Hart is very adept at plotting, but what truly shines here are the characters. Even limited by first-person viewpoint, she's made every character as multifaceted as Elle herself.

A chance meeting with a stranger in a candy store followed by a drink in a smoky pub would normally lead to what corporate accountant Elle Kavanagh does instead of dating. But attorney Daniel Stewart is an unusual man. He leaves Elle at her door without so much as attempting to kiss her. Afterward, even the thought of him does more for Elle than having sex with someone else. When they meet again, she can't resist him, and they begin a passionate affair.

Initially puzzled by Elle's refusal to consider having a "normal" relationship, Dan bides his time and learns her darkest secrets. To Elle's surprise and dismay, he loves her in spite of them -- and she's not sure how to feel about that. (spice, Jan., 432 pp., $13.95)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer