I'm beginning to realize I'm something of a Goldilocks with my romance novels and what I find to be the perfect mix of steamy sex and romance. This seemed to be lacking in the romance department. After reading a few comments, I think maybe this was my fault in assuming it was a romance novel when, in fact, it's more erotica. Usually I'm okay with erotica though, but I felt this book was trying to provide a nice romance story, and it wasn't working for me. (Also, for an erotica book, took them a long time to finally get together, yes, they fooled around some but they did a lot more talking about it and wanting it than doing it.) I just didn't find this to be especially hot or sexy or at all romantic. There's plenty of sex in it, but to me it was more shocking and not what I considered to be hot - which I'm fully willing to admit may mean that I'm kind of boring.
In over simplified terms, this is the story of a good guy who is struggling with his desires to be a bad boy and a very "bad" girl who deep down wants to be a good girl. Or something like that. Jacob is described as a hermit, he's an author who has no friends and has spent his life raising his three young step-siblings. Akira was an unloved child (she's in her 30s and still fixated on her parents and childhood) who acted out in need of attention, did drugs, got in lots of trouble, but is also brilliant - was accepted at all universities, but chose Harvard - and posed nude in her younger days, has big orgies at her house, and owns a string of successful clubs, thus making her a billionaire. And secretly, she's in love with "boring" Jacob, but thinks she isn't good enough for him. This is supposed to be the main conflict of the story, but I honestly never understood what they saw in each other. We're told they want each other, but not really why.
Both characters were just so good and flawless, it made it difficult for me to feel anything for either of them. They're both successful in all areas of their lives, both confident and willing to experiment with no hesitation ever. Maybe I would have like the story more if there had been some sort of struggle or reluctance to overcome in their experimentation. But no, Jacob about six seconds to go from "boring" guy to a guy who would do and try anything.
Also, Akira's family reminded me too much of the Kardashians and I very, very strongly dislike anything associated with the Kardashians, so that might have turned me off from the book early on.
I like that Akira is strong, and confident and successful. The heroine as the billionaire is a nice change because I'm getting so tired of billionaire heroes. I think it was Jacob that I never warmed to, he simply didn't seem all that great or worth all that much angst. I wanted to know why she found him so appealing, was it because her current lifestyle wasn't that satisfying - we are certainly not led to believe that. She wants to make him a part of that. But why, when she already has so many other men? Clearly she didn't want his kind of life.
As I've said, just not for me, but a lot of people love this book. I'm just not one of them.
I received a review copy via NetGalley.