Review: Better Than 8 - Fantasy by Erin Jamison

Series: Better Than 8, #1
Genres/Themes: romantica, online dating
Author: Erin Jamison
Excerpt: (here)

Quick Take:
An intriguing premise and sizzling sensuality factor make this book worth taking a look at. I was underwhelmed, however, by some of the structural aspects as well as by some of the characterizations.

Book Description (via Goodreads):
Amara Simmons has always fantasized about having two lovers but believes it is just that: a fantasy. She likes her men “gifted”, if you know what I mean. At the suggestion of a friend she registers for an online dating website for well-endowed men called betterthan8.com. She believes nothing will come of her site membership but after months of flirting online via email and instant messaging, she’s shocked to discover that she’s fallen for a gorgeous Latin man that has the potential to be her everything – except he never calls and she has no idea why. Nursing a broken heart she is totally unprepared to meet her would-be Latin lover in person much less at the negotiation table of a multi million-dollar real estate deal. In Puerto Rico, passion ignites. Promises are finally fulfilled and the lines of reality blur when her fantasy finally blooms to life. Can Amara have it all: the deal, the man, and the fantasy?
Review:
This tale (and series) has a very intriguing premise. What's interesting is not simply the occurrence of online dating, but the nature of the online dating; here, it's closely and unabashedly tied to sexuality as well as romance.

There were certainly some absolutely fabulous and addictive plot "bombs" that were dropped; on a couple of occasions I had to shout, "Oh, dayum!" Those are always fun. Likewise, the sexiness factor was way up there; I particularly liked how there was real steaminess between two people residing far apart, people who've never having met before. Bravo to that. ^_^ And lastly, protagonist Amara's band of girlfriends are a hoot; scenes with the lot of them together are easily highlights.

I can't lie, though: there were some aspects of the novella that were underwhelming. One issue concerned the overall direction of the plot: in short, I felt there was not much cohesiveness to the story. Taken as a series of interconnected vignettes, the progression (or flow) of events works better, or is at least less jarring.

Furthermore, there were a couple of plot points that required a lot more of a logic leap than would be expected in even erotic romance. Because many of the points in question occurred in the third act, I'll refrain from details. But I will (cryptically) note that I feel there's a relative level of believability within any given story. When characters behave absolutely contrary to their established personalities or beliefs, as a reader I want some exploration of that development beyond a cursory line or two. I felt like that believability was not achieved in certain instances of this story. (Feel free to ask me if you want detailed explanation of what I'm referring to.)

Guess what, though? I plan on reading the next book in the series (forthcoming). The author's explanation of the 8 planned books mentions that each of the stories cover various aspects of digital dating. Sounds intriguing, no? I'm quite interested in seeing how everything is tied together as well as how the other "topics" are approached.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars
"I liked it."






Today's review is part of the Bewitching Book Tours ongoing tour for Better Than 8: Fantasy. For more info on the other participating blogs and their tour stops, visit BBT's site (here).

5 comments:

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