When it comes to sensuality, Strange Attractions is beyond burning. Unfortunately it’s also beyond boring. At one point, I realized that I was almost halfway thorough it and literally nothing had happened. Luckily, at about that point, there’s a passage in which B.G. explains particle physics to the heroine and I read it gratefully as a respite from all the boinking. In this book, Emma Holly has succeeded in making sex very, very dull.
B.G. Grantham is a brilliant scientist who lives in a big beautiful home in Seattle and spends his time playing erotic games with his staff. Periodically, he also chooses a “candidate” to whom he offers a chance for a free college education in return for sex games. B.G.’s latest candidate is Charity Willis, a smart and hot young woman, who is marking time in a dead end job. Eric Berne is B.G.’s childhood friend, partner in business and sometime lover. When Eric offers Charity the position, she accepts and before she has even gotten to B.G’s house, she’s had sex with the chauffer and almost sex with Eric. And the games have just begun.
When Charity gets to B.G.’s home, the book goes into pages and pages of almost non-stop sex, interrupted by a few lessons in quantum theory. I read the quantum parts word for word, but the sex scenes got so dull I began to skip them. Finally I asked, “Where’s the story?” “Where’s the plot?” “What’s the point?” I was bored out of my mind – and then almost at the very end, a sliver of a plot crept into the book and we had a conflict. Then the villains were thwarted, and they all loved happily ever after.
Strange Attractions is kind of hard to categorize, although it’s being marketed as contemporary romantica. Well, it’s got too much sex and not enough story to be romantica, although the characters have a bit more depth than those in straight erotica. I guess I’d call it an erotic novel – a dull erotic novel.
The characters were so one-dimensional they can be summed up like this: Charity is bit low in self-esteem around B.G. and Eric, who are brilliant, but after some boinking and a couple of lecture on quantum theory, she begins to think of herself as a “quantum kitten” and her self-esteem goes up. B.G. comes out of his shell and begins to go out more, then decides he loves Charity (and Eric). Eric helps B.G. to come out of his shell, then he decides he loves Charity (and B.G.) and they end up in a happy menage-a-trois.
The sex in Strange Attractions is enough to shock a reader of tender sensibilities. Literally anything goes. Multiple partners, sex toys, bondage, spanking, and lots and lots of mind-games. Honestly, I got so tired of it, as soon as I finished the book I picked up a traditional Regency Romance. I wanted some sweetness, some old-fashioned relationships and some romance. I’m not a prude or a puritan, and I like a good hot love scene, but I hated all the mind games and role playing in this book. If only it had been interesting, I might have liked it better, but this was such a boring book I had to force myself to finish it.