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When Molly Jennings moves back to Tumble Creek, it's almost as though she's never been away. The only difference in those ten years is that Ben Lawson, the crush of her teenage years, is all grown up. Happily so is Molly, and she wastes no time in chasing him down.

But Ben has a fear of scandal (thanks to his father's BIG mistake) so when Molly refuses to reveal what she does for a living, he can't help fearing the worst (or a creative combination thereof). Yet that's not the only secret Molly's keeping, and as strange things start to happen, she gladly accepts Ben's nightly protection - but how can things progress between them when she's still hiding things, and Ben can't quite trust her?

This story is a total pick-me-up, smart, very funny, cute and sexy too. Molly is a great lead, with enough intelligence to know what she wants, and enough past insecurities to think she doesn't deserve it. Which is why it's lucky she's moved home, because Ben understands all of that - probably better than Molly does. Ben also happens to be an absolute sweetheart - how many shy heroes exist in romance today, during the decade of the Alpha? Not that Ben's a wimp - he isn't, he's great - but neither is he pushy or overbearing. He's adorable by day, and sexy by night. How could Molly ever resist?

Tumble Creek is great too, populated by an interesting cast (not least Lori Love, the non-lesbian mechanic; Miles, the local press hound and bane of Ben's life; Juan the barman at The Bar), but it's in Cameron, Molly's ex that Dahl out does herself. A complete creep, yet the way he works is frighteningly plausible.

Sure, the tension in this is never the sort you can cut with a knife, and the mystery wasn't all that mysterious, but this book is great fun, full of laugh out loud moments (including during sex - the siren moment was priceless). Some might question why Molly keeps her job secret for so long, but I thought it was pretty self-explanatory (especially considering Ben's desperate need for privacy). Everything is in there. This isn't a deep, dark book with a hundred different layers you need to sift through for meaning. It's frothy fun, but if you prefer your romance with the sex eluded to rather than explicit, this probably isn't for you. When I say everything is in there, I mean everything.

If you like Dahl's historicals (TO TEMPT A SCOTSMAN,A Rake's Guide to Pleasure), this is much more light-hearted, but if you're looking for a thoroughly fun read this is it. (And look out for Lori's turn in Start Me Up.)
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on 16 July 2011
I decided to read this after discovering several shining reviews from goodreads friends. It seems that for about a month I've struggled to read anything serious; I'm getting really into chick-lit and humour books at the moment, anyone who's seen my Julie James marathon will already know this. Talk Me Down is about 90% extremely light-hearted, funny and sexy, whilst the other 10% is creepy stalker-ish but I also enjoyed this as a kind of background subplot.

The story is about Molly, a writer of erotic fiction for women, who moves back to her quiet, scandal-is-the-8th-deadly-sin home town. There she is confronted with Ben Lawson, the police chief and the very man who has been the fuel for her erotic fantasies over the past ten years. Ben quickly becomes a welcome distraction from the weird things that keep happening to Molly... like doors that she was so sure she locked being found open and strange male-shaped shadows lurking on hilltops outside her bedroom window. But she's determined to keep her career a secret from Ben, who's sure to be put off by the kinky fantasies she has penned down.

The novel was really enjoyable and I liked both Molly and Ben very much. Ben Lawson is both the shy cute guy and the one who turns into a super stud in the bedroom, his character is simply adorable. There's a lot more graphic sex than a Julie James book, including scenes with vibrator use - Molly calls it Little Blue - and some hot dirty talk. But there's also a great deal of respect between the two main characters that makes me love their relationship so much more.

The stalker subplot is actually pretty scary. Imagine seeing a dark shape outside your window and thinking "no worries, the door's locked" only to discover that it isn't! But don't worry, there's a sexy chief of police only a phone call away and he's not afraid to use that big gun of his (I apologise for the innuendo but it appears to be the author's favourite - I have it on the brain now, hehe).

I've heard the rest of the series is also just as impressive so I'm definitely looking forward to reading more by Victoria Dahl.
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