Review: The Pleasures of Summer
The Pleasures of Summer by Evie Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Is this a kinky version of the movie Bodyguard with a Paris Hilton clone and Ewan McGregor type bodyguard? The start of this story seemed to go down this path. Summer O'Sullivan is a worthless spoiled nouveau riche pampered princess. All she does is party in front of the tabloids and bring disgrace to her hard working father. She needs a good spanking. Cue in the reason for why BDSM is thrown into this story. I started to question why I agreed to read this book. Since I did agree to review, I stuck with it, gritting my teeth through the first several chapters.
Fortunately, I made it through the shaky start and really enjoyed this book. Summer's current behaviour comes across as shallow and vain. Author Evie Hunter perfectly captures the rich celebrity party girl and encapsulates it in the young twenty-three year old Summer. Summer is showcased as a completely illogical imbecile. She's already suffered through one physical attack and a vandalism event on her turf, yet she still decides to follow through with reckless behaviour. She's TSTL and it appears she possesses a death wish. What is wrong with this child? To find out she is supposedly a MBA grad with an IQ of 150, it is laughable. Then again, book smarts doesn't always equate to common sense.
Flynn Grant is the poor bugger assigned to guard this worthless air breather, Summer. She tries different tricks to get him fired and consistently puts herself in dangerous situations. Did I mention TSTL? Summer's fascination for BDSM doesn't make sense because her actions and thoughts are totally contrary to the D/s lifestyle she wants. She's a poser seeking for a bit of kinky thrill. At this point, the book is running at a 1 star rating. Summer is a loathsome character whom I hope falls off a cliff and dies. Then everyone can breathe a sigh of relief from her drama queen antics.
This is when the story takes a turn for the better. Flynn steps up and forces Summer to retreat to a safe house. Away from the distracting trappings of money, a different Summer emerges. The reasons, abet stupid ones, emerge and explain her juvenile manner. It's a pleasure to see her grow and become something better. She doesn’t change overnight, but it is a start. Flynn encourages her to open up and share honest thoughts and feelings. This helps the story immensely.
Author Evie Hunter does a good job with character growth in this erotic romance novel. While Summer experiences most of the self-actualization, Flynn also changes for the better. It's great to see two characters with flaws match up and bring the best out in each other. The push pull of the relationships is interesting and at times moving. Summer will always be volatile with her thundering rants and lightening quick mood changes. Flynn is the calming force to soothe and balance her. It's a pleasure to see them coming together.
The BDSM in this story is light. I'm tempted to categorize this as GlitterKink since there is a rich exclusive club Noir. Since the focus isn't around the club, I'm leaving the GlitterKink tag off. There are several hot erotic scenes, one including alka seltzer and ice. My recommendation, don't try it because alka seltzer contains a lot of sugar. Sugar in a certain female cavity will cause nasty infections. It would be interesting to try in another body cavity.
This leads me to my recommendations for author Evie Hunter. Their research requires a little more attention to detail. Little things like this sex scenario as well as how they describe subspace is a bit odd. Now granted, I've never been stoned so I don't know if this is an accurate comparison. In addition, each person does experience subspace differently. I know for me, I don't feel shit-faced nor do I find a perfectly ordinary thing absolutely fascinating. I've never heard another bottom or submissive describe it this way either. This is not to say that it can't happen. It's just not the norm.
The suspense part of this story also needed a bit of work. The resolution to one of the conflicts is over the top Die Hire style. It's not bad, just amusing. The other resolution is strange. For fear of giving a spoiler, I'll leave it as a "out of left field" answer in a cliché murder mystery manner.
Overall, this is an enjoyable erotic romance. It contains good character development as well a decent plot. The characters grows on the reader and the sex is kinky. This tale is recommended as a Gateway to BDSM book.
*provided by NetGalley
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