Sunday, April 27, 2014

Novel Review: Public Displays of Affection by Susan Donovan

Rating (Out of 5): ~3-3.5
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Release Date: 2004
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Charlotte Tasker has always been a good girl, so she married the most decent, reliable man she could find even though their love life was a bit on the predictable side. Thirteen years later, she's a widowed mom who runs her company, prepares three vegetarian meals a day for her children, and volunteers for just about every good deed in town. But no one knows that Charlotte has a secret weakness for squirt cheese, erotic poetry-and the mystery man she lost her virginity to in a reckless roadside tryst, moments before she got engaged. They never exchanged names, and even now, Charlotte can't stop fantasizing about that spectacular stranger...

DEA agent Joe Bellacera isn't crazy about having to hide out in Minton, Ohio before testifying at the trial of a notorious drug lord. But he's handling it just fine...until he lays eyes on a fiery redhead and a hot little body he'd recognize anywhere. Joe's never had another woman like Charlotte since that day thirteen years ago. Now she's his neighbor-and strictly off-limits...

Amid the balmy, honeysuckle-scented breezes of a Midwestern summer, sense and sensibility are about to be subverted by an ice cream-loving dog, conspiring kids, and nosy neighbors. And when the Widow Tasker's fantasies meet the rock-hard reality of Agent Bellacera, let the fireworks begin...

The Cover:

This cover's not too bad. It's not super flashy or eye-catching, but that's not a bad thing, and it fits. The lipstick, and the title, along with the font of it, do relatively fit the book. It's cute, not really embarrassing, which is nice.


  • "Charlotte read an article in a women’s magazine that said if your partner didn’t satisfy you, it was your own damn fault. You needed to speak up. Spell things out. Draw diagrams on a chalkboard like John Madden football plays if you had to—but it was up to you to teach the man what he needed to know.” (Mass Market Paperback, pg. 18)
  • "He’d always believed there was a reason for the way things happened in life, even though he may not know that reason for many years, if ever. He believed the big picture was sometimes just too big for mortals to see.” (Pg. 112)


This one was pretty good. It was good at parts, it was interesting and fun to read, I did like the characters. Although it didn’t get me real worked up or anything.
I did like Charlotte and Joe’s attraction, their relationship growing. Their feelings were believable to me, and they were good for each other and to each other. I particularly liked Charlotte’s sexual troubles from her previous relationship and how Joe helped her with that. That kind of thing doesn’t happen often in books, and I liked reading it. I also liked how Joe was honest with her, at least as far as he could be, as soon as he could be.
I liked Charlotte’s kids and her friends/neighbors, a couple that has been together a long time and who keep an eye out on her. They were really nice, a couple who’ve been together a long time and still love each other deeply, and I liked seeing that.
The ending was really nice, I liked how Charlotte and her kids loved Joe so much that they went with him, and how it wrapped up in the end. 
Overall I did rather enjoy this book, and I do intend to pick up another of Donovan’s books in the future.

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