From the author’s description of this book, I thought I was in for a freaky erotic read. Taint ain't about that. I had some hope when I read “Google that shit” in the first chapter – because I use that line in my own life, so must be good, right? Wrong.
The premise is fascinating at first: women are sent by their husbands to learn how to be more giving in the bedroom. Remove the prude. What’s that old quote? “A lady in the living room and a whore in the bedroom?” Unleash your inner slut for your man in private while maintaining your role of the socialite, the appropriately coiffed, classy, and devoted wife in public.
On Day 1, he tells them “You suck at sex…you don’t satisfy your husband sexually, which is why he wants to cheat on you, if he hasn’t already. You may be a fantastic wife, mother, homemaker, whatever, but you are a lousy lover. And that trumps all”. And Justice Drake, a “consultant” is going to teach them how to rectify that. The MEN send their wives to this uber-seclusive resort to get in your face training by Justice Drake. And they go. Willingly.
So, who exactly is Justice Drake? In the beginning, he’s a total douche-canoe. He’s an ass-hat. Crude, and egotistical, (he describes himself that way) he’s brash, in your face, and the women in this book just go along with what he’s dishing out. According to Drake:
“Women want a man that will get down and dirty. They want tenderness, but crave to be banged like a $2 hooker. They want a man that’ll go all night but still have the energy to kiss and cuddle and talk about their feelings afterward.” Is that what women really want?
And men? Well, in the world according to Drake:
“Men are simple creatures. You have to be what they want. You have to offer what they desire. And if you aren’t what we want, we find something – or someone – we do.” Um, okay.
So, back to the point. The women are there to get sexed-up. The training includes how to dress with sexy lingerie, sexy dancing instruction from a pair of strippers, self-pleasure techniques compliments of a medical student, a tantric sex couple performing a live demo to show the women how to act during the act. On and on….and the women, just go along with it, slowly becoming less embarrassed and less disgusted with his techniques. Never questioning, except one. One of the women, Ally (Allison) Carr, calls Drake out on his bullshit and guess what? He’s intrigued by the intelligent red-head who not only questions his standards, but bucks the standards of the socialite society set upon her with her un-nipped and un-tucked body, complete with red hair and freckles that haven’t been bleached by the dermatologist. She openly challenged him, didn’t give in and conform to his standards, and is quite defiant, opinionated, and has her own personality. I liked her. And she had names for her boobs (that's the second book this week with boobie names!). Of course, he is attracted to her, but must maintain his professional relationship with all the women despite the obvious sexed-infused temptations around them all day.
Drake admits that he is not careless, knows his boundaries and doesn’t cross them with the women in his program. But he can’t resist Ally. What starts as simple banter and conversation turns to flirtation and desire.
“Kissing Ally would be so easy. Touching her, holding her, tasting her…it’d be like breathing. I want to breathe. I want to inhale her in every way possible. I want her life to sustain me, her heartbeat to synchronize with mine…She deserves better, and I’m not better.”
There’s hints (some obvious) that he’s not what and who he claims to be. So just who is the real Justice Drake? You don’t who he really is until the end of the book. And THIS could have been teased out and make more of the drama. Instead, most of his story is about the internal conversations of Drake and his wussy ramblings about sunshine and freckles. Dude. Really?
“When you spend your life in the dark, looking up and wishing for something better – something brighter- you don’t realize how lonely you are. Not until the sun shines, spreading light on all the empty spaces filling them with beautiful warmth.” And “Can I spend every night counting her freckles, like I once counted the stars?” Seriously? Dude. Dude. You’re supposed to be bad ass. Or just an ass. A douche. A dick. Even Ally once calls him a “douche-nozzle” but…. Whomp whomp whoooooommp. He’s not. It’s all an act. He’s all soft and wussy inside. LOL.
It’s told from the male point of view – also not the norm in this type of book (what type of book is this? It’s filed under contemporary romance btw). From my experience, men don’t talk like this. They don’t. Okay, I’m not an expert on ALL men, so maybe there are some out there, but not the ones that I know. My man has occasional bouts of squishy, but never has he said I’m his sunshine spreading light across all his darkness. I’ve read a handful of books from the male POV, and they’ve never been this wussy. Maybe it’s just me, but I want my men to be manly. Big bad asses with a soft spot for their women. They can be sweet, but not wimpy. Not weak or lacking in confidence. Drake needed to man the fuck up in a big way.
The most refreshing line in the book is from the chef, Riku. “Fuck that. I want a woman that eats. Someone I can cook for and feed while she’s curled up next to me in bed. Ain’t shit I can do with a bag of bones. I mean, have you seen most of them? Shit, if they turn to the side, they fucking disappear. I’ll take tits and ass over Skeletor any-damn-day.”
Finally, a real man! And he mentioned Skeletor. Real men that want women with real bodies. Hmm. What a concept. Thank goodness that I have a man like Riku – force feeding me Texas BBQ and deserts all damn day and night. And wouldn’t you know it? He just came home with my favorite lemon cookies!
Personally, I would have much preferred to cut to the end of the “training” and continue the story with Justice and Ally, when they’re deep into their deceptive relationship with her cheating on her husband with the sex-coach he sent her to, and him cheating with, well, everyone it appears, THEN drop the bomb of his identity! BOOM! That’s the drama! Plus, let Ally have a bit more of a brain. She’s described as a Columbia educated - she stands up to the ridiculousness of Drake’s teachings and ideologies, but she stays with her cheating bastard husband? Has enough confidence to be herself with a goofy personality and endearing quirks, eat what she wants (ice cream and chicken and waffles), has a shameless obsession with Friends, yet feels guilty when she’s attracted to someone else? Sorry, I didn’t get it. This just didn’t jibe.
In all, it’s not a terrible read, but not my favorite. Want to read for yourself? Visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or other book retailers.
On a side note: The bio on S.L Jennings states that she’s recognized from her “starring role in a popular sitcom as a child”…Who and What?I really did try to Google that shit and couldn't find anything. Maybe she used a different name then. Or now.