And Then He Kissed Me
Patti Berg
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And Then He Kissed Me

Patti Berg
384 pages
June 2003
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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It all started over an itsy bitsy bit of caviar.

It was the movie-star-turned-author Juliet Bridger’s party – and she didn’t have to eat caviar if she didn’t want to. So, instead of following the crowd, Juliet decided to leave the high-flying life behind her. Packing herself into a pink convertible, Juliet headed west, straight into Cole Sheridan’s arms.

Cole Sheridan is a vet in Plentiful, Wyoming, but even better, he is a single, attractive male raising his orphaned nieces. Now, everyone in Plentiful knows that the only thing Cole needs is a good woman to help him raise his lovely little girls… and the folks of Plentiful think that Juliet is the perfect candidate.

Perhaps they’d have a better chance of it if everyone else would just get out of their way, but it seems like the entire world is working against them. Juliet can’t seem to outrun her past: her ex-husband keeps harassing her from his jail cell, her assistant is green with envy, and a tabloid photographer can’t let her alone. But, while Juliet can’t outrun her past, Cole can’t seem to get his present straightened out. He heads to work instead of dealing with his family problems, his hippie parents want to take his nieces away to grow up natural and …naked? And if all that isn’t enough, he can’t seem to forget about the gorgeous stranger he has just hired to take care of his girls.

Patti Berg’s And Then He Kissed Me is a fun story. Juliet is a great heroine; her gum-chewing, pink clothing-wearing little idiosyncrasies make her so real, you would swear she was popping bubbles in your ear. Berg's obvious knack is writing these amazing characters whom you remember and hold with you long after you finish the book.

Each character is realistic because ,while they have their own thoughts, dreams, ambitions, they also have independent relationships with other people. We see each character relating to one another, but Juliet’s relationship with Cole is not the same as her relationship with his nieces. Many writers tend to portray shallow relationships between main characters and secondary characters, but Berg is able to round out her characters nicely by having them have specific, reasonable facets to their personalities.

Add in some great dialogue, witty repartee, and just the right amount of sexual tension – and you’ve got this book. The only problem I had with the book was with one of the sex scenes in whcih the characters are talking in food-related sexual innuendo as they are about to get into “it,” and it’s not only distracting, it moves the scene from being sensual to being silly. For a girl who takes her sex scenes very seriously, if not religiously, referencing the glorious act as an extended metaphor for grilling up some Saturday dinner (hot dogs, ravenous appetites, and the like…) made me blanche.

© 2003 by Nadia Cornier for Curled Up With a Good Book

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