Review: A two-lime rating says it all, right? I requested this book from NetGalley because it sounded ‘hot’ and I’d never read anything by Vristen Pierce before.
BETWEEN FRIENDS is an erotic romance novella, so I fully expected the female lead and at least one of the guys on the cover to hook up pretty quickly, so that was not an issue. What was? The lack of connection between the reader and the supposed instant chemistry between Stacy and guy #1, Justin, as they did the ‘bump and grind’ on the dance floor of a club where Justin’s friend, Evan, works as a bartender.
Stacy first connected with Evan but as he was working, ended up spending time with Justin before taking the plunge into the world of one-night stands.
I’m sorry but the dance floor scene did nothing for me. Even worse, neither did the first sexual encounter between Stacy and Justin, and later on, between Stacy and Evan.
Yeah, it was like a formula, with both men doing similar things which got Stacy aroused and climaxing, but which came across on the page as ‘meh’.
This was about 1/3 through the book and being loathe to not finish a book, I pushed through. Surprisingly, the dialogue scenes between Stacy, Justin, Evan and Stacy’s best friend, Nina, were waay better than the first two sex scenes. Sad when you consider this is supposed to be an erotic novella, with some romance sprinkled in.
I will give credit to Ms Pierce though for doing a better job in the ménage à trois (referred to as “double penetration” in the book).
My other problem with BETWEEN FRIENDS was the lack of description. We don’t get to ‘see’ the four lead characters, which is a pet peeve of mine. Ms Pierce gives us brief descriptions of the two men, but unless you looked at the cover, the reader has no idea what Stacy looks like. Much less her best friend, Nina.
Only about three times do you get a clue as to what Stacy looks like in general, or in a certain situation. In chapter one via internal monologue. As she ‘bumps and grinds’ on Justin, Stacy notes that “I may not have been well-endowed in the chest department but, according to more than one ex, I had an impressive ass.”
This book is part of a series about the same characters, so it ends in a cliffhanger. That’s ok but I expected Justin and Evan to put up much more of a fight when they confront Stacy about her sudden withdrawal after their threesome.
She’s headed to Europe for work, and it’s an extended stay, so I thought the guys would have made some demands or at least asked some questions. Apart from an initial confrontation when Justin and Evan arrive at her apartment unexpectedly, there are no questions asked or demands made. No, the author simply has them walk out the door.
Stacy then recalls how “bold…and assertive” she’d been with them in the bedroom (and outdoors) and uses that as inspiration for becoming bold in her work life too. The new professional side of Stacy will likely be the focus on book 2. It’s left up to our imagination whether or not the European trip will involve new hookups and/or a reconnection with Justin and Evan.
If book 2 is available on NetGalley, I might just request it, to see if the writing improves.
Author: Vristen Pierce
Series: Friends with Benefits (book 1)
Publisher: Forever Yours/Hachette Book Group
Publication date: October 2013
Synopsis: After being unceremoniously dumped by her long-time boyfriend, Stacy Washington hits one of the hottest clubs in town with her best friend, Nina. Stacy decides it’s time to shed her good girl persona by letting go of her inhibitions. Relationships are trouble; casual sex is simple.
When she sees sexy bartender, Evan, she’s instantly intrigued by his dark, good looks and his killer smile. Before she has a chance to get to know him better, an equally sexy prospect comes her way and this one is ready to play.
Justin’s not shy about telling Stacy exactly what he wants. She plans to have her way with both him and Evan until she finds out they’re close friends. This could be awkward or this could be the most exhilarating experience of Stacy’s life. She decides to take the plunge by coming between friends–in more ways than one.
BETWEEN FRIENDS is a 21,000 word erotica novella.