Exposed to You

Exposed to You - Beth Kery Actor Everett Hughes’ latest blockbuster Maritime required hours of intricate make-up application, more specifically a body tattoo painted on his skin by an artist. The design of the body art is credited to the genius of Seth Hightower creator and owner of Hightower Special Effects. During the movie’s production, Seth called on his talented niece, Joy, to paint the creative, complex tattoo on an actor she thought was an extra. Joy Hightower received shocking, frightening news that day regarding her health that left her brittle and vulnerable. Under normal circumstances the painting of the tattoo was art and the human body a form she observed to inspire her muse. However, there was something about this actor, and painting his skin that was sensual, arousing. Joys emotions were chaotic, her life in the balance, and she was therefore compelled to do something completely uncharacteristic. She performed an extremely intimate act for this man who found the encounter equally erotic. Joy has no idea who the actor is because of his extensive costuming. The scene seethes with sensuality and sets the tone of the passionate prose that infuses this special story.

Fourteen months later Everett is in Chicago to promote Maritime. He and his sister Katie visit a downtown coffee shop and Everett, of course, turns heads as he strides in. After all, everyone in the country knows Everett, he is the celebrity “it” guy—the sexiest man alive and his movies extremely popular and successful.

After enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatment for cancer Joy’s disease is in remission. She then accepted position teaching at an art school for gifted students in Chicago, essentially fleeing her home in Los Angeles, leaving her friends and Seth, her only family, behind. She has closed herself off from the trauma of her diagnosis and treatment. Joy lives in fear, knowing full well her cancer could recur at any time, she was intimately acquainted with the disease prior her own diagnosis. Joy is determined to live independently, she feels she must brave her fate alone.

Joy is having coffee with a couple of friends and colleagues from the school in the coffee shop when Everett Hughes walks in and zeroes in on her like a missile seeking its target. Everett and Joy had made plans to meet following the movie shoot the day of their spontaneous erotic interlude but fate intervened and it wasn’t to be. He tried to find her but had been unable to track her down. Everett was deeply affected by their “close encounter”, and isn’t about to let her go again. While completely embarrassed to discover it was Everett Hughes she was intimate with that day, she accepts when he takes her aside in the coffee shop and implores her to spend time with him.

Joy and Everett begin a whirlwind emotional, extremely intense love affair. She believes their relationship is a sexual dalliance for this famous man who can have any woman he wants. However, Everett takes a perfectly executed swan dive embracing love; the problem is convincing the extremely private, extraordinarily independent Joy that there is more to their connection than physical attraction.

Beth Kery is successful in bringing this amazing hero to life, his compassion for his family and friends, and his abundance of charisma wells from the pages. Everett is fun and intelligent along with being well grounded, comfortable in his own skin. He embraces his chosen craft with exuberance and professionalism. Joy’s reticence about letting down her defenses and giving her heart fully to him is frustrating but he does not give up. Everett repeatedly brings out Joy’s passion through inventive deeply emotional love-making. He does enjoy kink and dominance in the bedroom and there is bondage in this story but this isn’t a D/s novel per se. Kery introduces tantric sexuality into the protagonists’ intimate relationship, which opens a new world of intimacy for Joy. The depth of passion they share is breathtaking and unique but Joy is afraid of taking that step into commitment for a variety very private reasons.

Everett is sensitive and devoted to those he cares for, and what is also wonderful about this story is it allows readers to visit Katie and Rill, the protagonists from Addicted to You. They, along with Seth hold important secondary roles in the story. As well, Jennifer from Bound to You makes a brief appearance, and she is given an important, pivotal role.

Exposed to You is more than a hot erotic romance. It’s a beautiful, memorable love story given realism with vivid descriptions of a lush country setting. The complexity of creating intricate body art for movie roles is fascinating. However, at it’s heart, Exposed to You is about a unique man who shows compassion and devotion to break through the armor of pain and fear that surrounds the woman he loves. Beth Kery’s novel Wicked Burn has always held a place as my favorite erotic romance but Exposed to You has edged it out.