Monthly Mini Review
Dirty Secrets by Jane O’Reilly – B+ The second in her recent erotic novella duology, Dirty Secrets is about Jules, Amy’s (from Dirty Talk) kind-of-former-best friend. Jules has split up with Dave the Dick for the last time. She has escaped to London for a month to try and recover herself. Somehow over the course of their relationship, Jules lost all sense of her self worth, her value and her self esteem. Dave the Dick slowly eroded her confidence in everything. She is finally out and she realises that he’s done a number on her but it is only as she begins to recover that she realises exactly how big of a number he did.
Theo is a friend from school. They haven’t seen each other in 10 years, but when she calls him he offers her a haven and she takes him up on it. Good decision Jules! Theo is a co-owner of an exclusive sex club in London, the complete details of which are (I think, deliberately) vague. They cater to fantasies, with a particular emphasis on women’s pleasure. Theo offers Jules a 30 day membership to explore her fantasies and get in touch with her sexual self. Theo’s gentle friendship and calm support, together with the encouragement and charm of Theo’s business partner, John, are balms to Jules’ soul and there are sexual adventures with a “stranger”.
Why I read it: I was provided with a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley. Note, the author and I follow each other on Twitter and chat regularly.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) When words are not enough…
Amy can’t believe she’s let herself be bullied into a write off with the odious Dave. Now she needs to produce twenty pages of a story by next Friday – the content is to be of a very particular nature!
Fortunately Amy has an advantage: she’s a secret – and voracious – reader of erotica and she knows just what turns her on! But when it comes to putting her own words down on paper embarrassment and nerves have left her with a severe case of writers block…
Enter her good friend Phil. While she’s always thought him too sexy to be true her crippling shyness has held her back. But with Phil as her willing muse, Amy’s reality is suddenly more erotic than any fantasy…
What worked for me (and what didn’t): One look at the title will give readers a fair idea of what they’re in for with Dirty Talk. Jane O’Reilly gives good sex like whoa. What makes the story even better though is that she also delivers on characterisation and romance. This novella is just over 60 pages long and that’s not a very high page count to do all that. In fact, I was just marvelling over this very thing, and how completely I’d bought into the HEA, when the story took a slight downturn when an unexpected revelation is made. But more about that later.
I’m over at Dear Author with a review of The Ex by Abigail Barnette (aka Jenny Trout). It was great catching up with Sophie and Neil and *spoiler alert* despite the title, they DO NOT BREAK UP.
I’m over at Dear Author with a review of The List by Anne Calhoun. A moody and evocative erotic romance.
I’m over at Dear Author with a review of The Pleasure Principle by Jane O’Reilly. If you like Charlotte Stein’s books (and I do), this is an author that will probably work for you too.
Why I read it: One from my TBR. I was in the mood for something immersive and, after checking at the back to make sure it had a happy ending (it does) I dove in with a happy sigh.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) After a tumultuous year, Sophie Scaife’s relationship with her boyfriend and Dom, billionaire media mogul Neil Elwood, is hotter and happier than ever. His sizzling Dominant side pushes Sophie to new and challenging heights of submission and erotic exploration as she follows her Sir’s every whim. But with his daughter’s impending wedding and a milestone birthday turning Neil’s thoughts toward settling down, Sophie faces a much different future than she’d planned.
Caught in a conflict between her new wealth and her desire for independence, Sophie fears she’s becoming just another Fifth Avenue trophy wife. With her fashion journalism career over and her new effort as a writer uninspiring, Sophie has to work harder than ever to prove her intentions to Neil’s family and friends.
Sophie isn’t the only one struggling to adapt to her new lifestyle. When private jets and designer labels threaten her bond with Holli, Sophie finds herself walking a fine line between the world she now inhabits and the past—and people—she fears she’s left behind. After a shocking revelation divides her loyalties, Sophie is in danger of losing her best friend or fracturing the trust of the man she loves.
Warning: Series Spoilers follow
What worked for me (and what didn’t): I really love this series. There is something very comforting about reading a book about characters you already know (provided the ending is happy). The usual set up stuff is not really required because the reader already knows the characters. There’s a brief recap to help people catch up but it’s familiar territory right from the start.