Heat Factor: Orgasms for everyone!
Character Chemistry: Cosmic partners plus banter
Plot: Let’s fix this orb of the gods! And also find my mom. And also discover the true meaning of love.
Overall: I had loads of fun, but I bet my fellow smut-reporters would find parts of this book off-putting
This is going to be one of those “on the one hand / on the other hand” reviews. I really enjoyed reading The Curious Touch of Cupid’s Son, but I wouldn’t recommend it indiscriminately. Basically, it was the case of a book finding the exact right audience at the right moment – so I’ll try to give enough information for you to decide if you, too, are the right audience.
Let’s start with the basic premise, which is friggin’ hilarious. Karl is basically the King Midas of pleasure: every woman he touches immediately has an orgasm. Like, the best orgasm of her entire life. As you might imagine, this power is more curse than blessing. Karl struggles to connect with others, has few friends, and carries a lot of childhood trauma.
Enter Rory. When Rory gives a direct command, men do her bidding. Rory is also immune to Karl’s power, just as Karl is immune to hers. Karl also has a perpetual boner around Rory – and has never had a boner before. If that’s not fate, I don’t know what is.
Anyways, Karl and Rory have a bunch of adventures involving gathering together pieces of a mystical artifact and hanging out with the Greek mob and discovering the truth of Karl’s parentage and falling in love.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk turkey on some of the details.
On the one hand: This book is ridiculous and really fun. The many orgasms were a high point for me: Karl has seen a lot in his day, so he classifies them. You’ve got your Announcers (“I’M COMING!!!!!”), your Swearers (“OH SHIT!”), The Blessed (“Oh my God! GOD!”), and your Humpers (uh, self explanatory). I told my husband the plot of the first two chapters and he scream-laughed more than once.
On the other hand: It’s written from this self-aware first person perspective, and sometimes it’s a bit much. Here’s an example:
How does that happen?
Answer: fate, or destiny. If you’re a philosopher, first – my condolences – second, you can dissect which is which and which pertains here most pertinently.
Karl, our narrator, frequently addresses the reader directly. He frequently uses more words than strictly necessary (he loves synonyms). He throws in random asides that are more about little jokes than they are about revealing his character or advancing the plot. He asks rhetorical questions. However – his narrative voice is very much in line with his character as a whole, so while it was occasionally obnoxious, it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the book.
On the one hand: There are a lot of interesting female characters in this book. We’ve got the love interest (who is frankly the least interesting of them all) and villains and evil matrons and kindly matrons and Karl’s friend Lacy who is happily married to a hitman and loves getting orgasms from Karl.
On the other hand: Some of the descriptions of them. Yikes times a million. Here’s Karl meeting Rory:
Her clothes liked her, served her body, her person; they were glad to be on her and their colors spiced her, bringing out the flavors of her presence. Soft colors: modest top hugging and appreciating her curves (I’d say “ample curves” if I knew what measure ample was), skirt – perfectly short enough to show legs that not only supported her but also conspired to challenge any other woman to not look and wonder.
I’m not going to parse this all out, but let’s say that my eyebrows were around my hairline. But, to be fair, this is Karl talking, and we’ve already established that Karl is a weird doofus when it comes to narration. And also, I said something to my husband about how the first thing Karl describes are Rory’s legs, and my husband was like, “Sounds about right.” I am still tempted to submit this passage to r/menwritingwomen.
On the one hand: Karl and Rory have pretty good banter. I especially liked that they snark at each other about and during sex.
On the other hand: See above about the writing style, which applies triply to the banter.
Love and Romance
On the one hand: Look, I don’t love the Fated Mates trope, but I think that given those parameters, we have a pretty good love story. Since Rory is immune to Karl’s powers, he can let her in the way he can’t with others. Casual contact – things like holding hands – are finally possible. And when Karl and Rory have sex for the first time, Rory’s orgasm allows for a really touching moment of connection because she calls out Karl’s name.
On the other hand: Karl is super self-aware about finding the meaning of love and I did a lot of eye-rolling.
More significantly, in terms of romance and romance readers: The ending is bittersweet. If you are in the HEA or GTFO camp, this book is not for you.
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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