Curio by Cara McKenna

Why I read it: Various of my Twitter pals had been raving about this one and I finally picked it up in the St. Pats day sales.
What it’s about: It’s a man-whore book!!  Here’s the blurb from Goodreads – Caroly Evardt never expected to find herself patronizing a male prostitute. Then again, she never expected to be weeks from her thirtieth birthday and still a virgin.

When a friend mentions that a gorgeous male model in Paris sells his body as well as his image, Caroly’s intrigued. Finally, a chance to sample the gifts of a beautiful man—no strings, no stakes, no fear of rejection.

But she soon discovers that Didier Pedra amounts to more than a striking face and talented body. He’s a kind, charming, damaged man, and after a few evenings of pleasurable education, Caroly’s interest blossoms into something far deeper than mere lust. Her simple arrangement is suddenly feeling downright dangerous

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I expected erotic – after all, it’s a man-whore book!  (The author herself calls it that, so it is not an insult).  What I didn’t expect was the emotional depth it contained.  At just over 100 pages, this story packs a punch.  Didier was gorgeous and oh so sexy but also deeply vulnerable.  
The story is told from Caroly’s first person POV (and yes, her name is explained int he text – it is not a typo!).  She has a dry, self-deprecating wit which I appreciated
I was an extremely homely kid, growing up in northern New Hampshire.  I wasn’t quite the ugly duckling who blossomed into a beautiful swan… I merely developed into an okay-looking duck.

and this

I could walk down his street and be like everyone else.  I could have a lover.  This is Paris, after all.  Having a lover is like having a pancreas.
Fortunately for me, the hero-centric reader, there is a quite a lot of dialogue in the story so I felt I did get to know Didier a little.  He was so much more on the page than just a pretty face and gorgeous body.   I would have been happy to read what happens next, but I appreciated that the story was told by the time the book ended.
I found the book compelling and so much more than merely erotic – although, make no mistake, it is that too.
What else? I was actually getting quite nervous toward the end that the magic would be spoiled by a disastrous ending – even though I had been assured before I bought the book that all would be well. The resolution was hopeful and fairly happy but a bit on the unusual side and there were some things unresolved (- for example, would Didier continue to work as a prostitute?) and there was an element of unbelievability to it but I was happy to accept the fairy tale and go along with it.
This was a very sexy and also very moving read.  When I finished it, I had a ridiculous smile on my face and all I could say was “wow”.
Grade:  A-

6 comments on “Curio by Cara McKenna

  1. Nicola O.

    This sounds like an intriguing read. I'll have to put it on my list!

  2. Kaetrin

    Hi Nicola :)I found it very sexy and very moving. It sounds kind of porny to say "I'm reading a book about a man-whore" but really it's so much more than that.Let me know what you think if you read it.

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