An Invitation to Sin (Harlequin Presents Series #3146)

An Invitation to Sin - Sarah Morgan The second book in the Corretti Dynasty series is similar to the first, though more polished -- a surprisingly lighthearted romp with dark undercurrents, featuring a flippant playboy and a woman with painful secrets. Taylor Carmichael is trying very, very hard to live down her bad girl past and reclaim her career as an actress. Into her life bursts Luca Corretti, a man who never tries hard at anything -- except maybe getting away from his latest one night stand. When that particular one night stand catches Luca and Taylor in a clinch and sells the photo to the press, both find it convenient to pretend to be engaged.The story is primarily about Luca deliberately uncovering Taylor's inner free spirit, while she tries to stifle it, and the resulting banter is pretty entertaining. Luca is so insouciant and determinedly naughty:"'Who would have thought you would be the one to add sobriety to the Corretti family name?'Sobriety?Luca recoiled in alarm. He was prepared to live behind a faced of respectability just to prove to these old codgers that he could do more for the company than a whole boardroom full of men in suits, but being accused to sobriety made him wonder if it was worth it."As they, of necessity, spend time together, Luca's zest for life starts to bring out Taylor's repressed playful side:"After a moment's hesitation she picked up the slender champagne glass. 'To our future.''To lots of legal sex.' He glanced up as the waiter approached. 'Don't bother giving my beloved a menu, Pietro, I'll order for both of us. It will be a good test of how well I know her.'To give her credit, Taylor kept her smile in place. 'But sweetheart you know I like to order for myself.''I know you do my little cabbage, but I'm a macho Sicilian male and apart from that inherent trait that drives me to protect you from all things, including menus written only in Italian, I'm suspicious of your ordering skills. You'll order the wrong thing.''I order what I want to eat, light of my life.' Her eyes gleamed. 'How can that be wrong?''You order what you think you're supposed to eat, kitten paws.'[…]Only after the waiter had left, did she speak. 'I can't believe you ordered for me. Dare I ask which unusual part of the anatomy I'm likely to find myself eating this time?'"Luca is a lot of fun, though a bit callous; it's easy to see why Taylor is attracted to his self-confidence and indifference to other people's opinions. I'm a little less sure of what drew him to Taylor, other than the fact that underneath her driving fear, they're a lot alike. But the book's main flaw is that Taylor big secret felt dragged on for far too long and then when it did appear... what? That's it? Naked pictures taken by her nasty ex. Given her history, I can see why it seemed like such a huge deal to her, but almost everyone else in the world would shrug and go "eh." Still, a very enjoyable book, and part of what seems to be a new spirit and life in Harlequin Presents. I approve!(Reviewed from e-arc provided by NetGalley)