Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s Reviews > Sweet Seduction

Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks
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's review
Oct 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2010, erotic-romance
Read in February, 2010

This is the third book in the "Sweet" series that, so far, has dealt with three friends - Faith (Sweet Surrender), Serena (Sweet Persuasion), and now Julie - and since the story revisits the other characters and their relationships, you do need to read these books in order to get the most out of them.

Julie Stanford owns her own salon where she gives great massages. She's been half in love with one of her clients ever since he first walked in for a massage - Nathan, who works for Faith's father in his security business. But Nathan will barely look Julie in the eye and seems to want nothing to do with her. Taking matters into her own hands, Julie decides to do one last thing before moving on from Nathan. Giving him one last massage he'll never forget, she then sets up her dream fantasy with Serena's boyfriend Damon, who runs the House where all your secret desires can run free.

When Nathan learns from his friend and co-worker Micah that Julie's planning a completely anonymous Ménage à trois at the House, with her in a blindfold, his own frustrated wants turn to anger. Nathan may never have shown Julie in any way that he's practically obsessed with her, but no way is a strange man - or two - going to touch her and sexually fulfil her. Because of Micah's connections with the House and Damon, it's easy enough to get him and Micah to be the two "anonymous" men in Julie's fantasy.

But finally getting to be skin-on-skin and closer with Julie only makes things worse, because they're no closer outside the fantasy than they ever were. If Nathan ever wants a shot at being in a real relationship with Julie, he'll have to come out of his shell and make up for practically ignoring her for the last several months. As for Julie, a vibrant, confident and ballsy woman who goes into every relationship expecting men to get bored with her and leave her, she'll have to face her fears and learn to trust - a lesson her friends are best placed to teach her.

I started this series cautiously, and the first book wasn't great. The second was so intense and challenging I had to reappraise my opinion of Banks. This third book goes back to safer, more familiar ground, and does a very good job of showing how you can have a healthy relationship and not need any kinks or extreme sexual rituals, if that's not what you want.

There was something nagging me about Julie and Nathan and after a while I figured it out: they're bogans. Nice bogans, but bogans all the same. (If you're not familiar with this term, I can't really help you. It's too hard to explain adequately, and you'd need some cultural knowledge to really appreciate it.) It gave me a jolt, to be honest, and my natural snobbishness came out a bit. But they're far from scary bogans, and I had to remind myself that they're American, they don't have real bogans in America, so that I could get back into enjoying the story.

It's a short, quick read that spends time revisiting Faith and Serena's relationships too, which I really liked. The ending was a bit rushed, a bit oh-look-here's-the-ending-bham!-last-page-sorry! and the story overall was light on plot - but that's what you'd expect from erotic romance, which needs just enough plot to throw two characters together and that's pretty much it. The rest is made up of character development, sex, falling in love, more sex and a dawning realisation. Do I sound cynical? I don't mean it that way.

The fourth book has been set up nicely here and sounds like it'll be another intense ride like book 2, featuring Micah and the ghosts of his past. I'll be there with bells on!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by E (new)

E plenty of white trash in America

Shannon (Giraffe Days) Ha ha! Yes that's true. Our "white trash" (ouch, such a harsh term!) is similar but not quite the same. But yeah, it's equivalent :)

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