Title: Nothing Better Than Leather
Author: Katherine Halle
Cover Artist: Alessia Brio
Length: 6300 words
Zeke is a writer, who spends his evenings working as a valet at The Palm Restaurant, and lusting after a particular silver BMW 3 Series and its owner. Josh is the owner of that BMW and the only thing he enjoys about his routine evenings at The Palm is the red-haired valet who parks his car. When Josh is injured in an accident at the restaurant and Zeke is volunteered to drive him home, will their time spent together result in something more - or will Zeke forever remain the nameless valet who parks Josh's car?
Take one feisty valet, one straight-laced banker, mix in a fancy car and a long drive out to Malibu, and see what pulls up.
In keeping with the Leather theme for this year’s Torquere Charity Sips, a BMW’s soft leather seats get the characters together. Zeke, a writer yet to hit it big, parks cars outside a posh restaurant. One of his regulars has the most luscious seat, and oh yeah, the driver’s pretty hot too.
Zeke and Josh eye each other in twenty-second increments when they hand off the car outside the restaurant, and in an incident straight out of Pretty Woman, they convert a passing contact into an evening of sex and getting to know each other. The relationship development takes place mostly in Zeke’s fevered imagination.
I didn’t feel either character connect particularly deeply with anything except the car—this isn’t a romance as much as it’s interest becoming a hook-up with potential for more, but there are a couple of cute touches, like Josh discovering Zeke’s freckles. Josh comes across as a poor little rich boy and Zeke’s writing doesn’t do much besides explain why he’s parking cars to pay the bills.
The style works well enough, although the number of independently acting body parts was kind of high, and the sex was hot and plentiful. This is a quick hot read, and stands out from other quick hot reads mostly because it benefits a good cause. This year the authors are supporting NOH8, and I’m all for that. 3 marbles