THE soft porn erotic novel business seems to be getting a little out of hand.
The unlikely Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon got things initially heated, and now it seems there's going to be a lot of hopping on the not- quite-banned wagon.
Sylvia Day's Bared to You is the latest bit of erotica to hit the bookshelves – actually, not so much a bit, rather 334 pages – most of which the author uses to describe in exhaustive first-person narrative the mischievous thoughts, longings, cravings and ultimately gratification of a woman in search of...well, I'm not quite sure.
Apart from her desires and experiences which pepper most pages after the foreplay of the opening chapters, Eva Tramell's journey – while certainly never boring, albeit rather repetitive – seems like one with no real destination other than sex and hanging on to her dream man.
Is this so bad? Not necessarily, but for any novel to hold its readers, it should at least introduce a more three- dimensional dynamic into the protagonist's life.
But of course, that is not the point of Day's offering here – it is a story which supposedly is unashamedly providing the reader with a provocative insight into a woman's sexual identity.
It achieves that only in that it is reasonably well-written and that the multiple sex scenes – which are almost impossible to write really well, any author will tell you – are most of the time lacking in awkwardness which, on the flip side, renders them somewhat surgical.
Eva leaves San Diego to take up a job with a top New York advertising agency, and becomes embroiled in a sexually explosive and possessive relationship with Gideon Cross – a self-assured but secretive man who seems to devour her every thought and action, both when they are in, and not in, the act of exploring that obsession physically.
Their all-consuming passion, however, seems to be a not very effective antidote to far more disturbing emotional issues – which are usually solved (or avoided) by getting all hot and sweaty.
In Eva's world where everyone is beautiful and life is about to be perfect (and damn it, if it's not, she's going to make sure it should be!) any attempt at portraying some sort of realism about what really makes sex great, kind of flies out the window.
But what the heck. If it's a good adult bedtime story you're after, this may just be the thing to cuddle up with. Whether alone or not.