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Jemma is a model who thinks nothing of photographers taking an interest in her. In fact, she rather likes it. After all, that's the sort of thing that leads to more work. But when the renowned Dominic Vane comes after her, the works he has in mind is something a little different. As an erotic romance, you can imagine what he wants her body for. Hint: it's not just as a clothes horse. And so, thanks to a helpfully understanding boyfriend with whom she's in an open relationship, Jemma decides to welcome Dominic into her life... and her bed. Except for some reason, he's playing hard to get. The more he eludes her, the more she wants him, and their initial relationship turns on its head as she becomes the one now pursuing him.
This is a longer story than I'm used to with erotica and has much more of a plot than many. There's no denying the genre, though, as the scenes come again and again if you'll pardon the pun. While I wanted to find the writing dirty, it was too clichéd for me and if it hadn't had the erotic aspect to it, I would have given up early on as the writing was too flowery and obvious for my taste. Every noun had to have an adjective so it's always a 'magnificent' body, then a 'spectacular' body, 'wild' spasms, a splendid muse and so on. The adult content helped mute this somewhat but I still did not enjoy it to the extent I had anticipated as the writing style grated.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what was lacking because all the ingredients were there - a strong lead character, some mystery and intrigue, exotic locations, action and drama - but combined they fell short of the sum of their parts. I can see the attraction of the premise as the thrill of being watched goes to a whole new level when a photographer becomes involved. But for someone who already clearly has a more liberal sex life than many, I can't equate this story with being Jenna's 'sexual awakening' as described on the back cover. There's a lot of sex but it's all quite samey, whereas my previous experience of Black Lace books is one of much more variety with every encounter a bit different, until there's pretty much nothing left to do.
The author clearly has an obsession with hair down there, and never ceased to comment on or describe someone's, erm, groomed status. Someone needs to get the woman a Brazilian stat, so she can get hair off her mind, and off her body for that matter. It was something I failed to find hot, and the constant repetition every time a new character was introduced soon became tiring. The terms "silky bush" or "wiry hair" made me cringe rather than laugh even, and I soon came to dread the unveiling of new nether regions, knowing that the accompanying description wouldn't be far behind.
If I were Jemma, I would have given up on Dominic much sooner. If I were not reviewing, I would have given up on the book a little sooner. I'm sorry I didn't like it more, because I really wanted to, but it's not one that's going to find its way into that drawer of my bedside table.
Out now in paperback.
This review originally appeared at www.thebookbag.co.uk