I thought this sounded good: a female attorney working with a male FBI agent to uncover a Ponzi scheme, written by “a New York Times best selling author.”
It turns out that the attorney is the incredibly unbelievably stunning Olivia MacKenzie, and the FBI agent is the incredibly unbelievably good-looking Grayson Kincaid. Both are (incredibly, unbelievably) single. Obviously they get together, as in he took possession of her. He is, need we qualify, strong yet gentle, viz.: “His skin was hot, and she could feel his strength, but it didn’t overwhelm her, for he was being so incredibly gentle, so loving.”
In addition, she spends some one-on-one time with “his arousal.” Okay, I have to admit, I have never heard that particular euphemism. (It makes me think of “His Highness” or “His Majesty.”) But wait, there’s more! I started to think the author secretly works for a perfume company, even though she never names names. Grayson kept mentioned how turned-on he got by Olivia’s perfume:
When he got a whiff of her perfume, he instantly reacted. Her scent had the power to drive him crazy. It was so damned sexy.”
Wow! I’ll have what she’s having!
Olivia has three best friends, who like Olivia, are likeable and have some nuance. None of the men do. Curious. Grayson is all perfection, his “arousal” and all! ….that is, unless you have objections to scenes like this, describing the climax, so to speak, of the attraction Olivia and Grayson have for one another:
For Grayson, the primal need to touch her overrode caution. Her perfume blended with her natural scent, enticing him. [THERE WE GO WITH THE PERFUME AGAIN!] He stood in front of her, one hand on the small of her back, the other at her neck. He roughly twisted her hair around his fist, forced her head back, and growled, ‘Open your mouth for me,’ a scant second before his mouth covered hers.”
Okay, okay, that one had me ROTFL, pounding the couch, with the tears coming out of my eyes. I know, I know, it’s not funny. But OMG, I’m hoping I don’t need to rant (again) about the outrageousness of the eroticization of dominance/submissive behavior and how women are taught to associate arousal with male power displays. You’ve probably had enough of that lately from all the negative reviews of Fifty Shades of Gray and its offshoots. Thus I will refrain from going off on what we might call Fifty Shades of Grayson….
So I’ll just stick to other issues. Like the opening scene, for example, when the author has Eric Jorguson – the CEO of one of the largest investment firms in the country – a man, you would think, who knows how to behave in public – totally lose it in a restaurant – shouting and threatening to kill Olivia – yelling across the room to his bodyguard to “get her! Get her!” AFTER he ripped open her dress down the front and she responded by punching him in the nose.
Right…. [insert emoticon of dripping sarcasm]
Specifically, after the (well-deserved) nose punch, Jorguson “screams” at Olivia (but oddly, without any exclamation marks):
How dare you touch me. You’re going to be sorry. I know people who will hurt you.”
Yep! Sounds like CEO talk to me! But Olivia need never have feared anyway: who rescues her from
Snidely Whiplash Eric Jorguson? You guessed it: No, no! NOT Dudley Do-right! This is when Olivia meets Agent Grayson Kincaid, who was thinking:
Everything about her appealed to him. Whatever perfume she was wearing was a real turn on.”
Evaluation: In the front of this book, a fly sheet notes that “Julie Garwood is the author of twenty-three consecutive New York Times bestsellers.” More than 36 million copies of her books are in print. As Grayson said after having sex the first time with Olivia, “Wow.”
Published by Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc., 2012
Note: What? You don’t know who Snidely Whiplash and Dudley Do-right (not to mention Damsel-in-Distress Nell Fenwick) are? You can catch up on these and other Rocky and Bullwinkle characters here.