A stubborn peacock, a hunky carpenter and a bedroom window
Gemma White loves waking up in the morning to the promise of some morning lovemaking but not this time. Jason, her husband of ten years, has asked her for a divorce and moved to another state. Forced to fend for herself, she realizes she needs to move on. It hasn't escaped her notice that the house next door has a new owner. A very hunky one at that.
When she receives a letter from an old college professor, old memories resurface of a time she's tried so hard to put a lid on. Without her husband her only anchor keeping her from her dangerous desires is gone. When she accidentally puts on a show in front of her window and catches her sexy neighbor watching her, her shame battles with her arousal. Then she lands a job as a tour guide for a sex exhibit in a museum and the last of her resolve dissipates. Eventually Chev and Gemma get closer, and just when he thinks she might be ready for more, Jason shows up and wants her back. Will she have the courage to give up the last ten years of her life for something new or will she seek the safety of the familiar?
Chev Martinez moves around a lot and flips homes. When he takes on the home next door to Gemma, he's instantly attracted, but doesn't act on it until he realizes she's divorced. Then he accidentally gets a show from her bedroom window. How will he get her to continue this little game of peek-a-boo? They eventually get to know each other over their appreciation for art history and renovation, as well as a pesky peacock that has Chev rescuing Gemma time and time again. Over time he realizes that the strange attraction they share may never extend past the nightly stripteases, and that she might have too much emotional baggage to overcome. Besides, he plans to leave once his house goes up for auction.
This was my first book with exhibitionism at its core. Her behavior during college was incredibly risky, and her flashbacks made it abundantly clear why she became the “little woman” once she had met Jason. She waffled a lot, teasing Chev one day then ignoring him the next, which I found a little immature on her part. Chev summed her up perfectly:
Intelligent but unhappy, educated but badly employed, homey but sexy, bold but unsure of herself … complementary and contradictory.
However, I really liked the way Chev handled her by being patient and honest with her. It was a far cry from anything she'd ever had from the people closest to her – her mother, her best friend and her ex-husband. The author did a really good job in conveying Gemma's inner turmoil, and the story flowed at a believable pace to help her realize what she really needed in her life and which man would make her happy in the long run. I really enjoyed this story and seeing her find and stay true to herself.