Illicit Paperback – Feb 26 2013
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"Lots of hot, sexually edgy content."―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Opal Carew is the author of Forbidden Heat, Pleasure Bound, Twin Fantasies and other erotic romance novels. "So why do I like writing erotic romance?" she asks. "I like being able to push beyond traditional boundaries." Opal loves crystals, dragons, feathers, cats, pink hair, the occult and all that glitters. While she writes, she listens to inspirational music, lights candles and keeps crystals near. Before devoting herself to her passion as a writer, Opal spent 15 years as a software analyst, and she has a degree in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo. She lives with her husband and two sons in Ontario, Canada.
Top Customer Reviews
The storyline was okay, nothing exciting but was disappointed that I had no pre-warning about what to expect in regards to the sexual relationships described in the book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I ran across Illicit on Goodreads. I saw that the reviews were very mixed, so I read some of the spoilers to get a better idea of the plot. It sounded wild, so I decided to read it. Hence, I knew what to expect and I wasn't shocked by the actual premise of the book.
Disclaimer: the official plot summary does not give you an accurate depiction of what the book is about. The official description leads you to believe that it's a strict m/f romance, but in reality it's an m/f/m/m menage relationship with strong m/m/m elements. Considering this, I can see why so many people rated the book low because they weren't expecting all that other stuff going on. I went into the book knowing what to expect, so I was fine with it; however, I can see how many readers felt misled. I think it was a curious choice on the part of the publisher not to disclose this upfront, especially since the multiple partners aspect is such a huge part of the story.
The heroine, Lindsay, recently broke up with her boyfriend when she discovered him in bed with not just one other woman, but two. Adding insult to injury, her ex said she was "boring" in bed. Needless to say, Lindsay's self-esteem takes a big hit.
Not long after her breakup, Lindsay meets Erik in an elevator, along with his two buddies, Travis and Connor. Lindsay feels an instant attraction to all of them (because they're all gorgeous, naturally), but she feels physically drawn to Erik most of all. After this brief but intense meeting, Lindsay confides in her best friend, Jill, about meeting the sexy guys from the elevator.
Soon after, Lindsay receives an unsigned invitation to meet for a decadent weekend in which not one--not two--but three! Three men!--will fulfill her every fantasy. At first, Lindsay thinks that Jill is playing a prank and really has a girls' spa weekend or something similar planned for them. So, Lindsay decides to go.
Lindsay is surprised when the three guys from the elevator are there to meet her. That sounds really creepy, like it's about to turn into an episode of Law & Order: SVU, but I swear it doesn't come across that way. The guys are actually pretty nice and sweet--although Erik is the definite alpha of the trio.
I should also mention that Erik, Travis, and Connor are in a triad relationship with each other. They are all bisexual and have shared a woman in the past. They had a bad breakup with a woman they shared, so Erik in particular is hesitant to enter another committed relationship outside of the other two guys.
So, I can pretty much sum up the rest of the book by saying that it's about 90% sex and 10% plot. This is not a diss--Opal Carew is a great erotic romance writer, in my opinion. Just don't go into this book expecting much plot.
Having said that, the reason I didn't love the book 100% is because there's a paranormal element that I thought felt out of place. Also, I had trouble liking Erik since he can come across as a jerk at times. Given the nature of his job as a cop, he has to be assertive and dominant, but in the relationship I didn't really care for his personality the most. My favorite of the guys was Travis, who's sort of a brooding, sensitive type; then Connor, who's the comic relief of the group. But I didn't find much about Erik to love, which was unfortunate since he ends up being the main guy for Lindsay.
In fact, that's a good way of summarizing the arrangement--ultimately, they all end up in a relationship with each other where Lindsay is kind of the Hugh Hefner in this scenario and Erik is the "main" boyfriend. Travis and Connor are the spares, poor guys.
To sum up, this book definitely is not for every romance reader. It's super smutty to the max, but if that's your thing, I say go for it. Personally, I enjoyed the book and recommend it if you're looking for something really over-the-top and extreme.
Lindsay is reeling from the experience of walking in on her boyfriend in bed with 2 other women. He defends his infidelity by telling her that she is boring in bed and her mother reinforces his opinion. Needless to say Lindsay is short on self-esteem and confidence. She literally bumps into 3 hot guys on an elevator and begins to imagine sex with them. A mysterious invitation arrives and her wildest dreams are fulfilled.
The storyline here was weak. One of the males, Erik, had a supernatural ability to read minds and sets up the fantasy weekend. Lindsay arrives at their home thinking she will meet her friend, but she never even calls the friend to confirm or get more information. Shortly after she arrives two of the men , Conner and Travis) have sex by the pool. It dawns on her that this isn't the work of her friend and she realizes that she is there to have sex with the men (Erik, Conner, and Travis) she tries to leave and they have to coax her to stay. They do this by allowing her to have sex with Erik first. Conner and Travis leave. But why? She didn't want to be boring in bed, liked watching the guys having sex, had a connection with Erik and they still had to coddle her to get her to stay? I don't like storylines where the girl knows what she wants but you have to persuade her before she feels entitled to pursue her desires. She also fled at the first sign of conflict. They had to seek her out twice to get her to come back. I kept wanting her to be sexually liberated enough by her fantasy weekend that she would know Erik wanted her and have the chutzpah to fight for him. The other two guys obviously wanted her. I wanted to see her breeze past Erik and tell him it was his problem if he didn't want her. I attribute that to my feminist leanings.
I was a little afraid that this wouldn't really be a romance but a long versions of hardcore porn, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did connect with each character. Travis carried some scars from the rejection of his family because of his bisexuality. It was so touching when he allowed Lindsay to actually hug him and help heal the hurt. I teared up because so many people have been hurt and ostracized because of their sexuality. I could feel in that moment Travis becoming liberated from his past. So even though you have 3 men and one woman you see the power of love in each of their lives through the bonds they have forged begin to set them free to fully love and be loved. It was a true romance. I loved that the author had male/male sexual action. Many authors have multiple partners but only write about the women being sexually active with each other. The men are depicted as watching, enjoying, and participating at will. Again more of my feminist rhetoric but this was really a bright spot, and I wasn't at all uncomfortable with the sexual interactions. There was genuine, love, care, and respect among all parties. The author gave very detailed descriptions of the sexual scenes in a very tasteful manner.
If you like romance don't be afraid to dive right in I promise you will enjoy it. If you want to take a step up from the erotic novellas and short stories to something written more tastefully and with more length give this book a try.
Reviewed by Michelle for Cocktails and Books
Erik can sense that Lindsay is into him. Erik takes a chance and mysteriously invites Lindsay to a fun weekend. At first Lindsay thinks the invite is from her girlfriend and they are going to have a ladies weekend but once she realizes who the invite is from and that it is not a ladies weekend but more of a sexual one, will Lindsay accept?
In regards to erotic authors, Opal Carew is one of the best. She really knows how to spice things up and make me need a cool glass of water. There was no shortage of hot male flesh and foursomes in this book. Which sometimes I am not for foursomes or even threesomes for the fact that when you get these many people involved it just does not work well together. This can be a big problem. However I did not have to worry about this in this book.
The chemistry involving Lindsay, Erik, Travis, and Connor was good. However it was really obvious that the true sexual chemistry fell between Lindsay and Erik. This is where then I was fully invested in just Lindsay and Erik that it felt like then that Travis and Connor were the extra wheels in the group. For a woman like me who would never have the courage to voice out loud any type of sexual fantasies I might have, Erik's secret would be perfect for me. To have a guy like him. My only other criticism is that Erik got to be a downer worrying about how Lindsay was going to react to his secret. Otherwise this was a good book.