Calhoun’s latest has it all — a deeply mov- ing, insightful narrative with consistently surprising and intense relationships and enough heat to scorch readers’ fingers. Calhoun writes fear-lessly, probing the unpleasant and downright ugly sides of her characters in order to reach their very core, making for some genuinely wrenching scenes. The rewards, however, are infinite, as these characters become flesh-and-blood real. Their passion is tangible and their mutual evolution and individual revelations combine to make an unforgettable story that will keep readers enthralled.
Having walked away from the restrictive religious community that raised her, Rachel Hill is determined to live on her own terms and experience everything she was taught to shun, including sex. When she bets on enigmatic SWAT officer Ben Harris at a bachelor’s auction, she has no plan beyond losing her virginity and walking away. Ben has spent years shut off from the world, living for the adrenaline rushes provided by work and sex. When he realizes the truth about his date with Rachel, he is stunned into looking at her twice, and offering to teach her everything she needs to know with no strings attached — but how long before the student becomes the teacher? (HEAT, Sep., 320 pp., $15.00)