Unscrupulous – Avery Aster


Published by Ellora’s Cave

Source: NetGalley

At thirty-three Warner Truman is one of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executive’s careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner’s reach…until he meets her.

Stunning, tantalizing, and perverse, Taddy Brill captivates Warner’s carnal desire like no woman he’s ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy is tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and, at twenty-seven, she’s never depended on a man for anything…until she meets him.

The more Taddy plays with Warner’s affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. But before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself.

Every now and then I give in and decide to read some erotica. As the scales are not tipping in the genre’s favour for me, I will sometimes give somebody else a chance to change my mind…

Not long after delving into Unscrupulous, I had already decided that this one was not going to end up in the ‘liked’ pile.

Aside from the usual cliché that apparently only rich and successful people in the literary world enjoy good sex; the sexual references in this book were plain vulgar at times – and often not even related to a sexual scene. I admit that I may well be turning into my mother, but I really wanted to wash some mouths out with soap!

A lot of it wasn’t ‘erotic’ at all, I felt at times that I was reading an attempt at hard-porn penned by a teenage boy. Now, there is no accounting for taste and choice of language I suppose, but I will, and did, physically cringe when a women is said to have ‘creamed’. Urgh! Oh, and at one point in the book we are given graphic details of how a famous porn star ejaculates onto the crowd below from his hotel balcony! What a treat…

There were other parts of the book I struggled with, for instance, it was difficult to keep up sometimes with writing that just seemed like incessant chatter; a lot of moments that I presumed were intended to be deep and emotional lacked…well, depth and emotion; and I couldn’t decipher whether some moments were supposed to be dramatic or satiric!

Now all that aside, I did find myself warming to this book – slightly. It turned out to be quite the romance between our protagonists Taddy and Warner. Ok, so discussing Warner’s deceased wife and Taddy’s emancipation in-depth over dinner seemed a tad open on a first date; discussing their long-term relationship and Warner giving Taddy his apartment keys the following morning seemed a wee bit hasty, and “I Love You” on around day 3 completely redefined my ideas of ‘whirlwind romance’; but then maybe I was supposed to have been swept up in the passion and intensity of it all…who knows?!

I liked how my mind was changed about Taddy, whom I initially had thoroughly disliked and thought of as a snooty, slutty, Upper-East Side It girl. She became much more likeable once she let down her barriers and exposed her vulnerabilities, and you began to see how much she really loved her close circle of friends.

It was a shame that it took far too long to begin to redeem itself, because if you looked hard you could see some substantial themes coming through, such as friendship, loyalty, love, and trust. But I think it may have been too little, too late…

My thanks to Ellora’s Cave for providing this book for review.

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