Review: Ready for Market by Ava Sterling (2018)

Heat Factor: Approximately 50% sex

Character Chemistry: Not bad, especially considering that one of them is a sexy robot

Plot: Scientist takes her latest creation out for a test drive

Overall: Sometimes, you just want to fantasize about a perfect man who doesn’t have his own emotions

This is my first foray into erotica (smut encompasses many things, you guys!), but my goal here is to review this book in terms of the components that may (or may not) appeal to readers of romance more broadly.

First thing’s first: the sex is spicy, but not overly graphic – it’s about as detailed as you would expect to see in one of the steamier romances. In other words, it’s fun but I’ve certainly read raunchier. Unless you only read closed door romances, or skip all the sex scenes, there’s nothing shocking, so don’t be scared by the erotica label. And let’s not pretend that us romance readers don’t enjoy a good sex scene once in a while. At least, I do.

Ok, on to the story!

What really works here is that Sterling sets Amy up as a relatable protagonist. She is a scientist working on creating the perfect male companion robot, and has spent the last two years going on terrible dates. For research! Because the story opens with the latest terrible date – he’s cheap, he wears bad clothes, he negs her (but honestly, it does not top the true story of my friend who had a dude pull out his flaccid member and inform her that dessert was served) – I completely empathize with her desire to just have a good lay. So, she brings the prototype of the robot she’s been working on home with her to give it a test run. Seems reasonable!

As a bonus, the robot is even better than expected! He has started evolving and anticipating needs. He snuggles! He makes her breakfast! The Rise of the Machines is upon us!

There were two things that didn’t work for me. The first is the central conflict – her co-workers show up at her house, and so she has to be sneaky about the boning slash get rid of them. Ok but… her co-workers OBVIOUSLY know that she’s banging the robot. She brought a sex robot home for testing. Why is everyone pretending that it’s a secret? They’re all like, huh, his erectile function seems to be overactive. I get that that side-plot was added for a hint of danger / voyeurism, but… what would be the consequences for her? She is a lead scientist on a team building, let me repeat, a sex robot. They can’t have a faulty model on the market! She is just doing her job.

The other questionable piece is one of audience. Basically: who is the audience here? This story is 95% female wish-fulfillment; the contrast between wish-fulfillment and reality is heightened by the terrible, terrible date at the beginning. But then there’s a line about Amy’s generous breasts and uggggggggh. Also, the cover. I want a sexy robot man on the cover!

For those of you wondering how there can possibly be a happily ever after, given the fact that our man the sex robot has to go back to the lab at the end of the day – well, Amy is a sneaky and brilliant woman, and figures out a way to keep the relationship alive beyond the end of the story. Never fear, this woman will continue to be satisfied.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon

Interested, but want to read on something besides a Kindle? Go here for links to a variety of platforms, plus a sample from the story. (Spoiler: it’s the horrible date. Always fun if you need some schadenfreude!)

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