Dangerous Pleasures Paperback – Feb 1 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was dissappointed by the lack of sexual tension in the book. While there were plenty of sex scenes there was none of the erotic pull one would expect from an erotica novel. In fact, some scenes were as short as one paragraph.
The language in the book was also off-putting for me. "Squealing," in deilight or for any other reason, brings to mind piglets, not excitement. Many passages read like bodice-rippers from 40 years ago.
I was also bothered by Annie's frequesnt reminders that she was doing everything for her children when, in fact, the book shows her pulling away from her kids. By the end of the book her most frequent contact with the children is over the phone or through updates from the nanny. Maybe that just bothers me because I'm a mom who's close to my kids, but I did find it troubling.
One thing I like about Dangerous Pleasures is that the heroine isn't the perfect 20-something with the right look, right body, right everything. She's a woman in her 40s with all the stresses that come with motherhood. Its nice to see a more realistic character in the starring role.
Overall, I don't think this book is worth the price. The story feels very superficial with no real emotional depth, The sex doesn't garner the erotic draw one would expect from erotica, and the plot is almost non-existant, with very little conflict to keep it interesting. Above all it reads like a little old lady's idea of a dirty book... granted, it's an adventurous old lady.
I'd recommend skipping it.
This book has very vivid descriptions of sensuality, sex and friendship and the fine line that divides it all. I loved that the main characters were both women of color and the descriptions of their bodies wasn't your cookie cutter skinny, no curves. There was a lot of straight sex in this book which made me wonder what I was reading a time or two and I think some of that could have been left to our imagination or not. I loved the two main characters and was left a little disappointed in the end when their union was so abruptly cut short by the end of the book. Since I haven't read any of her other books I have nothing to compare this one to but it seems her other books are much more focused on the lesbian relationship while this book seemed to focus more on the friendship and Renee's heterosexual trysts. I will have to point out that it would have been nice if the cover girl fit the genre of the book - since this is black lesbian fiction why is the girl on the cover so damn light?
First, the good:
1) Most women will relate to the heroine, Annie, and her struggles involving money and family. After all, who hasn't worried about how to pay for their children's college, missing work because of a vomiting child or dealing with their own aging parents?
2) I found it refreshing that Annie was in her mid-40s and a size 16 (although she later slims down to a size 12). Congrats to Ms. Small for incorporating such a realistic character. No matter our size or age, we can still be desirable and sexy.
3) The Channel. Until some brilliant woman actually invents a way to allow us to star in and control our very own porn movie, I enjoy the experience vicariously through Small's characters.
1) All too familiar sex scenes. She's seriously running out of ideas.
2) Mr. Nicholas. Small's loyal readers already know it's going to end badly when he's involved. I sincerely hope she incorporates The Channel in upcoming novels, but please leave the devilish Mr. Nicholas out it.
3) Annie has sexual relationships with her male assistant and 2 other underlings, both at work and elsewhere. This is professional suicide and I speak as a woman/mother/wife who works full time. Simply cringeworthy.
4) The whole "I'm doing it for my kids" mantra. At the beginning, Annie is a stay-at-home mom to her 5 kids, 4 of whom still live at home. Within a year of Annie starting work, her children have a full-time nannie who is virtually raising them while their mother often spends the night at her work apartment having 3-ways. How exactly is playing with and casually discarding her boy-toys helping her kids?
Started promising, but I didn't even care what happened to Annie because she was virtually unrecognizable by the middle of the book.
Kendra meets Mayson and is instantly attracted to her. Mayson is somewhat curious about Kendra who openly displays her desire. Kendra pursues Mayson earnestly as she wants her. They begin a heated tryst that both enjoy. However, as Kendra sends her gifts and tries to take up her free time exclusively, Mayson realizes her lover demands more from her than she wants to give. While Mayson pushes back for some space, a hurt Kendra turns angry and jealous.
With a nod to the Douglas-Stone film Basic Instinct, aptly titled Dangerous Pleasures is a fabulous erotic relationship drama driven by the dysfunctional lead couple. How Kendra acts after feeling betrayed will stun readers but seems plausible. Though somewhat repetitive, Fiona Zedde provides an entreating contemporary cautionary tale warns the audience not to trifle with someone else's heart.
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