Review: Perfect Pleasures
PERFECT PLEASURE - Deborah Fletcher Mello
Kensington Dafina/Romance
BUY
October 2016
CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
REVIEWER:  Brenda Larnell | RATING:  A
REVIEW: Author Deborah Fletcher Mello transports the reader into the world of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighting in this latest novel. The hero, Zachary Barrett is reveling in victory from his latest championship bout. His successful victory can also be attributed to his pro-trainer twin brother, Alex, and his world famous training facility in Boulder, Colorado. (Alex’s story is revealed in the first book of this series, GUILTY PLEASURES.) Not only does Mello engage the reader in the world of MMA, but she also immerses us in the culture of Thailand. To be exact, Phuket, Thailand is the training ground and home of Zach’s training camp, Revolution. PERFECT PLEASURES is a spicy romance that explores the Thai culture and the rising popularity of MMA fighting.

Zach Barrett is definitely a “bad boy”, and in this story he meets his match in the character of Kenzie Monroe. Kenzie is assigned by Sports Illustrated International to write a feature story about the immensely popular and skillful MMA World Champion, Zachary Barnett. We discover that Kenzie is half-Asian, and she has an ulterior motive for wanting to meet Zach and writing his story. No spoilers, but the plot revolves around Kenzie’s search for her father who is Thai and Zach’s former trainer. The storyline involves a grave real-life situation that has the potential to terminate her and Zach’s evolving, fragile relationship. Speaking of said relationship, the chemistry between this couple is so incredibly charged, sexy, and intense, that at times, I found myself having to pause, and take a moment to collect myself. Whew! Deborah Mello pulls no punches (no pun intended) when it comes to the love-making scenes.

This novel displays two strong elements. One, the minor characters are all significantly developed and form a dynamic ensemble that help to support the storyline.  As a matter of fact, we are introduced to most of the characters in the first “Bad Boys” novel. One who really stands out is Lynn Barrett, the twin’s outgoing stepmother who changes her hair color according to her mood. I see a very compelling backstory for her and the twin’s father, Westley (hint, hint). The second potent element of this novel is the setting. Author Mello does an exceptional job in presenting a panoramic sensory-filled description of Thailand and its culture. “They passed Thai people working massive rice fields, large Buddha statues in the most obscure places, amazing displays of flora, and children skipping in rows of dust” is just a minuscule example of the numerous descriptions. We are even exposed, in detail, to a traditional Buddhist funeral.

I enjoyed this story of the second Barrett twin, Zach, as I did the first one about Alex. Although
PERFECT PLEASURES is the second book of a series, I feel safe in saying that it can be read as a stand-alone. However, I highly recommend that you read them both for a smooth continuity. You’ll be glad that you did. PERFECT PLEASURES (Bad Boys of Boulder) is a winner!

1st December 2016 | romcol@caribsurf.com