Joy Hightower is a talented art teacher. Joy is also a cancer survivor. She's had experience with the disease in the past. Her father couldn’t deal with her mother’s illness and up and left them both. Her father's rejection and mother's death has shaped Joy, although she has a lot of support and love from her Uncle Seth, who is a successful makeup artist in Hollywood. Seth asks Joy to help him on the set of what will be a big underwater motion picture called Maritime (think Kevin Costner’s Waterworld, but this one won’t bomb). Joy will help with the body art end of things and that’s where she comes in contact with the superstar of tomorrow, Everett Hughes. Joy has no idea who Everett is, but there’s a big attraction between both, so much so that she ends up giving him a blowjob, no questions asks. Afterward Everett asks to meet Joy after both their workdays are done, but because of a miscommunication issue on where to meet (they really should have exchanged phone numbers), they both think the other has bailed out on each other and go their separate ways.
Fourteen months later, Joy is living in Chicago and teaching. She's moved from Los Angeles after her treatments and wanted to start anew where no one knows about her illness. She gets the biggest surprise of her life when Everett walks into a coffee shop she’s at and the sparks fly between them once again. Everett is in town for the premiere of Maritime and he wants Joy to go as his date. He plans on finding out why she shafted him, which she really didn’t, and after they talk, he decides to court Joy. Everett may have a reputation as a player, but he’s more of a one woman type of guy, and he wants Joy. He has to figure out a way to prove to her that they belong together. She takes the chance and goes away with him for a long weekend where she gets to know his sister and her husband, as well as her Uncle Seth who tags along, but keeps a close eye on Everett for reasons Everett doesn’t understand. He would never hurt Joy in a million years and only wants to love her. And loving Joy is Everett’s goal. Joy gives into her passion for Everett and is more than willing to do some sexual acts she would have never been open to if not for Everett who is kind, understand and wonderful. But Joy continues to keep her distance and will only give Everett her body because she can’t take the chance she could get sick again and Everett could leave her just like her father did to her mother.
Exposed To You had my every emotion engaged while I read. Everett is as close to perfect as you can get. Can I haz a Everett? Joy is one lucky woman because she's THE ONE for Everett. He falls hard for her and doesn’t care if the entire world knows. He’s also a gentleman and courts Joy as well as seduces her. Everett’s seduction techniques would make any women swoon. He’s into tantric sex, and the first time he does that with Joy, she’s so overwhelmed that she has a violent reaction (orgasm of the century) to Everett and what he shares with her. Everett is the ultimate giver and doesn’t expect anything in return.
The love scenes smolder and there are many sexual positions and acts shared between the two. I’m not a big fan of butt butt love, but the way Beth has written Everett’s fun times with Joy’s butt is hot to trot. Scorching is the perfect word, including some kink Everett introduces to Joy, who is very open to trying everything and anything. Even when they commune with nature among the trees and mud, it’s really sexy.
Exposed to You gets high marks for me. It’s one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read this year. Spicy, emotional and vroom-vroom love making that makes me want more. (Berkley Heat, available November 6th)
Final Grade: B+