Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy*
This is a sexy contemporary romance. I thought it was okay--the sex scenes were hawt, but when the main characters weren't having sex, I wasn't really feeling it. Fortunately, at least forty percent of the book is sex, so the majority of it is good.
Tamara is the widow (or widowered, as Meg Ryan might say) of a race car driver and raising their two kids on her own. She's trying to date again, but the guy she's seeing is kind of a dud. Then she lays eyes on sexy Elec. It's lust at first look, and a few short pages later they wind up sleeping together, even though she's not that kind of girl at all! (Sure you aren't, honey.) Elec is whipped from the word go and spends the rest of the book chasing her around and giving her fabulous, life-changing orgasms while she worries about stretchmarks and whether or not her tummy is flabby. But now I feel like I'm giving away too much of the plot, so I should stop.
I know lots of people love this book, but for me it was meh. Basically the characters are what did me in. Elec has no verve, no charisma. He's just a nice guy with, you know, washboard abs and a really big penis. And while I would certainly appreciate some of that IRL, I don't find it particularly interesting to read about. Not after a hundred pages, anyway. And Tamara's insecurities became annoying after awhile. Yes, I can sympathize with her--what woman on earth doesn't have insecurities about her body?--but I think anyone with resonable observational skillz can see that guys usually aren't that picky. So there came a point at which I wished she would just shut up and enjoy herself, but naturally she does not. Oh, and did I mention she's also a clean freak and a worrywort and just about every other stereotype you can think of for the modern mom?
Basically, when the characters weren't having the sex, I thought the romance was lacking... well, romance! Even though I just made fun of it, I loved the first part of the book where Tamara breaks up with Mr. Boring and then invites Elec to join her for the night. I don't usually like instantaneous lust plot mechanisms like that, but I this one I enjoyed because it felt organic and different. After that, though, I felt like the characters where shoved into these types to make them more sympathetic, and I lost patience with them. The trials and tribulations put in place to test their relationship seemed tacked on and almost silly, as well.
That being said, I did finish it. And it's not awful--in fact, in the normal scheme of romance novels, it's actually pretty good. Just not my cuppa.
*Is this a link to Amazon or to kitty porn? You'll never know!
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