First a disclaimer, I actually won a signed copy of this book via my purchase of tickets for the Charity Masquerade Ball, part of the Leeds Author Event
So as usually we start with the Goodreads blurb…
Life is a rat race, and Elena White is stuck on the treadmill.
She’s been living on autopilot, a slave to the 9-5 routine – until a chance meeting with an old school friend serves as the catalyst that changes Elena’s life in a way she could never have imagined.
Dazzled by her friends self assured confidence, Elena makes an innocent attempt to break from the monotony, and the repercussions send her on a roller coaster of emotions, smashing predictability to pieces, leaving her life anything but predictable.
I have to say overall I was pleasantly surprised by this book, normally I have found that where the word erotic is used you get a very flimsy storyline fitted in around sex scenes this was more of a novel with a few steamy scenes, the sex scenes themselves were well written, it was fairly straightforward sex, nothing particularly kinky but very easy to relate to.
Overall the characters were well written, but there were a few points here I would like to have seen addressed more. First lets start with the positives, Jasmine reminded me of people I have actually known, not that they were put up in flats etc but the sort of person who wants a certain lifestyle and is quite happy to compromise their emotions to get it, likewise her dad, the sleazy Alan, I might not personally have known anyone that vicious but I have known a few with a similar attitude towards women and he was totally believable. I don’t think it really is a spoiler to state there is of course a knight in shining amour, lets face it there always is, and I like this one, part of me almost wishes there had been a way to tell this story without him being uber rich but I do think for this story to have worked he needed a certain level of financial success, I will say though his back story was very interesting and it would have been nice to have seen that expanded more throughout the book.
This part does contain *SPOILERS* so if you want to avoid them jump to final paragraph!!!!!!!
Then we go onto Elena, I like Elena, I found myself rooting for her but the author has actually caused the issues I have by creating such a good character. I felt firstly we needed to know more about her, we learn about her childhood, her work experiences and her life now but there is a chunk missing, a chunk that in terms of the way she interacts with the other sex would have been useful to know. I totally get the doing something crazy out of character, and the spark between two people that means they cannot keep their hands off each other but I would have expected to see far more soul searching and, guilt possibly, from Elena regarding her forming a relationship with a married man, and I have to say it her clinginess and paranoid possessiveness was a little annoying without the context of, maybe a prior cheating boyfriend, or exploring her own self image issues further.My final issue was with one scene
The was one scene that I have to confess did take me completely out of the story and that was the sex scene in the department store. Had the author said that Conrad paid the woman, or sweet talked the woman into allowing them to be alone in the changing rooms I could have bought it but the idea they managed to have earth-moving sex without anyone noticing, sorry I just done buy it. I am not sure whether it is the because the author is male and has an idea of what women’s changing rooms are like based on films or if they think all of the stores have huge changing rooms but most of us have the experience of curtains that barely close properly, while they are getting better in terms of space for one person space for two? One of whom is a large muscular guy? Plus let me tell you those women watch you like hawks going in and out and they would have noticed that he had gone from that seat. As I say this was the only scene that reality pulled me right out of the story and luckily I was far enough in and felt enough for the characters to put it behind me and move on.
So in summary I did enjoy this and would certainly read more by this author, the parts I have picked out as criticisms are possibly nit picking but when you feel that a writer has the talent to go deeper and explore even more of the complexities beneath the surface of the characters they have created then hopefully they take that in the way it is intended, especially when I might actually meet the author at a later date lol but I do and have recommended this book to friends. So onto the final score, I did deliberate over this score between two star awards if I could I would have gone half way but as I always round up taking the positives over any negatives this book gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating.