TITLE: THE FETISH BOX: Open All Night
AUTHOR: NICOLE CAMDEN
Details: no. 1 Fetish Box
Received from Gallery Threshold Pocket
Books through NetGalley
Twenty-two year old Mary Deupree has inherited a sex-shop from the mother she never knew. Having been raised by her strict and religious father and grandmother she has no experience when it comes to sex or sex shops, but enough curiosity to make the journey from California to Florida. Shortly after arriving in Hollywood, Florida, Mary meets the two men who played important parts in her mother’s life. John, a scarred veteran from Afghanistan lives in the apartment over the Fetish Box and Max the Irish bartender with whom Mary now co-owns a bar. Much to her surprise Mary discovers that she reacts strongly and sexually to both men. But while Max seems to promise a night of wild abandon, John offers Mary the opportunity to experience everything she’s been fantasising about as well as learn all she needs to know to successfully run the business she has just inherited.
Before I go off on what will sound like a bit of a rant let me say that I did enjoy reading this story. It is written in a nice and easy, at times chatty, way. I enjoyed that the reader gets to see the story from Mary, Mike and John’s perspective. And I liked what I saw of the main characters so far, even if the two men seem to be stereotypes; exactly what an Irish man and a wounded veteran are supposed to be in romance novels.
I have a few issues with this book though. The biggest one being that this isn’t actually a book. It is the start of a story and it stops before it really begins. All we have here is an introduction of the main characters and hints of potentially interesting and sexy things to come. I don’t know or understand why it is suddenly okay to publish instalments and call them books, but it seems to be wide-spread these days. This is, of course, a review copy so I didn’t pay for it. But I don’t think I would want to pay for it either. I don’t mind paying for short books provided they give me a completed story. And that is not what I found here.
The rest of my issues are much smaller. First of all, Irish men don’t really sound the way Nicole Camden writes it. They do not use “yer” instead of “you” all the time. And I should know; after living in Ireland for 15 years and having been married to an Irish man for even longer, I’ve got a pretty good idea what they sound like. In fact, this particular Irishman sounded more like a Scot a lot of the time. Secondly, how likely is it that a girl who has stayed a virgin for 22 years would suddenly decide that she wants to sleep with not one, but two men she’s only met for the first time that day? And if that seems unlikely, don’t even get me started about the fact that she willingly agrees to have one of them introduce her to the ins and outs of BDSM. I mean; really? Finally there was one wardrobe malfunction that bothered me; Mary went from wearing a skirt to wearing jeans and back to wearing a skirt without ever changing her clothes.
This book didn’t contain a lot of explicit sex. There is some breast play, some masturbation including a toy and a quick and casual encounter in a bar. Other than that the reader only gets hints at what may be to come. I really don’t think there is a lot, if anything, in this book to offend anybody although the story seems to suggest that that may change in future instalments.
And that leads me to the big question; will I be reading the next book in this series. As I stated above, I don’t like paying money for what I feel are unfinished books. On the other hand I did like this story and the characters enough to want to know what might be happening next. There were enough hints about future events in this story to make me curious about how it will all play out. So I guess the jury is still out on this one. I will have to wait and see if my curiosity is stronger than my opposition to books published in this way. Only time will tell.