Bad as She Wants To Be
I want to start off this review by saying that this book was my first venture into erotica, so I have no standard to judge it by. I’m not one to usually turn down a book because of its sensuality, but I found the extent of sex in this book, and the types of “relationships” the heroine had, to be too much for me.
Frankie lived a boring, but normal, life in Maine before saving Marianne from drowning and being whisked away by the heiress socialite to New York. Marianne and her friends form the “Insatiables,” a group of girls who are slaves to their own lust. They go to sex clubs, host “tasting” parties, and take “Dirty Girl” road trips. Marianne is taking over Frankie’s life, keeping her from work, home, family, and other obligations, but she doesn’t try to leave because she’s having fun living this hedonistic lifestyle. Despite the dozens (if not scores) of men she sleeps with, she’s in love with the one man she can’t have: Dax Cordrey, Marianne’s lawyer, who disapproves of her partygirl lifestyle. But, as much fun as she’s having, it isn’t until Marianne is found dead – and Frankie is named her heir – that she realizes the cost of her lifestyle. How can she prove to Dax that she’s not a publicity whore and nymphomaniac?
I’m generally pretty open about such things, but the things the main characters do began to disgust me after the first several chapters. It’s just so much, so fast, with so many different men. Orgies, voyeurism, random hookups in bathrooms and on dance floors, five or more partners a night… it was too much for me. The lives of the main characters went beyond self-indulgent, and it repulsed me. Again, I have no comparison in erotica, so these things may just me par for the course in that genre, but I just didn’t like it. I don’t think I would mind the book so much if the number of men involved was less, and Frankie actually knew their names and they weren’t just “penises,” as she and her friends refer to the males they partner with. (I’m sure there could be a lot of psychoanalysis done on the characters from the book — the fact that only three of Frankie’s lovers are actually given names just being one more clue to how they view men, and sex in general).
Even worse, though, was that the “relationship” between Frankie and Dax didn’t really exist outside of occasional sex. There wasn’t nearly enough of Dax in the book, and I had a hard time believing their relationship. He would come along ever once in awhile, attack her, tell her what Marianne was doing, and make sure she was aware that men like him didn’t marry women like her…but then he’d sleep with her. Often she’d say that she loved him, or he was the only one who completed her, that he was wrong about her, but then she’d console herself by going out with Marianne. She made no attempts to change, despite her supposed feelings, and he came to her in the end anyway. There were occaisonal scenes which showed his true feelings for her, that he cared for her despite her promiscuity, but they were so few and far between the reader got very little out of their relationship.
The conclusion was really rushed for me – and without the last few paragraphs and a few sentences scattered throughout the book, there would have been no romantic relationship at all. There essentially was no romance in this book, and I thought it needed it desperately to make it more than just a series of graphic sex scenes with various other people parading through Frankie’s life.
In terms of straight-out erotica, this book certainly provides lots of “Tab A into Slot B”. But if one wants substance, relationships, and characters that are deeper than a page of the book, it would be better to go elsewhere.