Sheridan Harper is the textbook definition of struggling artist. She loves her work and is very talented, but she is barely scraping by. So when Jared Quinn makes her an offer that promises a lot of money, she really doesn’t have any choice but to take it. After a one night stand with explosive chemistry, Jared’s publicist makes offers her a truckload of money to fake a marriage to Quinn so they can improve his image. The only problem? The contract has a no-sex clause and despite how much they fight it, both parties feel the attraction.
Okay, so that description sucks and I am well aware. Maybe after reading this, you guys will understand why I am taking a that review-writing break. Why am I writing this as I am on said break? One of the conditions of reviewing this audiobook was to have the review up within 30 days of the download and I endeavor to be a woman of my word. I’m also a tiny bit scared that I’ll take a longer break from reviewing than I originally intended and I don’t want this review to be late. It’s bad enough that this is not going to be a 5 star review as I did not love the book. Let’s not add injury to the insult of a mediocre review.
Sheridan was someone I could pretty easily empathize with. Though I can’t draw (or paint or color or doodle) to save my life, I understand the situation she was in. Struggle to get all the bills paid is a pretty common situation to those of us in the upper lower class/lower middle class life. I could immediately see why she would want to take the deal. But then she starts annoying me. The no-sex clause, first of all, was a moment of pure idiocy. It’s obvious you want to sleep with him again. It’s also obvious that Jared is a man-whore of the highest order. He can’t sleep with anyone else during this year or the press will paint him a cheating scum-bag and you aren’t allowing him to sleep with you. Are you expecting him to take a year-long vow of celibacy? That seems like a disaster waiting to happen and we both know it. Completely ignoring that fact, it’s clear that you want to sleep with him again and it’s equally clear that a lack of bedroom activity is not enough to keep you from falling in love with the man. It’s just an idiotic plan from top to bottom, so you should go ahead and wave the white flag now. Basically, from the moment she was offered the deal, I wanted to shake her.
I wasn’t that much more fond of Jared. He’s arrogant and controlling. He is determined to make everything his fault and he refuses to accept help. He makes a big deal on how everyone is counting on him, but when they bring someone in to take the stress off him, he resents it and gets mad. Also, he acts like a caveman when it comes to Sheridan. He shows the occasional sweet side, but most of the time he just wants to throw her over his shoulder and haul her into his bedroom and never leave. I found that….irritating.
My biggest issue with this is same one I’ve had with the past few romance/erotica novels I’ve read. I’m so sick of hearing about how huge his cock is. I get it! I understand that the man has a dick the size of my forearm. Mental image received. I don’t need to hear about it ad naseum and I certainly don’t want to either.
I understand this is a fantasy for many a housewife, but what part of that sounds appealing? It sounds rather painful to me. Also, life is just about sex.
There are many things that cause people joy beyond the physical pleasures, but I feel like that is all the contemporary novels focus on lately. Maybe this is why I’ve stuck to YA for so long because YA never puts all the focus on sex. There is the meeting and getting to know you and mutual interests. There is a general building of a relationship in contemporary YA. Not necessarily in other parts of YA where instalove is everywhere, but I digress.
This is also a novel about a hot man meeting a beautiful woman and each loving the other’s perfect body. The pretty people make sweet sweet love and, I’m sure, will some day have gorgeous children.
At some point, is anyone else going to get tired of this? I mean, I get it, fantasy-world, we want the guys to be super tall with six-pack abs and a gorgeous face. Fantasy-world us would be slim with hug tits, a nice ass, flat tummy, and slim thighs. But life isn’t a fantasy and isn’t it exhausting trying to live up to that image? What kind of message does that send? Women doing millions of crunches because we believe no “hot” guy would want us as is. Men spending hours at the gym because what “attractive” female would want them if they don’t have a six pack and enough arm strength to carry them around. Besides the idea of fantasy is that we can live it out ourselves in our heads and how can we do that if we believe the leading man would want us once he glimpses our not perfect body? ::end rant::
Basically, this had some good in it. I did listen to it quite quickly, so it was interesting enough to keep me going. I did have that hope that the main two would eventually work things out and ride off into the sunset. I am vaguely curious about the rest of the series. But I didn’t love it like I expected to. In fact, I didn’t love it at all. I like it, but definitely not love.
Deanna does a pretty fair job narrating this. There is nothing about her that stands out as irritating in my mind. I enjoyed her voice and her pacing. I didn’t especially love her, but I did enjoy her work. I would definitely be okay with listening to more of her work.
****Thank you to Wordsmith Publicity and Karen Erickson for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****