AUTHOR: CRYSTALLE VALENTINO
Details: Received from Black Lace
As a model, Jemma is used to being the centre of attention. And when Dominic Vane, the world-famous photographer, asks her to pose for him, she knows it's not just her pictures he's interested in.
But in a world where pleasure is pursued above all else, will falling for Dominic's masterful touch come at too high a cost?
From the glamorous South of France to the luxuries of Monte Carlo, A Private View will take you on a wild journey of sexual discovery.
I would describe this book along these lines:
Jemma is a successful model who is pleasantly surprised and intrigued when Dominic Vane, a famous erotic photographer, invites her to pose for him. Having an adventurous nature and healthy sexual appetite, Jemma imagines that the time she will spend with him will be a lusty combination of art and sex. And she’s not completely wrong.
From the moment she meets Dominic it is clear that he’s attracted to her, if the bulge in his trousers is anything to go by, but he flat out refuses to touch her intimately. While that is frustrating enough for the easily stimulated Jemma, the fact that she appears to be the only woman he doesn’t want to touch infuriates her even more.
During her time in the South of France Jemma will have numerous sexual encounters with various people. But getting Dominic to act on the attraction he obviously feels for her may just be one seduction too far. Unless Jemma can figure out why Dominic is so afraid to be intimate with her and help him overcome those fears.
And that is more or less the complete story in this book. Because in reality this book is more or less a collection of sexual encounters between Jemma and numerous other people; a steward on the plane, Dominic’s agent and his wife, staff working for Dominic, all of them will have their intimate moments with Jemma. And although there is Dominic’s reluctance to get close to Jemma to deal with, there is little to this story besides the sex.
Don’t get me wrong. As you may have noticed I rather enjoy my erotic novels and don’t shy away from even the most explicit stories. But, and there lies the rub, I do like there to be a real story to accompany the sex. And in this book there was very little story to back up all the sexual encounters.
I wouldn’t have a huge issue with that either, if those encounters had been a bit more varied than they are in this book. But, while we do get encounters between Jemma and just about every other male and female character we meet in the story, and even a little bit of M/M action, there is very little variation when it comes to what actually happens and what she experiences.
I had a few other issues with this book as well. For starters: early on in the story we read the following passage:
“For too long she had been stuck with predictable, reliable Steven, using their life together as an excuse for not pursuing a more hedonistic, sensual lifestyle that she could truly embrace and enjoy.”
Which would be fine provided this Steven was indeed predictable. But, from the glimpse we get of him, Steven comes across as intriguing, adventurous and tolerant. What is more, they are supposed to be in an open relationship so in theory at least, there shouldn’t be anything standing between Jemma and the hedonistic, sensual lifestyle she is longing for.
The writing is at times inconsistent. In one chapter Jemma refuses to look as Dominic has sex with a stewardess and in the next chapter she muses about everything she saw while that was going on. Somehow that seems impossible.
But what really got on my nerves after a while was the constant and repetitive use of the word “bush”; “fiery bush”, “thick bush”, “silky blond bush”… the list goes on and on. It was quite a relief when one of the female characters in this story decided to shave herself.
So, what did I like about this book?
I liked the idea behind the story – the reason Dominic refuses to touch Jemma and the consequences of his refusal and her persistence in trying to change his mind. I can’t help feeling that a lot more could have been made of that story idea though.
I can’t deny that until they became a bit repetitive, Jemma’s escapades where quite hot and enticing. And, apart from the irritations I mentioned above, this book was quite well and smoothly written and very easy to read.
If you’re looking for an easy to read book with a lot of erotic content and not too much story-line or character development to get in the way of all the action, you could do a lot worse than pick up this book. If, on the other hand, you prefer it when the sexual action moves the story forwards and aids the development of characters, this may not be the book for you. For me this was a quick, easy and at times quite hot read, be it one that won’t stay with me for very long.