Friday, June 4, 2010

Naked by Megan Hart (ARC Review)

I didn’t think he wanted me. And I wasn’t about to get involved with him, not after what I’d heard. Alex Kennedy was tall, dark and unbearably hot, but I’ve been burned before. Maybe it was stupid of me to offer but he needed a place to crash and I needed to pay the rent, but now he’s my tenant…with benefits. And now that we’ve crossed that line, I can’t seem to find my way back.

But I can’t give my heart to a man who’s so…unconventional. His last sexual relationship was with a married couple. It’s enough that my ex-fiancé preferred men, I won’t take that chance again no matter how much my body thrives on Alex’s touch. I can’t risk it, but I can’t resist it, either.

Alex can be very convincing when he wants something.

And he wants me.

*I requested a copy of this title to review through netGalley*

I want to be very clear: while this book has explicit sex scenes I think it is almost limiting to the novel to consider it just an erotica title. When I pick up an erotic romance I'm often looking for something simpler, something sexy and fun that will distract me for a little while. That is not what Naked is. Naked is a book about self discovery. About emotional baggage and what we as people do to try to live with or overcome it.

Olivia is a prime example of diversity as an individual- she's a black woman adopted by white parents, whose mother is Jewish and father is Catholic. That didn't matter so much when she was younger, but as she got older she more and more saw herself through other people's eyes, and being faced with that type of confusion/pity is hard on the soul. Combine that with somewhat unhealthy friendship with her former fiance (who turned out to be gay) and you just have this huge ball of hurt that it's hard to figure out what to do with. Alex and Olivia's relationship is more that no strings sex, it turns into an avenue of healing for both of them. But healing is not without its bumps and bruises and the last 50 pages of this book were hard to read because I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop!

What matters is that this is a very well written novel that depicts a heart wrenching look at a women in flux. In life, in love, in knowledge about herself; nothing's set in stone and it's her journey to figure out what she deserves out of life. I highly recommend it, because it's not a typical erotic romance. It stands as a testament to how an author can push the envelope of a genre and define a space for her own kind of story.

Overall Feeling - Thumb up. This book isn't easy, don't confuse it with a throw away erotic romance. These characters are going through a lot, and while the book is enjoyable you're definitely going through the journey with them.

Series - None (book released 8/1/2010). Though there isn't an exact reading order, Hart's website has a suggested order organized by character.