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Sunday, April 16, 2017

ARC Review: A Fare to Remember by Opal Carew

I have to admit, I was hesitant about this book before I ever picked it. I didn't know how I would feel about a book about a cab driver hooking up with a guy she picked up. I am sad to admit that my hesitancy was justified. Everything I was afraid of in terms of this book being cheesy and unbelievable happened.  The reason I got it is because I've read some other stuff by the author and kind of liked the other books. If you are trying to decide on whether to read this one, I would suggest starting with something else by this author.

The good news, this book is short and goes super fast. The bad news, it wasn't quite fast enough. Let me see if I can sum up the things that I hated the most: After Stefanie meets Reid they decide they are going to hook up right away. Within like 30 minutes they are getting it on in an alley---WITHOUT a condom and the author even describes the exchange of bodily fluids. I am not a prude at all and really who among us loves latex? Please. But the thought of total strangers exchanging fluids without even a cursory discussion about who's safe and when folks were last tested is just a bridge too far for me. So from the very beginning, I was struggling to appreciate anything about the Reid-Stefanie match.

The next thing that completely threw me was when the couple went to the ball together.  I thought Stefanie was reeling over Hank but then she runs into Sean or whoever at the ball and that becomes a whole thing. To make matters worse, Stefanie keeps driving Reid around in the taxi like he is a fare. Reid rides in the back and she asks him where to next...AFTER they have had sex. Like HOW? Dude, if you screw the girl, you ride in the front seat. Them's the rules. 

But then things get much much worse. I guess the book is supposed to be some sort of erotic exploration which I honestly did not get from the blurb. So all of a sudden there is m/m action, a menage, BDSM etc. And honestly, I read books with all of those things from time to time. I'm actually a BDSM fan and I certainly don't mind threesomes every now and again. But I was not prepared for it in this book because the story did not logically lead to the activities that were going on. In fact, when it came to the BDSM stuff, they did some semi hard core stuff with NO discussion. Like  no safe words, no hard limits, nothing. Just BAM, we're using a ball gag.  Everything happened so quickly and without context that I felt like this wasn't really a book with a plot. This was more...I don't know, all erotic, no romance. Oh, oh, oh, did I mention that the third partner in the menage also used no protection with no discussion?? I was too through. You coulda stuck a fork in me after that.

When I got to the end of the book and there was a rushed HEA that fit with everything else in the same way that everything else fit (as in it didn't go at all), I was just over it. The author threw out various little suspense lines here and there and not even those got fully resolved. I'm going to be honest, if you just need like some lonely night material for a date with yourself, this might be ok. But this is not a romance novel and there is no story here worth reading.

**ARC provided by Publisher**

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