Book Review: She Has Your Eyes by Elisa Lorello

I don’t always read chicklit, but when I do, it is always Elisa Lorello…


I stumbled upon Faking It a few years ago.  I eagerly awaited Ordinary World and wasn’t exactly disappointed like other readers.  And when I heard she was writing another Andi and David story I couldn’t wait for it to come out.

Yes, you should definitely read the other two books.  That helps to know Andi and David as characters and how much they have grown as people in the last decade.  It also helps the reader to understand their particular relationship and their past.

I’m getting ahead of myself, here is the synopsis for this book:

Andi and David have settled happily into Andi’s Northampton home, but David wants more. He wants them to get married. Their discussion is put on hold when Wylie, a fifteen-year-old girl, shows up in their backyard, bearing news that takes David’s mind off the future and sends it spiraling into the past. Reeling from David’s news, Andi receives a startling announcement of her own, one that leads to a relationship with her estranged mother. As Andi and her mother get closer and Wylie weaves her way into their lives, Andi finds solace in an old comfort: her ex-fiancé. With the past threatening to eclipse their future, the timing for a wedding is all wrong. But if Andi knows anything about timing, it’s that there’s no time to waste.

The things that are different about the Andi and David books are that they are so…..real.  So tangible.  Andi is a college professor.  David is impressive, he isn’t quite ordinary, but he’s not a gazillionaire or a vampire or a zombie slayer.  They have a unique relationship.  Neither one of them is perfect.  And well into their 40s, they are still figuring it out.  I guess that is what makes them so appealing.

Despite my differences with Andi, 10 years in age, completely different geographical location, motherhood, vocation, I do feel a kinship.  I have mommy issues.  I have self esteem and body image issues.  I’ve had several issues with unfaithful exs.  I get her.

But on some levels she infuriates me.  She can be a bit self centered.  She constantly overestimates her emotional capacity.  But that is what makes her very real as well.

The few romance books that I do read outside of vampires/zombies, dystopian and erotica paint most of the female protagonists as flawless with the exception of self esteem issues.  They feel that they don’t deserve the adoration or attention of their partner.  But they are rarely portrayed as selfish, self-absorbed, uncaring.  Not that this is Andi, but in some of her situations, she can be that way.

I absolutely loved the spotlight Ms. Lorello put on cancer and end of life care.  I am a hospice nurse.  Everything portrayed was 100% accurate.  I especially appreciated the incident portrayed of the patient refusing to prolong treatment and the reaction of her family to such a decision.  That is VERY common.

I have seen both sides of the coin.  Patients that hear the diagnosis, go through one or two treatments and decide not to spend the time they have left vomiting, and their family gets upset or supportive.  I have also seen patients hold out and fight to the very end and some of them die the day of their last treatment.  I loved the very realistic, very warm and honest events detailed in the book.

These series of books are a different type of chicklit, a different type of romance.  Various themes are explored throughout the ten years that cover these books.  These two characters have grown immensely, and not in a time that is associated with phenomenal personal growth.  I love that these characters are older, that they have histories and varied pasts.  That they were completely different people when they met and culminate as  better, stronger, healthier.

Themes of loss, regret, moving on, living life to the fullest are explored.  The characters are excellently fleshed out, very real, very three dimensional.

Recommended to all women.  You will find some aspect of yourself in Andi regardless of your situation in life.  You will be captivated by the story of Andi and David.  A very satisfying end (?) to their story.

Now can I get an Adulation sequel?

Book Review: Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith


I chose this book because it appealed to my whimsical nature.  Snow White was the first Disney movie I ever saw, in the theater, for it’s re-release.  I now have my own daughter, and she loves the Disney Princesses, although her fav is Belle.  Snow White was always my favorite princess until I discovered Princess Leia.  I do have to point out that I know absolutely nothing about where these fairy tales come from.  Outside of the sanitized Disney versions, I haven’t read any literature about the origins of these stories.  Now I want to.

Despite my very eclectic tastes in reading, I am always a sucker for the “happily ever after”.  Always have, always will be.  But I understand that “happily ever after” can have different meanings.  That was one of the things that drew me to this book.

Here is the synopsis:

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing:
The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means?
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
There were so many things I like about this book.  First being the writing style.  Very fitting of a book about a fairy tale, the writing is very elegant and proper without being nauseating.  For example, when describing Snow White’s throne room in comparison to the rest of the castle that is preparing for the wedding, Mr. Meredith writes:
The cavernous chamber appeared a bleak island of melancholy set adrift upon a sunny, celebratory sea.
The writing helps to transport the reader to the castle, to Snow White’s side, through the visions she sees through the mirror.  The writing also helps define the depth to her suffering:
Snow White had said she wanted to be alone, but that was not really true.  She simply was alone, whether there were any other people about to witness it or not.  now that she was by herself in the large room however, the queen was not at all sure what to do next.This of course was her regular dilemma.  It seemed difficult to do anything anymore but sit around feeling miserable and sad.
That is pretty much depression in a nutshell, whether it stems from grief or from illness.  Well done.
I love the use of the magic mirror to prompt Snow White to examine her life.  This is usually what is done in therapy, but being that therapists weren’t around in that time period and that cures for things pertaining to mental illness probably involved using leeches, I guess a magic mirror would have to do.  Here the mirror describes his role succinctly:
I simply do that which mirrors do.  You look in.  I show you a reflection of yourself- Nothing more.  Your stepmother thought herself beautiful, but I showed her the ugliness that dwelt in her heart as well.  She asked me then who there was more beautiful that she and again I showed her.  Some people are frightened of their own reflection, I’ve found.  They do not want to examine themselves too closely, for fear of what they will see – For fear of what others might discover.
Through the mirror, Snow White sees several events from her past, ranging from her stepmother’s abuse to her life with Charming.  Some of the events are terribly traumatic.  Some of them are very tender and emotional.  All of them serve a purpose as the mirror again counsels:
You know there is no forgetting, not really.  What happens, happens.  The past is the past and your past is ever a part of you!  Only by facing it can you truly leave it behind.  Otherwise, it will ever intrude upon your present..
I have found this especially true in my own personal life and my issues with domestic violence.  Leave it to a magic mirror to put it so plainly.
That noted, there are elements of abuse, especially surrounding her stepmother’s treatment of her.  It may trigger.  That was one thing I remember from all the Disney movies.  The absolute cruelty of the stepmothers featured.  I think that is why I refused to be referred to as a “stepmother” to this day.  I would rather my bonus son call me by my first name than his “stepmother”.  Thanks, fairy tales!!
This book is also not rated G.  It is not rated X either, but Snow White and Charming do get it on….in detail.  That was kind of refreshing.  For two reasons 1) it is a departure from the sanitized Disney versions of the fairy tales we have been force fed for the past 70 years. Yes, I know they are for children, but you rarely ever see the characters kiss…and in the next frame they get married?  And 2) these scenes were written by a man and they are very tender and not gratuitous.  Not something you associate with a man writing a sex scene.  Especially the one featuring the night of their wedding night.  Good job!!
It is a very short read and is well worth the $1.99 it is going for right now on amazon.
I really enjoyed this book.  Immensely.  It captured my imagination.  It spoke to that little girl in me who loved fairy tales but is now grown up and is now aware of the issues that face adults.  Excellent concept, excellent execution.  Highly recommended.

Book Review: Sadie (An Affection for Lipstick) by Stacie Moore

**  This is an erotic short story, if you don’t read erotica or aren’t interested in erotica or for some reason are offended by erotica STOP READING NOW!!  You have been warned**


The author is a friend.  This is the first time I’m reviewing a book of a person I actually know and socialize with on a regular basis.  So I was a little apprehensive about reading a book written by someone I know.  Let alone it being of THIS genre.

I didn’t know what to expect.  Yes, I read erotica.  Much more than I review on this site.  But I figure that I am the “Eclectic Bookworm”.  But I’m not sure I will ever read that T.Rex or Bigfoot erotica.

This is a short story, so there really is no synopsis.  I do need to point out some things though.  This involves lesbian, menage and anal activity.

The first thing I was pleasantly surprised by is that it is well written.  Not that my friend isn’t smart, but you really can’t get an accurate gauge on a person as a writer from their FB posts, text messages and conversations in bars.  So I was really blown away by that.  And most erotica that I’ve read really isn’t well written.  It doesn’t evoke emotions.  It can be extremely mechanical.  And this wasn’t it at all.

The author is excellent at building anticipation.  In fact, most of the story focuses on the anticipation of events, rather than the events themselves.

It is a very quick, to the point, short story about a brief, life changing encounter (for one participant) that is different from anything I have ever read.  It takes some activity that isn’t exactly mainstream and makes it that.  Just another encounter involving a woman picked up at a bar.

Well done.  And I’m not saying that just because a friend wrote it.

Book Review: Blood and Fire (The Talbot Trilogy) by Tori L. Ridgewood


I reviewed the first of this trilogy, Wind and Shadow, earlier this year and was delighted to be able to review the second book.

Here is the syopsis:

What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering… 

The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined? 

In between reading the first and second books, I finally read The Twilight Saga.  Mainly because I kind of knew that all of these vampire books I was reading were making references to it, and I wanted in on the secrets.

 So now I’m going to allude to this series as a more realistic Twilight in which vampires actually do kill people and consenting adults do actually have sex.

So there you have it.  As an adult female with a healthy libido, it makes this series much more enjoyable.

I absolutely love Rayvin.  She has her flaws, but she is a very strong character.  She is fiery, she is alive, and that is probably why de Sade is so taken with her.  I have to admire the strength of anyone who does what she does to get out of his grips.

I’m not entirely sure about Charlotte yet.  I don’t know enough about her.

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the characters of Marcy and Siobhan.  I have read many, many, many paranormal romance books, most I don’t blog about because its my guilty pleasure, but I can’t remember a duo quite like them.  They are worthy of their own series.

Ms. Ridgewood evokes my rage as a rape survivor.  She accurately captures the smug arrogance that many rapists Tori Headshot 3possess.  In the character of Jason Lucas and to an extent Malcom de Sade, she embodies these despicable qualities and makes me want to scream at my poor, innocent Kindle screen.

Yes, this series is dark.  It is not for teenagers.  Definitely not YA.  It is for adults who like the paranormal romance genre and like an added adult aspect to it. As I said in my review of the first book, even without all the magic, vampires, etc, it would be a wonderful story just because of the relationship issues that are explored.  The entire “going back to your roots” the “dealing with your past”.

But that is what makes it more realistic for me.  Vampires of classic literature don’t sparkle.  They are cursed.  They aren’t beautiful, they are parasites.  I love how Ms. Ridgewood brings this element of vampirism back to these types of novels.

Overall, I loved this book, can’t wait for the next one.

Book Review: The Nun’s Dragon (with bonus novella Lilith) by Christine Emmert



If you have read this blog with any regularity, you know I am a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of Stant Litore and his Zombie Bible series.  So when he asked me to review a book written by a friend, I gladly obliged.

I didn’t exactly know what to expect, a nun and a dragon?  But it is the “Eclectic” bookworm, so I gave it a shot.  And I was pleasantly surprised.

Here is the synopsis:

A friendship between a dragon and a nun? 

It’s certainly one unwelcomed by the Church. And when Sister Agnes Dei is found dead, crushed beneath the convent’s water wheel, those who knew her are left with troubling questions. Why did Agnes Dei die? Why does a great wyvern grieve at her grave site? What is holy and what is not? 

Soon the nun’s dragon will return to the convent, and the secrets that stir at his coming will shake everything this convent believes. 

This book includes two thrilling works of fiction by Christine Emmert, author of ISMENE. In the novella LILITH, an artist must defend her infant son against the darkest of predators. In the novel THE NUN’S DRAGON, one sister’s love for a wyvern changes the shape of her world. 

With an afterword by Stant Litore, author of The Zombie Bible.

Lilith is up first.  And as a mom, it truly freaked me out.  Even though my child is seven, and isn’t in danger of being scooped up by a barn owl any time soon.  While reading this book, my daughter was learning about eagles and owls in school and would run up and down the halls screeching and pretending to swoop down and snatch her prey.  Freaky.

I know absolutely nothing about Genesis or the story of Lilith.  Like Mr. Litore’s novels, I am now propelled to find out more about this mythical creature:

Lilith was the first woman, wife to the fallen Adam.  She did not cause his fall.  Before he could tumble from Paradise, she rejected it.  All of it.  The wifely submission even in lovemaking.  She had  a hunger for angel babies.  Flying up to heaven she devoured the infant cherubs while God was busy finishing off the last touches of the Universe.  In denying Adam his spousal rights she became a renegade.  For a time she stayed close to Lucifer, but she lacked his audacity.  She was on her own.

Ms. Emmert builds the suspense, the near hysteria of the main character’s obsession with Lilith.  And abruptly it crashes down.  An amazing skill of writing.  And with that memory of Lilith and the garden in your mind the reader moves on to The Nun’s Dragon.

I grew up Catholic.  But I know absolutely nothing of the church prior to Vatican II.  I know nothing of cloistered nuns, their lifestyle, their beliefs.  Even less about this lifestyle during the middle ages.  And my knowledge of dragons stems from Smaug in The Hobbit (the movie, not the books, I know it makes a difference because my husband says so).

The author employs a very different writing timeline.  She starts with the present, with the death of Sister Agnes Dei, and then hops back and forth.  In some novels, the only thing this does is create confusion.  But it works with this book.  The reader gets to know the young woman who became Agnes Dei.  You find out first person how she came across her dragon and how their relationship developed.  It is enough information at the right time to successfully build and keep interest in the story.

Again with Lilith, the themes about the role of women in the world are forefront.  Agnes Dei is beautiful.  She is cloistered in the nunnery because she is beautiful.  It is said of her, by the priest that visits them “Her face is sin itself…like that of Eve”.

I had a very hard time with the different characters in the nunnery.  Especially Sister Clare.  My image of nuns growing up were of little old ladies who prayed a lot and looked like penguins.  Very different from that of my mother’s, when nuns were allowed to beat children for misbehavior.  I don’t know why I was shocked at the cruelty of Sister Clare.

Even without all the mythology and dragons, it would be an amazing story.  Christine Emmert makes the drama in the nunnery interesting.  Something that I never thought possible.  She injects intrigue, ulterior motives, questioning loyalties, and a little bit of romance into a place where none of the above are said to exist.

The writing is also exquisite.  Extremely well written.  Almost lyrical like the author of the afterword, Stant Litore.

I’m not sure what I expected, but I didn’t expect this.  Very well written, wonderful story, excellent drama and emotions.  And Lilith scared the hell out of me.

Book Review: The Prophecy (Secrets of Shadow Hill) S. P. Cervantes


I reviewed the first book in this series last week.  I liked it so much that I asked the author to send me the second book.  I am now anxiously awaiting the third..

Ava Fox has spent the past year acclimating to her new life as a wizard of Shadow Hill. Over the past year, her connection with Dalton has only grown stronger. They share a bond she has never known before and can’t explain. 

The danger is still there, even after the Sabatino coven was defeated, and Ava’s future is anything but sure. Her powerful relationship with Dalton continues to make others wonder about the Prophecy, and their place in it. Time and again Ava’s loyalty and strength will be put to the test as she fights for those she loves. 

There are many more secrets of Shadow Hill that will be revealed.

No sophomore slump here, this book was as good as the first.

Again, I loved reading about the magic of Ava and Dalton, how they have grown as a couple.  But like the first book, there are other wizards out there that do not use their magic “for the greater good” and want to use Ava’s power themselves.

I loved reading about other covens around the world, their powers, their people.

And again, the love triangle is front and center.  This one has the added bonus of being written from three different points of view.  Not too many authors can pull that off with each character sounding distinct from the others, but Ms. Cervantes does it very well.

Much more thrilling that the first one, much more development of Ava as a character.

Again, very YA.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this installment.  looking forward to the next.

Amanda’s Favs for 2013 Part Two

Here is the second part of my favorites list.

These are books that I have read and haven’t reviewed. Most I get from my monthly Kindle Lending Library allotment. Some are series I picked up when the first book was offered for free.  Some of the larger press books come from my weekly library run.

Favorite zombie book:  Apocalypse Z:  Darker Days by Manel Loureiro translated by Pamela Carmell.  I found apoczthis series a year ago, and I have already pre-ordered the third installment.  I have to wait til May!! Very well written, I love the European take on things.  A page turner.  Definitely recommended.

Honorable mention:  The Zomblog Series by T.W. Brown and The Remaining by D.J. Molles.

Favorite self-help book:  Invisible Scars:  How to Stop, Change or End Psychologicalinvisscars Abuse by Catharine Dowda.  I left an abusive marriage nearly five years ago.  He never once hit me.  But the verbal and emotional abuse has caused deep wounds that I am still healing.  What I liked about this book in particular is that it gave me a name to put with some of his behavior.  That I can name some of the abuse I suffered is extremely helpful.

Favorite history book:  Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff.  I reviewed his new book this year, Frozen in Time and just had to go and read this book.  

Favorite romance/erotica:  Entwined with You by Sylvia Day.  I love me some Crossfire series.  Much more realistic than “Fifty”, deals with deeper issues on the part of both characters.  Can’t wait for the fourth one.  And I think I would love to see this one made into a movie more than “Fifty”.

draculaFavorite paranormal romance:  Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta.  So not what you think of when you think “paranormal romance”.  And not a typical romance either.  I loved it.

Favorite YA romance (paranormal):  Significance Series by Shelly Crane.  Very sweet, very intriguing.


Favorite YA romance:  Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa.  Very heart-rending.  Extremely emotional.

Favorite mash up:  The Fridgularity by Mark A. Rayner — humorous, apocalyptic, with a technology twist.   Loved it. fridge

And my total for this year is 152 books.  And counting…

Book Review: Women’s Work by Kari Aguila




This is a very interesting book.  It attracted my attention because of the dystopian spin to it.  Here is the synopsis:

“So, when most of the men were dead, women saw their chance to take over?” Kate searches her son’s eyes as he asks this. “Not take over,” she says. “Fix things.” It wasn’t hard to justify what the women had done since the end of the Last War. They rebuilt their bombed-out neighborhoods as best they could and worked to established peace and gender equality. But small groups of men roam the country, viciously indicating that the pendulum may have swung too far. When a bedraggled man shows up on Kate’s doorstep one night, will she risk everything to help him? Does he deserve her help? 

Women’s Work is set in a dystopic world in the Pacific Northwest, where women struggle to survive through sustenance farming, clever engineering, and a deeply rooted sisterhood. In this suspenseful thriller, Kate and her family are asked to let go of their anger and fear on a journey to forgiveness and understanding. It is a compelling story that challenges all of us to question traditional gender roles and to confront the fragility of love.

This story echoes a duo of books I have reviewed previously by Lance Erlick.  Women are in charge, they are trying to reshape society to be less violent, kinder, gentler.

Like that series, this book asks if women have gone too far.

I really enjoyed reading about HOW they survived.  In some books of this nature, the “how” is often glossed over.  Things are different, but they never explain it in detail.

We often forget how easy we have it in this society.  Flip a switch and get light, turn a knob and get water.  Communicate over thousands of miles with the press of a button.  Go to the grocery store and find thousands of foods from all over the world just sitting on shelves and in bins.  This book makes the reader think about all the work that goes into survival.

I liked the political connotations as well.  I look at the way women are treated around the world, and even in this country, and I wonder if we are going backwards.

In this book, set mid 21st century, women have taken over after most of the male population was decimated through war.  But they still retain some of the prejudices of the old world.  Apparently no matter how much things change, they still stay the same.

I loved reading about Kate’s relationships with her children and with the mystery man.  I loved reading how they both had to reevaluate their misconceptions of the opposite sex.  Learn how to trust again.  Truly a tender story.

Overall, a great read.  Very thought provoking, emotional.

Book Review: I Heart My Little A-holes by Karen Alpert


I have been a huge fan of the author’s Facebook page, Baby Sideburns, for about a year now.  I had to get the book..

Here is the synopsis:

When your son wakes you up at 3:00 A.M. because he wants to watch Caillou, he’s an a-hole. When your daughter outlines every corner of your living room with a purple crayon, she’s an a-hole. When your rug rats purposely decorate the kitchen ceiling with their smoothies, they’re a-holes. So it’s only natural to want to kill them sometimes. Of course you can’t because you’d go to prison, and then you’d really never get to poop alone again. Plus, there’s that whole loving them more than anything in the whole world thing. Karen Alpert is the writer of the popular blog Baby Sideburns. You may have seen some of her more viral posts like “Ten Things I Really F’ing Want for Mother’s Day,” “Daddy Sticker Chart” and “What NOT to F’ing Buy My Kids this Holiday.” Or you may know her from her Facebook page that has over 130,000 followers. I Heart My Little A-Holes is full of hilarious stories, lists, thoughts and pictures that will make you laugh so hard you’ll wish you were wearing a diaper. 

I have one six year old daughter.  ONE.  If we ever have another, she can probably help me care for it.  I have no clue how parents deal with two kids in diapers at the same time (Hi Beth and Aimee!).

This book reminded me of the crazy things my child does on a daily basis.  Even though she is out of the “I will destroy everything” phase, she is still pretty hilarious.

But nothing compares the the stories in this book.  I am so glad I read it when my husband was on night shift, or else I would have been waking him up every few minutes laughing hysterically.  Or from peeing the bed.

I especially loved her thoughts on Caillou.  I still hate Caillou.

I do understand that some people have difficulty referring to their kids as a-holes.  It doesn’t bother me.  Because This past week, my daughter has woken up before dawn EVERY MORNING (eff you daylight savings).  She regularly hides food in her room and creates “science experiments”.  I won’t even mention the hell that I go through trying to brush her hair in the morning.

I worry about the parents that don’t acknowledge that parenting isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.  They are delusional.

Overall, a hilarious read that all parents can definitely relate to.

Book Review– Lucky Girl: How I Survived the Sex Industry by Violet Ivy


I was drawn to this book because I love memoir.

I was initially wary because of my personal history with domestic violence and rape, but when I asked the author about any possible triggers, she answered right away that only one or two places may bother me.  She was right, and I appreciate her honesty.  

Here is the synopsis:

The intimate autobiography of an international call girl. Scary, funny and bizarre stories recorded for your amusement, edification or simply for interesting dinner conversation. 

The sex industry is clouded in mystery. It has to be to some extent or it wouldn’t survive. But in this age of internet porn, buying pubic hair trimmings online and wife swapping parties it’s about time the veils of mystery were taken down. 

For moralists, let’s visit the chicken and the egg scenario. Which came first the prostitute or the client? If there were no clients then obviously there would be no sex workers. But what if there weren’t any prostitutes? Would guys wank themselves silly to porn? Harass their post-menopausal wives? Frequent bars trying their luck? Or hassle the secretary and risk being charged with sexual harassment? Would statistics for rape be on the increase? Is prostitution a necessary evil in our society? Don’t mindlessly believe and quote information spoon fed to you by friends, family or the media. Make an educated decision. 

Although it was never my intention to get into this industry, I’ve travelled the world, had incredible experiences and bought several properties. I won’t have to rely on the government pension when I retire. 

My closest friends are co-workers, madams and clients. Brilliant people who I would never otherwise have had the good fortune to meet. I will never regret my decision to enter this field. It has not always been a bed of roses, but when I compare it to what my life might have been; cleaning job, shitty boss, marriage, perhaps divorce, mortgage, kids, living in the burbs, scraping by to give my kids a better life than I was destined for, I feel that I have been rescued… thank God. 

Money doesn’t make you happy? Tell that to someone thrown out of his house because he can’t make the payments or the mother who can’t afford Christmas presents for her kids again this year. I’ve been poor. Money equals choices. Options of how to travel on this journey we call life. Did I make some mistakes? Sure! But there’s not too much I’d change. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Money gives security. Poverty causes ulcers. Financial hardship can also make you compromise yourself in ways that being a sex worker never will. 

This industry eats its young and damages those not strong enough to cope. Every worker has a different personality, head space, upbringing, personal history and therefore experience. This book is a glimpse of mine. I am not advocating anyone join the profession. That is a personal choice. 

When I started out I could never have imagined what my life journey would look like or where I would be now. I don’t even know where in the world I will be in twelve months. What I will be doing? Who I might be bonking, caning or smearing with hot wax? Exciting isn’t it? Carpe diem – seize the day. I’m a lucky girl.

This book fascinated me because of the subject matter.  In most places in the U.S., prostitution is illegal.  I have always felt that a legalized sex industry could do so much to improve the lives of the women that choose the oldest profession, and as a nurse, I have thought that a regulated industry can do so much to improve STD rates.

This book went far to further those ideals.  This woman wasn’t forced into it.  She is not a sex slave or beholden to a pimp.  She made a decision (yes, it was motivated by money) to offer a service for a fee.  And she has done very well for herself.

I enjoyed her candid way of explaining her story.  Her honesty in writing that she got into it for the money, and stays because she likes it.  She is honest with herself, her friends and family that “know” and with her clients.  Most women don’t know themselves this well.

I enjoyed her stories, maybe not the one that she mentioned would trigger me (and it did, but I survived) but the ones that discussed her long term clients, the client who was losing his virginity.  I especially enjoyed her stories about her time in a very high-priced sex club in London.

I loved her contrasts between her life and that of her sister (a seemingly straight laced “mum”). 

I truly see her point about her profession.  That is is definitely needed.  That she is a licensed professional in every sense of the word.  

I do ache for her loneliness.  As she says, she would probably question someone who was ok with what she does in terms of a romantic relationship.  She is able to separate her work from her personal life, but clearly others have not been able to.

Again, I’m a nurse, and also very secure and happy in my sexual life.  I regularly read erotica.  I have no qualms about the human body or its functions.  I have no issues with sex, other than sex that is forced on others.  I enjoyed her book for what it was, a memoir of a life I have never thought much about.

Intrigued?  Give it a try.   


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