Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Secret Life of Bryan (Visitation, NC #2) by Lori Foster

Bounty hunter Bryan Kelly has a few rules. Rule #1: Women are for fun, not commitment. Rule #2: He'll do anything for his twin brother, even switch places in order to find out who whats to sabotage the naive preacher's charity organization. Playing benefactor to a bunch of sassy, flirtatious prostitutes means that Bryan will have to be his brother--in every way that counts. But then, he hadn't counted on Shay Sommers. Keeping his cool around the luscious lady of the night with the bigh heart is doing nothing to keep his thoughts pure, which brings him to instant Rule #3: If you can't avoid temptation, succumb with abandon...

Bring mistaken for a hooker. Well that's certainly a new one for Shay. The society pages icon has made her name in charity work. Still, this could be her chance to help these girls from the inside out, if she can play the part just right. It certainly won't be hard to act the street siren with the gorgeous preacher who runs the place, even if he does seem less like a shepherd and much more like a wolf in a clerical collar... one with a hungry look that's making Shay feel she might be his next dinner...

Type: Contemporary Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

The Visitation, North Carolina series by Lori Foster really isn't turning out at all like I expected. When I picked up this set of books I thought they would be light, humorous reads. Nothing too serious. Just lots of silly, laugh out loud moments. There still are some really funny moments and absurd conversations and situations that get you snickering but the books are much more serious than I would have guessed. With subject matters that society tends to push under the rug and ignore. You really just can't judge a book by it's cover. Even though they've been a bit of a surprise I'm enjoying the series so far. 

With The Secret Life of Bryan we get a preacher in hiding, a bounty hunter pretending to be a preacher, a fake hooker and a bunch of lusty, flirty, grabby ex prostitutes all thrown in together which ends up in some rather odd conversations and situations.
"You look great, too, Morganna."  
"I know, sugar. I can't help it." She winked. "It's not the digs, but the body underneath."
"Exactly," Bryan said, agreeing with her. 
She gave an evil grin. "I probably shouldn't tell, but it's only the top layer that's spiffed up anyway, because I ain't giving up my sexy undies for no one. I just wouldn't be me without a little leopard print or peekaboo lace or leather." 
Bryan raised a brow."Leather?" 
"Yeah, you think that's sexy, doncha?" 
Patti swatted at her. "He's a preacher, idiot." 
"He's still a man." She drawled that out, trying to make Bran blush, Shay knew. 
Instead, he said, "Actually, I'm more partial to cotton. Soft cotton. But every guy is different." 
The women went mute for a single second before Morganna roared with laughter. "A simple man, huh? Well, as you said, to each her own." 
"You should wear whatever you want underneath, Morganna." he said in encouragement. "Whatever makes you feel good." 
Patti giggled in coy, rehearsed delight. "Nothing at all makes me feel good, so I'm bare as a baby underneath." 
Bryan looked dumbfounded.  
"Shay said it was okay, long as I remember not to bend over--" 
"So Bryan," Shay rushed out, interrupting Patti's awesome admission.
After his twin brother, Bruce, is attacked Bryan takes over his brother's identity so he can figure who is after both his brother and the charity he runs. His brother, the Preacher, runs a women's safe house for ladies trying to turn their lives around and get themselves off the streets. Bryan has his hands full, to say the least, with these ladies while trying to act the part of the innocent preacher. Not an easy thing for a bad ass, foul mouthed bounty hunter. 

Bryan and Shay are both great people. She's a natural nurturer and spends her time helping women get their lives back. She becomes friends with all of the women staying at he safe house and uses her own resources to help build their confidence and find good jobs. She looks out for them, greets them when they get back home, gives them hugs and sees that meals become a group affair. Just shows them that someone does care about them and that they're worth it. Even though he doesn't always see it Bryan is just as good with the women. He's the first man who doesn't want anything from the women and is actually there for them when they need help, protection or just a friend. It was touching to see the changes in the women at the safe house. How excited they were about getting the chance for a decent job, going to the library, celebrating birthdays and just experiencing normal every day life experiences they've never really gotten a chance to have. Knowing they were safe and someone cared about them and what happened to them.

Relationship-wise things were pretty steamy between Shay and Bryan. I'm really not a fan of the hidden identity storyline and both characters were doing just that even if they were doing so for a good reason. It always blows up in their faces at the worst time and just grates on my nerves a little. When things finally did come out in the open I was pretty disappointed in Bryan and his reaction to the news especially since he had been just as dishonest with Shay. He completely abandoned her to the wolves even though she really needed him. Very hypocritical of him and a let down since he really isn't the type of man to leave a woman in need. Shay definitely handled Bryan's deception much better than he did and I was pretty proud of her for that. The reveal of who the real preacher was and Bryan and Shay's reunion was entertaining. Has me interested in Bruce too.
"Don't tease, Bryan." And again she wigled close enough to kiss him. When he tried to pull back, she bit his bottom lip. 
It was... quite erotic. Who knew? Biting. Hmmm.  
Suddenly the driver's door opened and Bryan slid in. His brother looked like a thundercloud. "Get off her, Bruce." 
Bruce almost sputtered. "I'm trying." 
Shay jereked back but retained her hold on Bruce. 
With a knowing look, Bryan growled, "Honey, let my brother go before he faints." 
She looked ready to scream. Or pass out. Or both.
The villain behind the attacks on the charity and Bryan's brother was somewhat easy to figure out. There was one little surprise that I didn't see coming right there at the end but for the most part it's easy to see what's coming. I don't read Foster for the great suspense though but instead for the wonderful characters she creates and The Secret Life of Bryan did not disappoint.

Have you read the Visitation, North Carolina books? Do you have a favorite? Mine's still Say No to Joe? But I can't wait to get my hands on book 3 and find out more about Bruce!


  1. This is definitely a new twist. I can't wait to read it. I love Lori Foster and I love romantick suspense.

    1. It's really an interesting series. None of the heroes/heroines are what you'd call traditional. Was my favorite part about this one. Hope you enjoy it! Foster is one of my favorites!


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