Fading pop star returns home to small town life with nothing but her millions and her trusty guitar and falls in love with a straightforward, small-town woman and associated kittens, puppies, irreverent drinking buddies and the Magic of Small Town Life. Ditches over-sexualised pop star career (well, she is over 30) and becomes authentic independent singer with her guitar. But… this one is not as simple as it sounds.
To begin, the writing is very funny – how to portray a self-obsessed, narcissist, cynical pop star, when writing in the first person? Put her in a wet t-shirt and have her livid that she isn’t being checked out… and here’s where this story gets really interesting. Small-town woman fast becoming Object of her Lust isn’t that interested in her perfect-figure-because-i-have-a-nutritionist body and don’t-you-love-my-expensive-highlights hair. No matter how much she accidentally brushes her breasts as she walks past, zero reaction. So, is she really gay, or what?!
So, Object of her Lust comes out as asexual (or ‘ace’ for short) and we are drawn sharply from Comedy Romance into We Have An Issue. She is actually asexual, and it’s actually a thing. I admit asexuality is not something I’d given any thought to, so the descriptive and explanatory stuff about what it is and how it works was useful, if somewhat laboured.
Turns out, Hotshot Pop Star has basically given up meaningless sex with fans ages ago, has no friends and a long-term crappy relationship with her parents (at last, a bit of honesty from a writer – coming out in a small town can be shit). Object of her Lust challenges her to get emotional and intimate in what becomes basically her first proper relationship. Sounds easy, but when everyone else has only wanted your fame and money for over a decade, it’s a very risky move.
So then the big question is can this possibly work in way that is even slightly plausible? Well, it’s a romance book, so it works. But is it plausible? Well, they are both perfect at communicating, and our pop star is astoundingly understanding and receptive to it all, but weirdly for such a big issue, you don’t get much of a sense of either of them going on much of a journey. It’s probably going to be a bit of a bumpy ride for them, long-term. Jae has tried to educate and is very, very keen to get it right. The comedy goes out the window and is replaced with a series of excruciatingly frank conversations between the two as they negotiate physical intimacy. Good asexuality-related joke in the sex scene though!
So, when you take a whole load of steamy sex scenes out of a romance, what’s left? All the really sappy stuff. Sigh. It’s here by the bucketload. Kittens – in fact, ORPHANED KITTENS – and puppies, cake, lots of little kisses, welling up with tears, etc. Is a Cuddlegasm as legit as an Orgasm? You decide.
OMG, I nearly forgot. Jae sent us this for free for an honest review. We got quite excited. Authors, send us your books! We can’t promise to be nice, but we will, um, read ’em.