Talk Me Down

Talk Me Down - Victoria Dahl I wavered between a 3 and a 4 for this book. I'd say it suffered from Mary Jo Putney disease - an excellent emotional story derailed a bit by a poorly executed suspense plot.Before I read this, I had seen people disparage the heroine as behaving like a "dog in heat." Apparently I am a shameless hussy, because this is one of the few contemporary heroines I've read who took her sexuality by the horns and I thought it was wonderful to see.Molly Jennings is an erotic romance writer who's moved back to her small hometown nestled in the Rockies. She's moved into the house her aunt willed to her to get a fresh start away from a creepy stalker ex and hopefully rediscover her muse. When she bumps into Ben Lawson - police chief, her older brother's friend, and her serious crush from way back when - she also wonders if she can't make a couple dreams come true.I was reading this while en route to a vacation and my fellow fliers must have thought me insane from all the giggling I was doing. The interplay between the characters is hilarious. Molly and Ben are always joking with each other and laughter is a big part of their relationship, both in bed and out. I really felt the connection between the two and loved watching them feel each other out.As wonderful as Molly and Ben were, I did not care for the suspense plot. I found the stalker ex drawn cartoonishly and found the twist ending bizarre and unnecessary. While I understood her reasons for keeping her job secret, I couldn't buy her reasoning for not mentioning the stalker ex. Even if she was sure it wasn't him bothering her in Tumble Creek, I could see no reason to justify keeping a juicy secret like that.As for her job, that made sense. Her first novel was too personal - she based it off the time she walked in on Ben getting a blowjob from a girlfriend - and she didn't want her fantasy made public or Ben dragged into the gossip circuit. Ben's school principal father had created scandal with his affair with an 18 year old student. Understandably, Ben doesn't want to be associated with sex or scandal ever again.I loved both Molly and Ben and can't wait to continue the series. Molly was wonderfully in charge of her own happiness and orgasms and Ben was a refreshing blend of responsible, take-charge alpha and understanding, insecure beta. Dahl's a much better contemporary voice than a historical one.