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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Curio by Cara McKenna

Curio by Cara McKenna
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (104 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Reviewed by Gladiolas

Caroly Evardt never expected to find herself patronizing a male prostitute. Then again, she never expected to be weeks from her thirtieth birthday and still a virgin.

When a friend mentions that a gorgeous male model in Paris sells his body as well as his image, Caroly’s intrigued. Finally, a chance to sample the gifts of a beautiful man—no strings, no stakes, no fear of rejection.

But she soon discovers that Didier Pedra amounts to more than a striking face and talented body. He’s a kind, charming, damaged man, and after a few evenings of pleasurable education, Caroly’s interest blossoms into something far deeper than mere lust. Her simple arrangement is suddenly feeling downright dangerous…

Author Cara McKenna’s Curio is an erotic romance of a different sort.

Told in first person point of view, the work is character driven, allowing you to delve into the mind of the heroine, Caroly. She’s a virgin who is ready to learn all the pleasures of being a woman. What better way than to hire a gorgeous male prostitute? Enter Didier, a model who is more than the beautiful specimen of man. As Caroly becomes acquainted with Didier, a connection is made. Caroly returns to learn more about the enigmatic man stealing his way into her heart. When their time together nears an end, can there be more between them? Or will their affair end when Caroly is no longer a client?

As always, Ms. McKenna delivers a story with a profound emotional impact. Caroly is an interesting character, if a bit grating a times. A virgin nearing thirty is bound to have issues to resolve, and her development over the course of the book is well done. A substantial amount of time is spent inside Caroly’s head, ensuring the reader understands her inside and out. Unfortunately, the very thing that makes the story so powerful also hinders it. Due to the first person narrative, readers are never allowed to truly know Didier. Every action he makes, every word he says, might or might not be genuine. Yes, a reader will undoubtedly want to believe Didier is more than sexy man-candy. His actions and tender manner with Caroly are swoon-worthy. Yet everything is told through Caroly’s eyes, creating questions as to his motives, his feelings, and his sincerity. The ending of the book, which I will not reveal, broadens the possibility of a happy future for the lovers, even if the final pages imply a happy for now.

On a positive note, the writing is lovely, the pace makes the story a page turner, the sex scenes are scorchers, and you can enjoy Curio in one sitting. If you’ve never experienced the work of Cara McKenna now is the perfect time to start.

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