Sex Lounge has a catchy title, but other than that, the hero and heroine are two people who have major issues that they need to work out separately. And for erotica, this book’s sex read uneffectively and left me cold.
Nichole has a notebook of all her sexual fantasies. She works at a model agency and throughout her work day, she likes to jot down various scenarios (I wonder what her boss would think). Her fantasy man is Derek, a client who is so “cold” that he never gave her the time of day…until he finds her naughty little notebook. From that point on he wants to get to know Nichole in a very special way. It’s just icing on the cake that he believes she’s out to get him and trying to steal from his chaise lounge design firm. He also tries to blackmail her with a racy photo she posed for years ago – of which she is now ashamed. He assumes that because she hid this photo, she must have secrets to hide, and cannot be the woman she presents to the world. But hey, she knows how to write some good sex, so why not see if her imagination is as good as in the real world?
Where as Nichole can be tolerated, Derek is beyond redemption. The author’s attempts to manipulate me into feeling sorry for him because his father was an alcoholic who made Derek feel worthless while growing up didn’t really work. He thinks he’s only good at sex, which involves no feeling; god forbid he tries to make a relationship work. He’s also drop-dead gorgeous and beyond rich. As for Nicole, she is the prototypical sexually repressed heroine – her mother was a “slut”, natch. With Derek’s help, she can let out her inner bad girl and act upon all her sexual fantasies.
Perhaps this full length novel would have been better as a short story in an anthology. The author tries to put too many plots into one in under 300 pages. Nichole’s shady boss, who is also Derek’s best friend, may or may not want to sleep with his employee. And then there’s the stereotypical skanky “other woman” who wants Derek for her own. Then there’s this one scene halfway through the book that I found distasteful, and icky. It involves rough sex between the skank and a reporter who has it in for Derek, and a voyeuristic Nichole. Nuff said.
The two main characters are never really fleshed out, probably because more than half of the book is Nichole thinking and talking about what Derek will do to her. And Derek just likes to stand there over brooding and whispering sexual innuendos that become tedious. This story might have been believable had more fantasies been acted out between the two, or some emotional intimacy shared. Even then ending is so abrupt that you wonder if the final chapter went missing during the editing process.
As far as the actual sex in this book, I found little of it sexy. Nichole and Derek are all for expressing their desires and are very blunt with instructions on what to do and where to put each body part, but when they both act upon them, there is no emotion other than their own bodies’ sexual releases. An HEA for them does not compute. Their lack of trust and seeming dislike of one another continues throughout the story, which lends their sexual acts a rigid air. It feels like you are reading a how-to book or a paint-by-numbers manual on what a fantasy/ erotic story should be.
If you want sizzling, erotic above the top sexually charged scenes, don’t waste your money or time on this book. And for people who like a book that has been edited very well, this also has issues on that end. This is a major first dud from this novice author.