August 9, 2011

Review: IOU, Sex by Calista Fox

Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

I requested this book because the synopsis had two of my favorite elements, friends to lovers and scorned lover seeking revenge. I enjoyed it a lot, because it is a novella the story is quite short and straightforward, there’s no drama and you know how it will end, but it had great characters and it was well written. This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I really didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised.

Fiona Carlisle needs a date for her sister’s enjoyment party. Since the fiancé used to be Fiona’s fiancé until she caught him having sex with her sister, she really wants to make an impression, not because she still has feelings but because she wants everyone to know that she is better off. The person she has in mind to be that date is Michael Houston. Michael is one of Fiona’s best friends and was her rebound guy after you broke up with the cheating boyfriend. They had a couple of weeks full of hot monkey sex but when she realized that she could love him (and this guy is the definition of love ‘em and leave ‘em) she got scared because she didn’t want her heart broken again. Michael agrees to be her date on one condition: she has to spend the weekend with him, on his bed.

Since this was marketed as an erotica novella I was expecting 20,000 words of pure sex. But that wasn’t the case. There is a clear story-arc, you get a strong sense of who the leads are and there’s even some backstory. Because it is narrated from Fiona’s POV she is the most fleshed-out character, but Michael wears his heart on his sleeve so you do get some insight from his character as well.

I liked Fiona because she wasn’t bitter and even accepted that she had dodged a bullet, she had some insecurities but in the end was able to move on and wasn’t emotionally crippled by the fact that his fiancé cheated on her with her little sister. Michael was the type of hero I love, he knew what he wanted and went for it.

I enjoyed both the stories and the sex scenes and I think they were pretty balanced so it didn’t feel like I was reading porn, in fact, I wouldn’t call this novella an erotica at all, to me it felt like a contemporary romance, it had hot sex but it wasn’t anything over the top, it wasn’t abundant and besides using some crude word when referring to Fiona’s “womanly parts” and “secret places” (and is Fiona who uses this words, not Michael) there wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t expect from a regular contemporary romance (one with hot sex in it). If you like your erotica on the really raunchy and steamy side maybe this one will disappoint you.

Overall I liked it, it was an enjoyable read, light and funny, the hero was hot and the heroine was feisty. If you are in the mood for a very quick read (remember this is a novella) then go for it. I’m giving it a 3 because a story this short really has to blow my mind to get a higher rating, this one was fun but I probably won’t read it again and I think that it falls short on the sex part for a novella sold as an erotica.

Review by Brie
Grade: 3
Sensuality: McSteamy


Fiona Carlisle didn't think anything could hurt as much as finding her fiancé in bed with her sister. But receiving an invitation to the happy couple's engagement party comes a close second. Determined to prove to her family and herself that she's moved on, Fiona has every intention of attending, looking red-hot and with an even hotter man on her arm. And there's only one man who will do: renowned photographer and reputed playboy Michael Houston.

Fiona's rebound fling with Michael was a brief but erotic romp. Michael has made no secret of the fact that he's still interested. So when Fiona asks him to escort her to the engagement party, he agrees, with one condition: she must spend a sensual weekend with him picking up where they left off.
Intensely attracted to Michael, Fiona can't resist his offer for long. But when the weekend is over, will she be able to resist giving him her heart?

Carina Press; August 01, 2011.

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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.