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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

Not My Kink, Not My Cuppa

Looking for Trouble - Victoria Dahl

Victoria Dahl has written several contemporaries that I've really enjoyed, but generally I think her books try too hard to be sexy and edgy when it doesn't really fit with the plot. I'd probably have rated this at least another star if the sex scenes hadn't turned me off.


Sophie and Alex are complete opposites. She's a good girl librarian, he's a bad boy biker. She takes care of people -- her dad, her brother, her friends -- and he runs from responsibility. She's never left Wyoming; he left and never came home again. They have only two things in common: insane sexual chemistry, and a shared childhood tragedy that happened with Alex's dad disappeared with Sophie's mother.


Sophie has grown up in the shadow of this mystery, dealing not only with her mother's abandonment, but the silent (and not so silent) judgment of the townspeople, who she feels are just waiting for her to show her true colors and turn out to be just as much a fallen woman as her mother. Consequently, she keeps her sex life very much on the down low.


Alex returns to town for the first time in ages at the urging of his brother, who needs help taking care of their mentally ill mother. He's home only reluctantly, and his presence becomes only slightly less grudging when he and Sophie discover the aforementioned sexual chemistry. 


I really like small town contemporaries (since I live in a small town myself), and I liked how this book understood how gossip really never dies in a small town and how judgey people can be. I liked the idea of Sophie and Alex sharing almost nothing except this twenty-year-old mystery. I liked Sophie's appetite for and liberated approach to sex, even as I understood why she felt the need to keep it quiet.


I didn't like Alex, and I didn't like the sex scenes. Alex has several opportunities to do the right thing -- help his mom, help his brother, stick up for Sophie -- and over and over again, he doesn't. He doesn't get a clue until the very end of the story, by which point I'd given up on him.


I didn't like the sex because I don't have a humiliation kink. I get that some people maybe like being called a slut and a whore during sex. I'm not one of them. I love a heroine who can enjoy sex, but those labels just turn me right the hell off.