In an industry more known for its women, superstar Logan O’Toole is the male face of porn. Years earlier, he filmed a scene with Devi Dare, and he can’t get her out of his mind. After a chance meeting at a party, he offers her the co-starring role in his new project, a reality-style web series that will follow them over several dates that will grow progressively more intimate and explicit. Devi takes the offer for the paycheck, and also because she thinks she and Logan might enjoy the dates for real. But this leaves Devi in a quandary: How can you date the world’s top male porn star if you don’t want your boyfriend fucking anybody else?
If you are pro-porn, Devi and Logan are the kind of couple you hope that you’re watching; they fully consent to and genuinely enjoy everything they’re doing on camera. They have great relationships with their parents and sound physical and mental health. The authors include enough detail to round out the setting – which positions do and don’t film well, what types of acts and what types of stars are most lucrative, filming permits, condoms – without erasing porn’s bad side. Industry racism means Devi’s dark looks limit her opportunities. Logan discusses, without naming names, the James Deen rape scandal. Most significantly, partway through the book, Devi goes on a shoot that shows the sleaze of producers and entitled male performers alike.
I found the authors’ explorations of sexual/anatomical response and emotional response to be very interesting (although bi readers may not be happy with Devi’s thoughts on sexuality). As romance readers, we’re used to a hero who can’t even go back to his mistress after meeting his heroine, so a hero who is actively filming porn with other women after he and the heroine declare their love is uncharted territory for me – and as a veteran reader, I enjoyed a completely new reading experience, although I know for others it will be a dealbreaker.
I expect this book to be polarizing because it has so many of these hate/love axes in it. I didn’t love all of the gender stuff, or some of Logan’s approaches to filming with his co-stars, or everything about Devi’s Persian background. But Logan and Devi together are just so damn good that I kept getting sucked into their love story, which I had expected to be hot but didn’t know for sure would also be sweet. Logan is cute planning show dates that are actually romantic. Devi’s millennial problems (student debt! College major paralysis! A tiny apartment!) are humanizing. And of course, their chemistry is so intense you practically need lab goggles to read this story. A sex scene behind an art display where Logan promises to make Devi forget they’re filming is particularly memorable.
P*rn Star’s title is a pretty solid filter (as was my deliberate use of the F-word in the opening paragraph of this review). If you’re put off, trust that instinct. But if you’re curious – my recommendation is that you go for it.