NAKED GAMES – Anne Rainey
Georgia and Ohio – Present Day
Three years earlier, Dean Harrison was on his way home with an engagement ring, excited about proposing to his girlfriend, Linda. When he heard noises upon entering their apartment he went to the bedroom and found Linda and the chef where she works as a waitress in bed together. He gave the ring to an old woman in the elevator as he left, and hasn't been the same since.
Two months ago, Catherine Michaels parents died in an automobile accident, but even worse is the news the family doctor and personal friend tells her. Her beloved parents had neglected to tell Catherine she was adopted. As she asks her best friend, Mary, to come over she wonders: where are her biological parents, and does she have any brothers and sisters? Mary and Catherine find a letter from Catherine's mother hidden in the fake bottom of her mother's end table in a bedroom. Catherine learns her birth mother was sick with liver disease and died, but more importantly that she has a half-sister named Gracie. Catherine is ecstatic to find out she's not alone. Gracie's fiancé, Wade, and his friend, Jonas, are private investigators and have checked Catherine out to make sure her story is true. When Gracie and Catherine meet they are each ecstatic to have found a sister, but Wade's brother, Dean, is another matter. He is sure Catherine is hiding some kind of secret about her past, and isn't afraid to let everyone know he's worried about her. Unfortunately, Catherine falls instantly for his body and handsome good looks. How can she ever convince him she's just who she says she is?
Dean mistrusts Catherine and her past, but unfortunately that doesn't help his attraction to her. Despite sleeping with Catherine as soon as possible, he still lets her know he doesn't trust her, and Gracie and the rest of the family are worried about Catherine's attraction to Dean. Dean is determined to keep investigating Catherine, and what he finds out could destroy all the joy she's embraced since finding her sister.
Dean and Catherine keep heating up the sheets, even though Gracie has warned her about Dean hurting her. But the lust between them cannot be denied. Can Catherine build a permanent relationship with someone who lives far away and, more importantly, is still suspicious of her?
Anne Rainey has written a story with a very emotional premise of an adopted woman looking to find her roots, and a man still refusing to get over the heartbreak of a cheating girlfriend. The writing is very fast paced and the story really keeps your attention. Despite the storyline, I really didn't feel any heat between Dean and Catherine. Sure she thinks he looks like a God, and he can't get her out of his mind, and the lust flows freely between them. But the sexual games they eventually play still don't steam up the pages and they leave you feeling kind of flat.
Secondary characters are Mary, Catherine's true friend, willing to be by her side at any sign of trouble. And Gracie, her half sister, and Gracie's fiancé Wade, while not fully fleshed out, leave us with a feeling there is real passion between them. Dean's twin sister, Deanna, and boyfriend, Jonas, also seem to have an interesting relationship.
NAKED GAMES, while being interesting as Catherine finds her half sister, just didn't hold my attention or grab my interest. It is a very readable book if the premise interests you, and could give you an interesting afternoon of pleasure.