Heat Factor: Sex is frequent, detailed, and degrading. Ruby gets double-teamed a lot.
Character Chemistry: “You remind me of myself when I was younger. I will therefore put you in extremely uncomfortable positions so that I can mold you into your best self.”
Plot: Business school teacher seduces student.
Overall: A porno in book form.
Let me preface my review by addressing the “porno” comment above. For regular readers of my reviews here at The Smut Report, it should be clear that I prefer my romance novels on the sexy side. Erin and Ingrid and I all get incensed by people who denigrate romance as trash; our whole idea with calling our blog The Smut Report was to reclaim the label. So when I call this book porn, I mean something very specific: when I read the sex scenes, it felt like I was getting a play-by-play of the author describing something they were watching. There’s a lot of “and then x thing gets put in y orifice” and not a lot of sensory or emotional description of how the sex makes the characters feel or how it develops their relationship.
With that said, you might like this book if:
- You want to read a lot of sex scenes. This holds particularly true if you are interested in three-ways, dildos, and/or showing submission by acquiescing to sex with strangers. If you are looking for over-the-top fetish fantasies, this might do it for you.
- You think Bain Capital is the pinnacle of success in the business world.
I would not recommend this book if:
- You want realism. I yelled, out loud, multiple times, “THIS IS NOT HOW COLLEGE WORKS!” I was particularly incensed by the way the university handled things after the Ruby and Bianca’s relationship came to light: ie, by putting the student on academic probation and tracking her movements to ensure there was no further contact between her and her teacher. (!!!!!) This is not how Title IX works, sorry. (My husband is a professor at a business school. We talked about this book extensively. He thought it sounded like a lawsuit waiting to happen.) I suspect, though I cannot confirm via firsthand experience, that the lack of realism also applies to portrayals of the business world and the fetish community.
- You care about consent. Ruby initially submits to Bianca’s sexual demands while drunk (yes, Bianca bought a bunch of drinks for her underage student) and also while thinking that passing the class – a graduation requirement – was contingent upon doing whatever her teacher wanted. There’s a repeated theme of “Ruby does everything by choice,” but I call shenanigans. This is not what enthusiastic consent looks like.
- You are interested in the romantic relationship. They just kind of catch feelings for each other. Because Ruby is such a good submissive? A natural? Also, there’s Bianca’s friend who also loves Ruby? I really don’t know what to tell you.
- You want clear writing. There are a lot of sentences like this: “She took her hand.” Uh. Who took whose hand? If all the people in the room use the same pronouns, proper nouns are required.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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