couldn’t completely turn on her like one might expect. All the things that made him so great as they were building their relationship came together and allowed him (after his initial blow up, of course) to begin to understand and try to keep an open mind.
I’m beginning to think it’s just not possible to resist the characters Melissa Foster writes. While the stories always head toward that messy, modern fairy tale ending for which we read romance in the first place, there’s just something more real and unpredictable about her characters. And with so many books and series tied together now, one might start expecting the characterizations to begin repeating themselves, but that’s not the way Foster writes. Each new hero and heroine is somehow just a bit different, just unique enough and dealing with a plot just a tad more realistic and engaging than your usual romance fare. Seized by Love is exactly that kind of stand-out difference that makes this whole series something worth staying up way too late to finish.