Review: Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard

After finishing Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace last week I knew I needed to press reset and turn my attention to something lighter. Enter in Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard.

Kayla Maxwell has landed a job as actress on the most popular soap opera, paired with the steamy and talented actor Sean Barrett. Both are trying to get over various baggage and as they draw closer on set, things heat up behind scenes as well. Will Kayla make her way into Sean’s heart, despite his best attempts to keep the actress at arm’s length? And to complicate matters further, Kayla finds herself with a stalker who has a nasty habit of leaving threatening notes. 

So funny story first: this is not a book for children. I was driving my daughter to school one morning and was listening to the book in the car thinking it was going to be romance-lite. Next thing I know, “Sean felt a twitch in his groin.” I’ve never pressed the pause button so fast as I did in that moment. Whew! Then I find out later the book is the first in a series called “Feeling the Heat”. Oh yeah, the heat of my blushing!

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So about the book itself: it wouldn’t be unfair to say it is a soap opera within a soap. Great for daytime TV fans, the book was full of cheese and predictability. I could tell pretty much from the start what was going to happen, so don’t expect to be on pins and needles.  There was one thing that wasn’t resolved about Sean’s best friend, a professional baseball player, but evidently Matt gets his own story in the second book of the series. The dialogue is agonizingly simple and the characters could have been popped from a mold, no fleshing out to really speak of. Simply put, what you see is what you get.

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There are several steamy scenes in the book that I was not anticipating (clearly!), so if you like those, by all means continue reading. For me I was rolling my eyes at the erm… creative writing, I thought some of the juicy bits were a wee bit overdone. Perhaps after seven years of marriage I am a cynic, but they just weren’t really believable. I remember gobbling lusty passages up as a hormonal college freshman, but my tastes  have changed and they no longer appeal to me the way they used to. I for one have never seen a white flash in a moment of passion. Just saying.

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All together I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars, but that is just due to my personal hangups. Like I said the book was a great palate cleanser after War and Peace, but I don’t think I will be continuing on to the rest of the series.

Also the cover… I may have stared at it for too long, but it really looks like Kayla is about to eat Sean’s face. What on earth is going on??

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