Title: Body Shots (Masters of Pleasure)
Author: Anne Rainey
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: September 2014
Rating: 1.5 stars
The dryness in her throat made it hard to breathe.
*I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Surprise, surprise, it’s my first erotica novel book review. Not the first erotica novel I’ve read, but most certainly my least favorite. I don’t typically read erotica novels, but NetGalley gives me a chance to read a wide variety of books for free, so I take that opportunity. I’ve never paid for an erotica novel and I don’t intend on doing so in the future unless it’s a damn good one; Body Shots, unfortunately, was not a good one. Personally, I like my erotica to have interesting plot, complex characters, and really good bedroom scenes; however, I don’t like the entire novel to consist of these scenes because it pretty much reads as a porno. I like plot and character development. I’m not sure if this is due to reading an ARC of the book, but I had a lot of issues with Body Shots.
Crystal Shaw has just gotten out of an abusive marriage. She moves in with her best friend Mollie and tries to start a new life without her monster of a husband. For Crystal’s birthday, Mollie decides to take her to Kinks, a new BDSM club, where she catches the eyes of the two owners, Trent and Mac. Trent and Mac seduce Crystal into a threesome and convince her to start dating them — both of them. Crystal is overcome with so many new feelings and feels better than she ever did with her husband, but she discovers it’s not so easy to escape one’s past.
I read the reviews on Goodreads before reading this novel, and boy did it worry me. The reviewer mentioned all the flaws and inconsistencies in the ARC edition (which I, too, read) and I instantly picked up on these during my reading as well. I have not seen the finished, published version, but I sincerely hope edits were made. For starters, the plot was not very original nor interesting. I thought the concept of the abusive marriage was a good background to Crystal, but the rest of the plot seemed very cliché and cheesy: unsupportive parents, concerned best friends, super sexy club owners that call you “angel” seven hundred million times per conversation, yadda yadda yadda. The writing was okay, pretty average for an erotica novel.
The characters were the worst, though. Crystal had my sympathy for the whole abusive marriage thing, but she never once went to the police, not even when his actions began to escalate after the divorce. She was very wishy-washy. Mollie was strange — she takes a victim of abuse to a BDSM club only a few months after the divorce. Not that I’m an expert on abusive relationships or anything, but I feel like a victim of marital abuse isn’t going to be into BDSM so soon (or ever). She was also super hypocritical — she told Crystal to be wild and have fun, yet chided her for having a threesome and staying over at a strangers house. Then there’s Mac and Trent, the super sexy club owners who both fell in love instantly upon seeing Crystal. These dudes barely know her and yet are “in love” with her after having sex with her a dozen times. Yup, sounds like love. Their dialogue was just too unbelievable, too. They’d call her “angel” five times in one sentence and say things that just sounded strange. Also, the synopsis gives the idea that this novel will be about BDSM and have a lot of steamy bondage scenes, but it doesn’t. There’s some spanking and one or two scenes with Crystal’s hands tied, but other than that, there’s just a lot of threesomes and one-on-one sex scenes that, quite honestly, blend together and sound the same. The writing was pretty good, but it was just the same thing over and over.
There were a lot of inconsistencies, and I think the top review for the novel on Goodreads points them out best, so definitely go check that out. Like I said, I sincerely hope the finished edition is different than this ARC that I read and reviewed. Body Shots is not my type of erotica novel, but it might be yours, so if you want to give it a chance, go check it out. Try to get the official published version, though. I myself would not pay for it, but hey, that’s up to you, my loyal reader.
*I read and reviewed and ARC edition of the novel – if anything is misquoted in comparison to the published version, please let me know.