Emma is a book store owner who is struggling to keep her business going, but has come up with new and inventive ways to attract customers. One of her more popular is an evening event called Story Brothel. This is an event where customers pay writers to read aloud to them privately, including cocktails. The client and writer go into a private cabana where they can relax and have privacy. This is usually a very quiet time, but this time a handsome businessman hires Emma and she decides to read to him from her new book of erotica. It doesn’t take them for the story to effect the both of them, but before anything can happen they are interrupted.
Caleb, Emma’s businessman client is a real estate mogul who is often out of the country to work on his investments. But he cannot get Emma out of his mind. She is unlike anything he has ever experienced before and he finds himself drawn to her. They begin to share her stories and one another. But Caleb cannot break through to who she really is. Emma is a closed book when it comes to her personal history.
When Emma finds her bookstore in danger of being destroyed, can she trust Caleb? Or worse, when she finds out that he may actually be behind it?
In summary, this story seems to be very much like all the deluge of erotica (or women’s fiction depending on your ability to be honest with yourself) that is in the marketplace. Rich guy. Poor or struggling to make ends meet girl. Hot sex. Some romance. Traumatic past and trust issues. You can basically pick up any book in the genre and find that this is the backbone of the story. Pretty much like a steady drumbeat that runs not through one song, but every song that the band has ever done.
So what makes this one so much more? Tamara Lush’s writing and her ability to create characters that refuse to be defined by the genre raise this book above its normal fair. Caleb is not the rich man who is closed off to the world and is only interested with how he makes his fortune and who he can control with it. The early interaction between Caleb and his sister show a man whose responsibilities weigh heavily upon him. A man who has not really allowed himself to experience joy and happiness.
Emma is driven. Whether its in saving her bookstore or enjoying her life. But she is day to day and as such this mantra serves to protect her from emotional attachments as well as lead her to disastrous results. No matter how she tries to succeed. She is inwardly convinced that she is not worthy of success or love.
In all this is the romantic and erotic relationship they develop. It takes take and moves along at a pace that is not only extremely hot, but very secure. The reading has a voyeuristic sense to their foreplay and it is what brings the emotional attachment to the forefront of their sex.
If you enjoy erotica, and there is no reason not to, this is a good read.