If you usually read this column looking for fun, family-friendly entertainment with your kids, it's time to close the laptop and read this one when the little ones are tucked in bed.
Like many Moms (and Grandmas, and Aunts, and Great Aunts, etc.), I was thoroughly swept up by E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy. While I think the term that's been coined to describe the books -- "mommy porn" -- just belittles the series and ignores the intense love story, the criminal danger and thrill of the second and third books, and the many hooks and surprises, I did admittedly find myself looking to further explore the world of contemporary erotic fiction. (And I know I'm not alone!)
Through blogs such as Smexy Books (http://smexybooks.com/) and Passionate Reads (http://passionatereads.com/), I discovered a new title, The Girl's Guide to (Man) Hunting by Jessica Clare. This is a well-written book that introduces us to the small town of Bluebonnet, TX and leading lady Miranda Hill, the town's quiet librarian who lives under the shadow of an inaccurate, but pervasive, bad reputation.
When her high school love, the now ex-NHL player Dane Cook, returns to town, Miranda whips up a plan to get revenge for the the nine years of misery she believes Dane started with some risque photos he posted on the internet.
Signing up for a week-long survival training camp, the new business started by Dane and two buddies, Miranda intends to catch the object of her diasaffection in a compromising situation and turn the tables on him. But her plan begins to fail when the pair reluctanly realizes their long-standing feelings for each other are very much still there.
The heat level on this book is turned way up! There are numerous escapades, mostly in the woods, and readers can easily sense the tension and intensity of the flirting between these two characters. The author has also done a great job of mixing the erotic scenes in with a full-fledged story, complete with emotional ups and downs and a satisfying conclusion involving public humiliation on a grand scale.
I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading others by Jessica Clare (aka Jill Myles). In fact, I'd love to see another book set in Bluebonnet with Miranda's BFF Beth Ann and Dane's business parter Colt, who are subtly introduced as future frenemies... perhaps with benefits? I do believe a series by Jessica Clare is in the works, and it will be great fun to revisit this vividly created town and its denizen's naughty adventures.
Do stay tuned for my next family-friendly dispatch, but definitely reach out to me if you'd like to see more reviews like this one! It would be my pleasure to do the research.
The Girl's Guide to (Man) Hunting by Jessica Clare (Berkley Heat/Penguin, $15) http://www.penguin.com
Jennifer Niederhoffer is the founder of Impress Media, an independent lifestyle & entertainment public relations and editorial services firm. You can follow her on twitter @impressmedia or @themommysreview.