So why keep reading? Why bother? Well... it was entertaining; fun and easy. A quick read that at times has clever moments of witty email banter and conversations that seem familiar in sarcasm and subject. There's also the cliffhanger effect. She was good at making sure there was a hanger, no matter how contrived, at the end of each chapter and a doozy at the end of each book. It was deliberate and silly at times, and yet like a bad TV drama series you shake your head at the end and know you'll tune in to see where it goes next week. I kept reading because I wanted to see how James would weave these characters together. I found that I wanted these characters to work together, no matter how unrealistic they are. It's a fantasy that on some subconscious level resonated with me.
And then there's the BDSM stuff that got all the attention. Presented in a near innocent way through a young woman who must have lived under a rock in the Portland area during college (hard not to stop the negative comments sometimes), I found it quite tame and never shocking. Although not something I've spent extensive time thinking about before these books, it did open my imagination more to the wonderful possibilities of rougher sexual play. There were moments of heated chemistry that provoked me to kiss my husband a little hotter and ask for things a little rougher sometimes resulting in bonus "bondage" of our own. Kinky fuckery for everyone!
Above all, the hype made me pick up a book for the first time in more than a decade and reminded me that I used to love reading... although not romance or erotica, I used to love books. For me it sparked my imagination in ways that I needed and didn't even know it. No. It's not well written. It is however entertaining and sometimes we just need to strip away the scholastic rational side of our brains and feed our desire to connect our emotions and maybe our primal sexual instincts to underdog romances and stories of triumph. We have to stop taking things so serious and learn that balance in all things makes life more complete.
Check out A.L. Goulden's profile on GoodReads and pick up her latest book August Fog available at most eBooksellers.
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