Under My Umbrella

Karen Erickson
Under My Umbrella
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Samhain Publishing
Release Date
June 2010
Book 1 of Fated
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

It'll take more than a fire hose to cool down this attraction…

Fated, Book 1

Rain, rain, go away. That's Jenna's mantra as she suffers through yet another rain-soaked walk home from work. At least the tight butt of the guy walking in front of her offers some distraction. When he turns around and asks to share her umbrella, she realizes his front view is as smokin' as the back. What better way to get up close and personal with the object of her ogling?

Brett noticed his hot little neighbor weeks ago, but until now hadn't worked up the nerve-or found the opportunity-to approach her. Too many hours at the fire station has left him longing for something more out of life. Like the company of a sweet, sexy woman. Maybe, if he's lucky, kindling a relationship.

Jenna surprises herself again when she offers to let him dry off in her apartment. One minute he's toweling off his hair, the next their chemistry explodes in the hottest sex either of them have ever experienced. And suddenly they're both wondering if he's the match to her tinder, or if it's too much, too fast…

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Feb 08, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
198 people found the following review helpful
A great start to what promises to be a sizzling series, Karen Erikson provides a story that focuses on a moment of scorching hot lust-at-first-sight and the love that follows soon after. Wonderfully descriptive and emotionally engaging, UNDER MY UMBRELLA proves that sometimes the smallest of decisions can actually have the most monumental consequences.

Having finished up a project early at work, Jenna has decided to call it a day, and is nearly to her apartment building when the skies open up into a torrential downpour. Fortunately for Jenna, she is armed with an umbrella; even more fortunately, the stunning man walking ahead of her doesn't. After a few moments of sheer admiration, Jenna decides to offer to let the man share her umbrella for the rest of the walk, and is thrilled to realize not only that he is the firefighter who recently moved into her building, but his face does absolute justice to his incredible body. But what neither she nor her neighbor Brett expected was the sparks that flew between them the moment they started speaking. From her simple offer of help outside, it is only a few moments before Brett is in her apartment, and in her bed.

And just like that, Jenna finds herself in the middle of the most passionate, sensual, whirlwind relationship of her life. Brett is sexy, charming, and irresistible, and Jenna realizes all too quickly that the arrangement she thought was nothing more than great sex suddenly means much more to her than it should. For his part, Brett is completely floored not only by the chemistry he and Jenna have together, but by how he is incapable of going through a single day without wanting her, without needing her. But what if she's merely looking to live out a fantasy? It was pure fate that brought them togetherbut is there any chance for them to stay that way?

Though nominally erotica, I love how much romance Karen Erikson puts into each of her stories. Though this was a very easy-to-read short story and the pages flew by, I still felt connected to both characters and could empathize not only with their passion but with their fears and embarrassments as the relationship developed from the purely physical to something much different and much more intimidating for both parties. Because of this, there were a few awkward scenes and more angst than I would have expected, but it's so honest that I think in the end it made for a stronger story.

Impressively, even in the midst of their drama, the heat and intensity that was there when they met never dimmed, and grew even hotter as their story developed. Though both Jenna and Brett were weighed down by their own baggage and misconceptions about the other, at the heart of it, they were stronger characters when they were together, and I enjoyed watching their interactions, even the more mundane ones, because their rapport was so strong.

Jenna's supportive friends also had a great deal of depth, and I'm very interested to see how they end up discovering their destined love in further stories. It's a fair bet that I will most certainly be checking out the rest of the Fated series. If this fast-paced story with heart and plenty of sizzle is any indication, this series has all the makings of a winner.
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