EROTICA

Sweet Filthy Boy

Gallery. (Wild Seasons, Bk. 1). May 2014. 416p. ISBN 9781476751801. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781476751818. EROTICA
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The day of college graduation, Mia Holland speeds off with her two best friends for a last wild weekend in Vegas before real life (a placement at business school in Boston that brings Mia's controlling father far more happiness than it does her) sets in and ruins all the fun. Quiet and reserved, Mia doesn't usually consider herself the type for one-night stands, until she meets Ansel Guillaume, the gorgeous French boy who quicker than anyone she's ever known, gets her talking (among other things). Mia wakes up next to Ansel, sporting scores of love bites and a gold band on her ring finger. When Mia joins Ansel for the summer in Paris, they find that it's much harder to incorporate real feelings into playing pretend. This roller-coaster ride of a novel has humorous, punchy female characters who share a strong bond that doesn't seem to fall on tired tropes. The rich, sensuous sex scenes start off feeling too few and far between, but the anticipation makes the fulfillment sweeter for both the characters and the reader. An abundance of role playing is not only hot but a great representation of two people trying to enhance their physical relationship by lowering their inhibitions and occupying a safe space in which they're allowed to be someone else. Some of the sex scenes are awkward—things don't always go to plan—yet this refreshing taste of realism serves to make Mia and Ansel's relationship all the more endearing. The sexual tension is interspersed with lush scenes of Paris and a resonant story line regarding Mia's traumatic, life-shattering accident and her slow journey to picking up the pieces.
VERDICT A sweet, superhot introduction to a promising series.

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