I've been religiously reading the Red Dress Ink series and have been pretty satisfied...until now. Strapless is a whole different type, in disguise as chick lit, but really it's just another Harlequin bodice ripper with a snazzy cover. Definitely on the bottom of the pile for me.
Strapless tells the story of almost-30 Darcie Baxter, who lives with her grandmother and evil cat, works at a popular lingerie company, Wunderthings, and spends every Monday evening having a meaningless rendezvous with Merrick Lowell in a Hyatt hotel room. Darcie also spends a lot of time trying to avert the snooping co-worker, Greta, in an effort to win a promotion. And once she does, Darcie is sent off to Australia to scout locations for Wunderthings's new store. But Darcie does more than that -- she meets Dylan Rafferty, Aussie sheepherder, and falls head over heels, despite the fact that he is stuck in a time warp when it comes to women.
As for the story, I didn't hate it, but it was disappointing as far as what I've come to expect from Red Dress Ink. I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes at the hokey dialogue, especially from the 82-year-old grandmother and her overexhausted libido. As for the writing talent of Leigh Riker, I'm not going to complain about it. It was perfectly fine for the genre that she specializes in -- strictly romance -- it just did not have a place in the chick lit field. If she had developed the characters a little better, making us, the audience, care about them PRIOR to them jumping into bed together, then I think this reading experience would have been much more enjoyable.