Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Book: Under His Kilt by Melissa Blue
Category: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
"Jocelyn Pearson is determined to spend her last month as a twenty-something doing everything she's too busy or scared to try. Her imagination runs wild and then fixates on Ian Baird. He'll be working at the Langston Museum for a short stint as a consulting curator. He's Scottish. He believes sex is fun to be had. He's the perfect choice for a fling. She only has to get him break his rule about sleeping with co-workers. Seducing a man was on her bucket list...
Ian is no one's fool and knows exactly what Jocelyn wants—him. If she didn't work for the Langston Museum, he'd be more than happy to oblige any and every fantasy she desired, but she's the curator. She's sweet, inexperienced and well liked by everyone including the museum owner and director. Ian can't risk losing such an important contact for his consulting business. Not even when everything within in him craves a taste of her.
When Jocelyn sets her sights on him, there's no way Ian can deny her. They agree their affair will end in thirty days. No emotions, no entanglements, just sex. The closer the end date looms, they start to question if it's possible to walk away. They'll either have to come to terms of what they've become or stick to their original agreement."
Okay, let's try this.
I'm pretty sure that I heard about this book on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which is a fabulous website and even more fabulous podcast. Even if you don't like romance so much, they're worth a listen. They cover a huge range of topics and they're hysterical and fun.
On the surface, this seemed like it would be a book I'd enjoy a lot. Both the main characters are mature, intelligent adults who have careers and are fairly well able to drive themselves as far as where they want to be and what they want to do.
Too often in romance you get a heroine who's been sheltered, blah, blah, blah so she can be magically virginal or at least so unaware of what she likes that the hero gets to show her the true glory of All the Things with his Magic Wand.
Sometimes you might get a virginal hero, but it's less common. Unless it's m/m romance, but that's a different topic and it's still not all that common in that, according to my experience.
I went into this thinking it would be a carefree kind of hook-up story, and of course at the end they'd wind up staying together because *romance*, but it honestly turned out to be a little too carefree for me.
Jocelyn and Ian get together almost from page one. The whole 'conflict' over Ian's rule about not sleeping with co-workers is more of a tiny speed bump than anything else. After all, he's a grown man who is almost literally helpless when faced with a woman who wants to do the do with him. Because he's so hot that never happens, or something. IDK. I wanted more plot.
The book is basically sex interrupted with random bits of life that don't really do anything.
They work at the museum together, but it's brief scenes and then back to one or the other of their apartments to work through Jocelyn's 'bucket list' which is just a list of pretty tame things she wants to do to/with Ian.
It's decently written, and I don't regret taking the time to read the book. I can't say 'buy' because it's free on Amazon. But it also wasn't very satisfying. I skimmed over the sex scenes after the first couple because they weren't all that interesting and not really what I was there for anyway. And since there wasn't much actual growth or discussion between the characters there wasn't actually a whole lot to the book. For me, anyway. It seemed very much like they both went from 'this is totally casual' to 'I want this person for forever' in the span of two or three pages. Character change without showing the development is not really the way to go.
I should say that it's also entirely possible that I became dis-enchanted with the characters really quickly and didn't give them much of a chance. Fairly early on in the book Ian talks about having taken his dog Sadie (whom he describes as the love of his life) to the shelter when he started this job that has him traveling a lot. And, I know that this is a fictional dog, and I know that these are fictional people, but that pissed me off.
I have a thing about animals, okay? Are you honestly telling me that he couldn't have found *someone* to take the dog? This is a fictional world, people, it would have cost the author nothing to say that he gave the dog to a friend. Nothing.
And then Jocelyn decided to randomly get a puppy, because Ian had had Sadie and abandoned her and Jocelyn had never had a pet before and this is not the right reason to get a dog, okay? This is selfish and childish and stupid and I have a problem with this, clearly.
Soooooo....I might not be the most neutral party when judging these two. Admittedly, this is probably a silly thing to get stuck on, but here we are.
Not a bad book, but not a good one either. There's at least four more books in this series, apparently, Under the Kilt. I won't be buying them, but they seem to have a fairly consistent 4 - 4.5 star review on Amazon and Goodreads, so other people enjoy them. Possibly the sex scenes are what the people are after, I don't know. I wasn't impressed, but to be perfectly honest I've read a lot of sex scenes in my long, long reader lifespan.