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In Your Wildest Dreams    by Toni Blake order for
In Your Wildest Dreams
by Toni Blake
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2005 (2005)

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* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

Toni Blake's In Your Wildest Dreams is a sizzling hot romance that takes place in the heart of New Orleans. Cajun-accented ex-cop Jake Broussard and Stephanie Grant, a sexually naive woman from Chicago, become romantically involved when she travels to New Orleans to find her missing younger sister. Knowing that Tina may be living the life of a prostitute, Stephanie poses as a high-priced hooker in order to grill customers on her sister's whereabouts.

When Jake (who works as a bartender at Chez Sophia) meets Stephanie, sparks fly. While Jake isn't interested in getting involved, he still wants to protect Stephanie from the seedy side of New Orleans, as she searches for her sister. He does his best to keep his heart from reaching out to her, keeping their relationship strictly all about sex, knowing it will end once Tina is found. Neither one of them want this relationship to grow into something more. They have both been hurt before. And Jake is still haunted by Becky, a woman whom he once loved very much, and cannot let go. Can Stephanie help him forget the love of his life?

While I personally like my romances with fewer erotic sex scenes, the missing person story line kept my interest. Stephanie was a very smart woman in the boardroom, but she didn't seem to have much common sense when it came to the streets. I found it a bit irritating to find her as naive as she was portrayed. Her personality didn't quite ring true for me, although the explanation of why she was so sexually naive did make sense. Unfortunately, there was something about Stephanie that did not allow me to empathize with her as much as I wanted to, despite her being the main female character.

On the other hand, I enjoyed getting to know Jake. The mini-story about him and the runaway, Shondra, helped shape his true personality, but at the same time I felt it was an intrusion to the rest of the book. It broke up the flow of the main romance, and the story of Shondra and Jake almost felt out of place. While their relationship was very touching, I would have prefered the book to have focused only on Stephanie, her search for Tina, and her hot romance with Jake. Each of these plot lines had very dissimilar feels to them, making the book in parts an awkward read.

Overall, In Your Wildest Dreams is a romantic suspense novel with a lot of steamy sex, and a missing person story to keep the reader guessing. If you do not care for romance novels filled with erotic sex scenes, this may not be for you. But those who like their romances sexy and suspenseful will not be disappointed.

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