Mandi Schreiner's Reviews > Curio

Curio by Cara McKenna
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, erotic, novella

I love Cara McKenna books. On release day, I pour a cup of coffee and the very next thing I do is go to Ellora’s Cave and download the book. I never know what to expect – and Curio is no exception. What I thought was just going to be a naughty erotic book, turned into something a little more…deep.

Caroly is an American, living in Paris and working at an art museum. She is just shy of thirty, and has never had sex. She has really never had any type of intimacy with a man. She has heard through her co-worker that there is a very attractive model, turned prostitute that she could hire to finally get the deed over with. Caroly has always been attracted to very beautiful men, which terrifies her because she feels like she could never live up to their expectations. But she has exhausted herself worrying about this - about lying to friends that she has never has sex to hide her embarrassment. and so she finds herself, slightly panicked on the door step of Didier Pedra’s apartment.

Didier loves to please women. That is his current goal in life. He is a woman’s dream come true. Too perfect? Maybe? Or is it just his job?

“Well, what do you like? If the woman had no preference and it was all up to you, what do you like best?”

“I cannot divorce the two that easily. Even in my own head, by myself, what I imagine has everything to do with the woman in my thoughts.”

“Even if she was just a totally neutral, up-for-anything woman?”

He smiled. “As much as I love clockwork, I would never want to fuck a woman as soulless and without preference as a robot.”

I sighed, pretending to be outrageously exasperated.

Didier laughed, a glorious noise. “Do you really want me to have some singular need? Do you want some secret key to pleasing me? Because you don’t need one. You’re doing just fine, right now. What excites you excites me.”

We go through these series of visits. Visit one, Caroly is nervous. And not ready for actual intercourse. Instead she is interested in watching…him. We go on for pages and pages (oh yes) of Didier pleasuring himself as Caroly cautiously observes. Didier never pushing her for anything she doesn’t want – and will do whatever it is she desires.

The next visit, they get a little more physical, and so on until, and as Didier puts it, “I want mine to be the first cock you ever know.” And she comes to know it alright.

I find this book very interesting because, yes – this is a very erotic book. But there is more examined here. Didier is this prostitute that services many women. He is very open about it and Caroly is very interested in what the other women want from him compared to her wants. They have a lot of conversation about this that I think helps Caroly explore her own sexuality. But Caroly also finds herself falling in love with this man. And as we go down the path towards the end of this book, you start to think – oh – maybe there is something genuine between these two. Honestly, I couldn’t help but question how genuine Didier is at the beginning and even middle of this book when he doles out the compliments to Caroly. Are we to assume he does this with every woman in his bed? He is a very popular prostitute so we know ladies don’t go away feeling disappointed. Or are we to believe he is genuine from the get go because this is a romance book and these two may be headed towards a somewhat happy ending? Is there a happy ending for these two? Maybe? Like I said, this book goes from Caroly wanting to change her life, to maybe a hint of something new for Didier too. Didier makes it clear that being a prostitute is who he is, and that although he has dated, he still works in this profession. So, I honestly didn’t know where this book was headed. In a way, I loved the end, but I wanted more. I’m greedy.

I did think there is one aspect of Didier, that we learn later in the story that is..resolved too quickly…or rushed at the end. But it also proves something to Caroly which is I’ll go with it. As I said, this is a novella, and I think the very end needed a little more time to explore. Otherwise, this is a very, very sexy and warm read. It made me smile and made me happy.
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Reading Progress

September 28, 2011 – Shelved
September 29, 2011 – Started Reading
September 29, 2011 –
30.0% "The "first visit" is zomg hot. Hello one man show. Smexy approves"
September 29, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 1, 2011 – Shelved as: erotic
October 1, 2011 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 1, 2011 – Shelved as: novella

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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message 1: by Helyce (new) - added it

Helyce You have been on a Cara kick haven't you! This one sounds really good!

Mandi Schreiner When she has a book come out, it's the first thing I download in the morning. Love her work!

message 3: by Helyce (new) - added it

Helyce It's probably not available for nook. :( Gonna have to hunt it down!

Ruthie Knox Makes sense to me. Looking forward to the full review. :-)

Mandi Schreiner Helyce- It is at Ellora's Cave - where you can get PDF...

Amanda Ryan Not gonna lie - I went & purchased this after seeing your tweet about a certain self-loving scene. I ADORED this novella. So glad you mentioned it b/c otherwise I never would've found it.

Mandi Schreiner Awesome!! It surprised me how it turned out...I am about to write up my thoughts now.

Katie(babs) evol pimp. That's what you are!

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