Lush Curves, upon it's first look, is a very simple equation for romance. Moneyed, alpha male; mousy, unknowingly beautiful temp or secretary.
Upon its first few pages, it echoes the same kind of formula, though it oddly opens to just where we want it to be. The stage is set rather than portraying a back story or introducing our characters fully. We're thrust into the limelight with our bum in the air and a playboy Scotsman intently checking us out from behind, Delilah's short story nature showing itself. This leaves the first few snippets devoid of any real build because we don't yet know Aolani or her admirer, Gavin.
This makes Delilah's words feel nervous, though she wants to please, eager at bat and hoping to hit gold. It's readable in her style. At first each perspective reads similarly, flowery Aolani being woefully close to the Scot's high-spoken brogue in thought. For readers unaccustomed to the perspective switch style of writing it can be jarring to be switched so often, but it begins to work better a few pages in.
When Delilah relaxes you can feel it settling into the words and setting the mood. As she slips into something she's a little more comfortable with, conversation, Aolani and Gavin start hitting it off. Maybe a little too well.
There's a touch here, a fragrance there. Aolani longs and though still a bit flowery, Gavin handsomely craves. He broods, she gives off charming, real reactions amidst researched culture and colloquial hints to speech patterns.
A few pages is all it takes for Delilah Fawkes to catch where she wants to go. After a few stumbling, quick switches back and forth she sticks with Aolani and builds, builds, builds before crushing our hopes and swapping back to Gavin who does the same.
Aolani starts to read as sensible, cute and downright real, her passages throwing us forward into what can only be a tumultuous storm. Fawkes' well placed swaps land us a step forward with Gavin, daring to defy the storm, to defy what his position should say of him. The purple prose falls away and he starts to read grittier, dirtier, quicker and to the point. Maybe it's the tension talking or maybe, at this point, Delilah falls in line with his character.
Lush Curves on the outside proves that Delilah Fawkes is versatile, she can take anything and put a piece of herself into it to create something different. On the inside, it's a delightful prologue to what I hope will be a rollercoaster of a ride. If anything, Delilah's learned how to turn on the tease, how to push you to the edge and yank you back. She knows how to make you want it, even if you don't know what it is.
Her ability to breathe life into characters throws me back to finding an erotic book in my grandmother's bookshelf as a preteen and being so excited to see what comes next, chapter after chapter.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)