by Gina L. Maxwell
Series: Playboys in Love #1
Published by Entangled Scorched on May 30, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic
Format: ARC, Ebook
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
People say I'm shameless. They're right.
I like my sex dirty. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and I always follow when it's pointing at something I want. That goes double when it points straight at the one girl in all of Chicago who's not dying for a piece of me.
She's all I can think about, and that's a problem, because she wants nothing to do with me. But I've seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a fucking T.
I want her. Bad.
Now I need to show her how good it can feel...to be shameless.
Shameless is book #1 in Gina L. Maxwell’s Playboys in Love series, which follows a group of male strippers, a la Magic Mike. There are a lot of things that I really liked about this book. However, the pacing seemed a bit rushed and the characterization felt underdeveloped to me. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the story overall.
Jane is currently finishing up her thesis in social work. When she’s not working on that, she’s a waitress at IHOP. She doesn’t have much time for fun, so her best friend sends over a stripper as a surprise to help Jane “fix her pipes.” (Coincidentally, Jane actually does need someone to fix her pipes, as she’s trying to solve a plumbing problem on her own with no luck.)
Initially, she’s surprised and taken aback when Chance “The Handyman” shows up at her apartment. But after Chance gets an unexpected peek at Jane’s computer and sees the kind of dirty stuff she’s into, he proposes a deal. He’ll actually fix her plumbing if she’ll let him dance for her. Jane is no idiot–Chance is smoking hot and this is an opportunity too good to pass up. So she agrees.
It’s not long before Jane and Chance hook up and the sex is off the charts. The thing with Jane, though, is that she’s into a particular type of kink that Chance is also into. Normally, this type of thing doesn’t work for me because of the way that it’s presented. I hate books where the hero just automatically senses that the heroine is into a certain type of sexual thing, like BDSM, for example. It’s like they have a sixth sense where he just KNOWS that she’s submissive the first time he meets her. I hate that. It makes no sense to me. So in this book, it worked for me because 1) Chance literally sees the type of sex Jane wants to be having when he accidentally looks at her computer and 2) they talk about it before it actually happens. None of this weird, subconscious, “he just KNEW” crap. I liked how Jane and Chance discover that they’re a match sexually and decide to pursue it. It’s a conscious decision on both their parts.
Chance actually owns the stripping business, where he works with his good buddies. He also owns a construction company. He’s pretty successful, so he certainly doesn’t need to continue stripping, but he does it because he enjoys it.
The plot moves along very quickly–too quickly for me, in fact. I wanted the plot to be more fully developed. Jane and Chance start to fall for each other rather easily. When things move to the next level and conflict occurs because real feelings are getting involved, I felt that it was just a matter of time. Chance has some issues from his past where his ex wanted him to quit stripping, but he chose the job over her. When Jane starts to question it as well, Chance freaks out. On one hand, Jane knew what he did for a living from the moment that they met. On the other hand, Chance certainly can’t be a stripper forever…can he?
Probably one of the things I liked the most about this book is the theme of empowerment. When the story begins, Jane’s sexuality is something that she has mixed feelings about. She’s a feminist, but sometimes she wonders if her sexual preferences (the desire to be dominated, for example) make her a hypocrite. When she and Chance begin their relationship, he helps her see that she shouldn’t apologize or feel shame about the types of things that she likes. He helps her own her sexuality 100% and that’s a powerful message.
This book has super hot scenes aplenty, so I give it 5 stars for the sex scenes themselves. As for the overall story, I’m leaning more toward 4 stars just because the pacing did feel rushed. The ending is a little too nicely wrapped up for me, but it’s still an enjoyable read and I’ll be reading the next book in the series when it comes out.
Rating: 4 stars