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A Stranger's Kiss

A Stranger's Kiss - Liz Fielding Tara Lambart is a young widow with an upstart staffing agency. As she ran from an overzealous would-be boyfriend, she ducks into a restaurant and into the booth of stern businessman Adam Blackmore. He is amused by Tara's predicament, but plays along at being her date. To make the act appear genuine, Adam kisses her and immediately starts to melt the armor that has been surrounding her desires and heart since the death of her husband.

Wow! This book had lots of potential. Tara took her marriage vows very seriously and remained true to her husband even after his death. She dressed to not be noticed and kept her emotions firmly in check. Tara is trapped in an emotional ice case and Adam is the perfect one to melt it down and free her, except he is a total a--hole without signs of redemption. He is a sexist boor! He manhandles Tara; treats Tara like a toy; and is constantly calling her a tease (or worse). Instead of correctly Adam's misunderstandings about her, Tara allows them to fester believing that it will keep him at arm's length. (He even blames her when she is almost raped by one of his business associates.) Once that plan fails for the 100th time, you'd think Tara would try a different tactic but she doesn't.

Adam and Tara have great chemistry but that's it. I can't even call this a romance novel because there's no romance. There's nothing gentle or ingratiating about Adam. There's no wooing. Even their banter isn't banter but just plain angry barbs. By page 212, I should have just tossed the book back into the library's return bin but I kept reading just to see how it would end. Save yourself the misery. There's similar stories out there with more sympathetic characters for you to latch on to.