Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Review - Aphrodisiac by Allyson Roy

Allyson Roy
Berkley Sensation
September 2, 2008
ISBN# 978-0-425-22323-9

From the back cover:
Something about Gwen Applebee’s death doesn’t add up. Sex therapist Saylor Oz knows for certain that late perfume-maker and fashionista extraordinaire wouldn’t have been caught dead wearing a fanny pack. So why was there one strapped around Gwen’s waist when her body was discovered? Not to mention the coded message embedded in her “suicide note.” It seems Gwen stumbled upon an ancient formula with great powers, and someone was willing to kill for it.

Unfortunately for Saylor, the villain did not get his hands on the formula—but in his quest he does get his hands on Saylor. Now she and her tough-talking best friend have less than one week to figure out where Gwen hid the formula. Between patients, parties, and an escalating flirtation with a hot local boxer, Saylor’s desperate hunt leads her from the dark corners of Brooklyn and the glittering skyscrapers of Manhattan to the beaches of the Hamptons—all while she tries to stay one step ahead of a ruthless killer.

My thoughts:
Dr. Saylor Oz works as a sex therapist and has been hit hard by the recent death of her best friend. More than that, she doesn’t think the death was a suicide at all. When Saylor realizes that Gwen’s poetic suicide note is actually filled with clever clues, she and her roommate Benita begin a frantic search to decode the message and discover what the killer was after.

Eldrige Mace is a retired professional boxer who keeps up on his boxing at their local gym. He’s also a drop-man who washes high-rise windows. Eldrige is the protective sort, even if he’s not the committing kind in a relationship. When he realizes that the doctor’s life is in danger he’s not about to walk away, whether she wants him around or not. While he may not be able to convince her with his charm, saving her life a time or two just might do the trick.

Aphrodisiac is an action-packed romantic suspense with a strong and complicated mystery. There are a lot of secondary characters bringing additional threads to the storyline, and while each is explained they are sometimes difficult to keep track of. The mystery is the strong point of this fast-moving read, and Ms. Roy is very creative in the way it plays out. Saylor is stubborn and sassy, while Eldrige is as annoying to her as he is charming. The chemistry between them is apparent, and the romance is there, but it’s not the main focus. I’d love to see these characters in a future read where they’re able to further explore the possibilities between them.

To learn more about Aphrodisiac and Ms. Roy’s work, please visit her website: Here

Kimberly Swan, DarqueReviews


Enchanted by Books said...

Wow. Judging from the cover and title I would have assumed this was erotica. Interesting that it's more romantic suspense/mystery than erotica. Great review! I may check this one out now. I love mysteries. :)

Kimberly Swan said...

Rachael - The mystery is very big in this story and the romance is much smaller. I think you'd really enjoy this one. :)