"Story intertwined science and paranormal fantasy with an engaging romance"
Megan Cooper is a driven and intelligent woman, the owner
and creative genius behind Virtual Delights, an enterprise
geared towards fulfilling her clients' fondest fantasies
through virtuality. She is a woman used to dealing with
scientific, cold hard facts, firmly entrenched in the
school of seeing-is-believing thought. On her guard, and
with good reason, she agrees to a meeting with her main
business rival Jake Mason over dinner.
The child of two gifted telepaths who made it their
business to nurture and help hone their children's innate
ESP abilities, Jake Mason is just as driven and sharp as
his competitor, with just as strong motivations behind the
creation and potential success of his company. Jake's
approach, however, towards the same goal, is a bit
different, more organic, than Megan's; he intends to make
use of his customers' inborn psychic abilities by tapping
into and amplifying them to create a virtual world from
Mark Newhouse is Megan's assistant and one of her best
friend's since college. He's a little envious of Megan's
experiences in the Meta Room with virtuality and her
possibly garnering all the glory when Virtual Delights goes
public. Mark is also hopelessly in love with Megan, and in
a desperate attempt to make her notice and see him as more
than just a confidant and brotherly-type, he infiltrates
Megan's virtuality systems and sabotages the programs. If
all goes according to his plan, Mark will be able to rescue
Megan from virtual trouble and be the big strong hero in
her eyes. But as happens in situations such as this, the
best-laid plans don't always turn out according to schemes.
Both Jake and Megan are missing one basic element from
their initial experiments with virtuality -- he, Megan's
scientific innovations with sensors and computers, and she,
Jake's good old natural emotion and telepathic brainpower.
But neither realizes how much they need each other's
knowledge until one day in her Meta Room during a test run,
things go awry and Megan is trapped in virtuality.
Simultaneously, and on the other side of town, Jake has
begun a test session in his V-Room, so keenly, psychically
connected to Megan's aura, that his consciousness is sucked
into Megan's virtual world where he becomes a tangible
presence in her Meta Room as well as a prisoner to Megan's
Business rivals on the outside in the real world, Megan and
Jake must learn to trust each other if they are to figure
out how to survive their virtual creations and get out of
virtuality in one piece.
Through sabertooth tiger attacks, raging floods, volcanic
eruptions, the dangerous seductress song of a mermaid,
alien space invasions, the frozen Himalayas and Yeti
attacks, Jake and Megan experience a lifetime of danger and
adventure in a little over an hour of virtuality. And
during their adventures, they bond -- psychically and
physically -- and learn important things about their world
views and each other.
Ostensibly, Jake and Megan each are trying to provide a
service to potential clientele in search of their ultimate
fantasies. Deep down, they are each trying to assuage the
pain of guilt and loss. Jake for his loss of innocence at
the hands of an unscrupulous psychic who used her ability
to harm the young and vulnerable in unspeakable ways; Megan
for the loss of her older and much-admired sister to a
tragic accident on a space station when Megan was a teen.
Years later Megan yet blames herself for Rita's death, as
she was the one who'd goaded her sister so severely until
Rita joined the astronaut program just to get away from her
younger sister's taunting. Jake, on the other hand, is
trying to get over the shame at being the victim of a
sexual predator when he was a young child. Through
virtuality and an essential psychic link, both Megan and
Jake are able to defeat their own personal demons once and
This story was very well executed and worked for me on
several different levels, two of which were the creative
world building and the way Ms. Huxman so seamlessly
intertwined the worlds of science and paranormal
supposition to co-exist believably on the same plane. I
especially enjoyed the character interactions and
development. Jake and Megan were a well-delineated h/h
whose chemistry was off-the-page engaging, their story a
fast-paced, gripping and sensual romance.
A definite keeper and one-sitter.
Reviews for PNR Reviews by Gracie
Reviewed by Gracie McKeever
Posted April 12, 2003