Friday, November 2, 2012

The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter

about book: (from the publisher Penguin Ireland)

The Pleasures of Winter is a steamy erotic story of romantic obsession and explosive sexual chemistry for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You.

When reporter Abbie Marshall needs to escape Honduras, a private jet carrying a Hollywood A-lister is her only way out. She has a ride home with Irish actor Jack Winter - notorious womanizer and all round bad boy. Abbie is shaken to the core by Winter's blazing beauty and provocative mind.

After the plane's nose-dive into the remote rain forest forces them to fight for survival, Abbie catches tantalizing glimpses of the complicated man behind the image. And the more she sees of him, the more he touches some primal part of her that she is determined to suppress. But after a devastating encounter with Winter's shadow side, Abbie's detachment is shattered.

On returning to normal life, Abbie cannot forget what happened, nor ignore the shocking rumours about the star's private life. Her struggle to make sense of her torment leads her straight back to Winter, who is just as obsessed by her. But if they are to have a relationship, Abbie knows she must embrace his hidden desires ... and accept her own.

No longer caring about anything but their intoxicating love affair, Abbie is drawn deeper into the dark heart of Winter - and the secret that threatens to destroy everything ...

'Evie Hunter' is actually two Irish authors who discovered a mutual love of erotic fiction when doing a creative writing workshop two years ago. They are delighted the rest of the world has caught up with them. Before writing The Pleasures of Winter, their first full-length novel, they co-wrote a number of BDSM-themed novellas.

my thoughts:

Oh my.  I think I'm blushing.  Evie Hunter's novel, The Pleasures of Winter, tends to have that kind of effect on you.   Then again, how could it not, when the story involves, spanking, feathers, ice cubes...well, I'll leave the rest up to your imagination.  This is a sexy story about a journalist named Abbie, and her intensely sexual relationship with A-list celeb, Jack Winter.  

Okay, so you are probably wondering what is going on here - is she really writing about an erotic novel?  Well, I am.  I couldn't help it.  For some reason when I got offered the chance to read this book, I found myself agreeing to it straightaway. Now, I don't normally read books from the erotica genre, but since I've been trying to broaden my book reading horizons a bit more, I figured it was time to give it a goPlus, I liked the idea of reading something that sounded a bit naughty.  To be frank, I am going to admit that The Pleasures of Winter isn't my first foray into erotic novel - Fifty Shades of Grey was.  I know! I committed some sort of literary sin reading that book, but I couldn't help myself - I just had to see what everyone ( and I mean everyone ) was talking about (plus, I got a free copy of it).   Suffice it to say, I barely got through the first book - the writing was awful and the characters and story were just so over the top - it was beyond ridiculous. Now, you would think that after my experience with Fifty Shades I'd be dunzo with the erotica genre, but apparently I wasn't.

With The Pleasures of Winter, you do get some of the same elements from Fifty Shades: the intense physical attraction between characters, the contract of a BDSM relationship, and loads of sex.  However, that is where the similarities end.  Where Fifty Shades lacked in quality, Pleasures prevailed.  This book was written in a smart and sassy tone that reminded me a bit of the chick-lit genre -  which I love!  The female characters were strong women who worked hard, valued their relationships and weren't just waiting around for love to come and find them.  Abbie is a hard-core journalist who puts her life on the line in order to chase a story; while Kit is a therapist who has no qualms telling people the ugly truths they don't want to hear.  These women are independent, successful, and confident - they are great representations of the modern day woman.  As for the men, they are extremely handsome, multi-talented, and rather vulnerable when it comes to matters of the heartNow, as far as the story goes, its pretty formulaic - girl meets boy, both lust after one another, roadblocks appear, feelings are hurt, I LOVE YOU, and then coupledom.  However, in spite of the formula, this book does make room to explore other issues, friendships, work drama and family relationships - its not just about Abbie and Jack's sex life.  And that is what I liked about Pleasures, that it was about more than just sex.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of gratuitous sex scenes to read through, but they aren't the only point of interest in the story - at least they weren't to me.  I enjoyed the parts about Abbie's job, her friendship with Kit, and her disconnected relationship with her sister Miffy, more than I cared about her BDSM relationship with Jack.  Truthfully, had Abbie and Jack's relationship been more vanilla than S&M, I probably would have enjoyed the story more.  I guess I'm just not that into BDSM stories.  

Of course, after reading Fifty Shades and Pleasures, I now understand why people have been buzzing about these types of books - they are the epitome of a guilty pleasure, and who doesn't love a guilty pleasure?  I would definitely recommend The Pleasures of Winter by Evie Hunter to anyone and everyone interested in the erotic novel genre - you will not be disappointed!

And now I'm off to begin reading Haruki Murakami's, Norwegian Wood - I hear its excellent!

Thank You to the publishers at Penguin Ireland for providing me with a copy of this book!


Eileen Gormley said...

Thanks for the great review. I'm delighted that you liked Kit and Kev and Miffy as much as we did. Of course, when Caroline and I are arguing now, we accuse each other of being too much like Miffy.

Eileen (one half of Evie Hunter)

Nadia said...

Eileen, thanks so much for stopping by. I really did enjoy your book - it was so much more than just a steamy read. I think you and Caroline have definitely found a way to write a good S&M story, that will have your readers thinking about more than just the sex. Cheers!

Eileen Gormley said...

Delighted you enjoyed it. Caroline and I already have our heads together thinking about the next book.

Nadia said...

Good luck with the next book - I'm looking forward to it. And just so you know, despite the fact that there are no comments on this post (aside from ours) - this review has received the most traffic on my site ;)

Eileen Gormley said...

I'm delighted to hear that.

Just in case anyone is interested, if there's a particular kink or theme you'd like to see explored in the next book, now is the time to tell us.

Eileen Norton said...

Ive just read your book, I couldnt put it down. I really hope there is another book following Abbie Jack Kev and Kit.