Escorted

Escorted - Claire Kent 3 1/2 stars. It wasn't until after I finished this book that I decided I liked the title. I'd been thinking that "Escort" is a major euphemism for what Ander is: although he does do some escorting, he's primarily a prostitute. Then I realized that, intentionally or not, the title makes an awesome pun.Lori, a popular writer of romance novels under the name Claire Kent (a bit of cuteness I could have done without), is an extremely self-conscious virgin. Years of unrequited love kept her out of relationships, and the longer she goes without having had sex, the harder it seems to start. And so she hires Ander, an extremely professional, extremely handsome, and interestingly bald male prostitute. Ander teaches her to enjoy sex so well that their "engagements" become a regular thing, though Lori resolutely holds on to some rules -- no kissing, no cuddling, no phony romance. But Lori can't help but be interested in the cool, remote Ander, and the more she tries to find who he really is, the more the nature of their professional relationship changes.Escorted is told entirely from Lori's point of view, and though I had some issues with Kent's writing, she pulls that challenging style off very well. Throughout the story we get little flashes of the real Ander behind his professional facade, so nothing that happens really comes as a surprise, to us or to Lori. The development of the relationship, and the problems that creates, are also very well drawn. I was tempted to give this four stars, because the story is intelligent and very engrossing. If the ending had really wowed me, I probably would have gone for it; sadly, after maintaining realism throughout, the plot suddenly went to a very fairy tale place that disappointed me. Ander reveals he never spent any of the money Lori paid him, from the very start, because somehow it just felt wrong with her. Bosh. But mainly I'm uncomfortable giving four stars to a book with such poor editing: missing words or letters, odd word choices, frequent repetitions. When you have a book with vasts numbers of sex scenes, it's especially egregious to keep using the same words, phrases, and actions over and over. Nevertheless, this was a terrific read and I recommend it.