Strange Attractions, by Emma Holly

>> Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Smart Bitch Candy's post about Emma Holly's Strange Attractions (excerpt) had me digging it out of my TBR and putting it in my next-up pile.

Determined not to repeat her mother's mistakes, high school dropout and unrepentant heartbreaker Charity Wills jumps at the chance to attend college for free. There's just one little catch...

She must travel to the estate of reclusive physicist B.G. Grantham, who likes to play sex games as exotic as the particles he studies-and is obsessed with the thrill of being refused the one thing he craves. But Charity is more than up to the challenge-especially when Eric Berne, her sexy "keeper," lends a hand.

Behind the locked doors of Grantham's isolated mansion, the games begin. So does the education of Charity Wills-who's about to discover that the possibilities for sensual indulgence are beyond anything her wildest dreams ever allowed...
No one writes erotica like Emma Holly! So much of what passes for erotica these days (those dominating men, those captive fantasies...) leaves me cold, but I can always count on Holly to write something that is hot and romantic. A B+.

A priori, the whole scenario of the heroine being basically paid to become a guy's sexual plaything sounds really distasteful. But somehow, Holly makes it fun and sexy, especially because I got the feeling that Charity's motivation was as much her excitement at the idea of doing this, the fact that she thought she'd enjoy it, as the money she'd get for it. And enjoy it she did. I think if she'd been at all uncomfortable with what was going on, the book might have crossed the line into icky, but Charity loved every single minute of her time at B.G.'s.

The sex scenes alone were worth the price of admission. Charity with Eric, Charity with B.G., B.G. with Eric, all three together, not only were they steamy (especially the latter, I confess it!), Holly manages to put emotion in every one of her sex scenes, so they are much, much more than a couple (or trio) of bodies writhing around.

As with her Ménage, this was very much a romance, even if the relationship was between three people instead of two. By the end of the book, I was perfectly convinced that these people were in love, each with the other two, and that they were going to be very, very happy (and tired) together.

The quantum physics stuff and the suspense subplot... eh. I really didn't pay them much mind. I just wasn't interested, and didn't think they added much to the story.


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