Book Reviews: Erotic Carpenters, Pilots, and Students

Again, rather than post something witty that happened to me today—usually at my expense—for the erotic reviews I invite you to search out photos of Black Widow from the Captain America Winter Soldier movie. . . but then you might never come back, so read this first.

Not Safe for Work
A corporate woman shows her new boss around the office on a weekend, and they end up having sex there. Turns out big boss, the cold humorless type, has cameras installed and saw the whole thing, firing her. . . but not him. Hmmm. Turns out there was an ulterior motive, but in which direction is he jealous?
This is a novella, short enough that I didn’t have time to make notes, write down impressions as I went along. On the other hand, it was short enough to remember. The one thing that really annoyed me was that she hated the big boss for firing her, yet oh so willingly let him have her, even if her lover was part of it. By the end she was claiming to love him. That didn’t strike me as anywhere near true; this would have been simpler if she’d done it just for the sex, or even to please her boyfriend. This three-way relationship was just too dysfunctional to bear.
2/5

Blackmail
Yale student misses class because she was asleep in a common room. She hears her TA coming and hides in the closet. Then she watches him having sex with a guy she can’t stand. Assuming it’s rape, she records it, gets caught, and is forced to participate and also be taped so everyone can have blackmail material on each other.
I thought I’d become used to having multiple points of view, but in this case it was a bit confusing. Perhaps it’s due to Julian and Tristan’s names being too similar. As for the writing, there’s a really long philosophical discussion that made me want to tear my eyes out, while also making me glad I didn’t actually major in philosophy despite getting easy A’s in the two electives. I’d rather read about Mia playing the piano again.
On to the characters. I wish Tristan hadn’t been pushed so far into jerkass territory than I found him unredeemable. Mostly he’s, to use Mia’s words, “spoiled and self-important because his parents are ridiculously wealthy; used to getting his way because, although I am loath to admit it, he is unnaturally gorgeous; and predisposed to treating people like a means to an end.” Julian seems to be weak-willed and will go along with whatever they tell him, which is unusual as he’s the oldest. He was meh at best. Mia seemed cool at times—liked her but didn’t love her—at least when sex isn’t getting the best of her. I certainly didn’t like her basically giving Julian a free pass for all the crap he put her through. She had the potential to be a smart character, but too often her mind failed her; annoying.
The ending just seemed weird to me, both what happened with his illness and the keys; might have been more dramatic in the sequels had she declined and Julian was forced to ostracize her in public while still wanting her. Even the sex scenes left something to be desired.
2/5

Cockpit
A female airline pilot approaching her sixties comes across her old high school boyfriend sitting in first class on her flight to London. She eventually meets him for a drink in their hotel, not expecting anything to happen because he’s wearing a wedding ring, as well as their ages. Boy, was she wrong.
Interesting that, after quite a few mentions of age at the beginning—mostly with her wondering if she could be sexy enough—it was never mentioned again, certainly not during sex. Though her self-doubt was understandable, there seemed to be too much of it, especially in her rivalry with a flight attendant half her age who’d screwed her now ex-husband. A little more of London would have been nice too.
In the end it was cute but no big deal. Extra points for having an older couple, especially the sex scenes in offbeat titillating places like the London Eye and the flight simulator. But other than that it seemed pretty standard.
3/5

Drilled
Beautiful construction worker goes in to work on a weekend, expecting to be alone—“No one had listened when she’d pointed out the problems at the time and now they were at the wire. They didn’t listen because she was a woman”—only to find herself being ogled by two rich businessmen. Erotica ensues.
For once the cover actually fits the story!
Danni loves doing construction, and it gives her a connection to her late father. She’s got a greedy, though in the end understanding, matronly mom and a horrible stepdad. I don’t remember her having any girlfriends, though I might be forgetting. Still, she seems more well-adjusted than most of the heroines in this genre, so I kinda loved this character. The two rich guys weren’t total jerks, for once, though of course there’s the inevitable miscommunication near the end that has to happen before the happy ending.
For the most part I enjoyed this. Not happy with them throwing their money at the stepfather, especially after what he said to her on the phone; he didn’t deserve it, especially considering he never apologized. Other than that, there was a lot of fun dialogue between the three when not having sex, and included some quickly-inserted fun characters–when they dressed her up and took her to lunch, for example–that, had their story been longer, would have been fun to get to know. But perhaps they’ll have their own stories later. . .
4/5

;o)

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