Publisher: eXcessica Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Heat Rating: 2
Chloe’s boss has gone crazy. She’s been his PA for years and has always known about his wild streak but this beats it all! Now he’s asking her to have sex with him. And why? Because he’s just stopped smoking and he needs to keep busy in order to fight cravings. What the hell, right?
It doesn’t help that she’s been in love with him for years. And as she finds herself unable to say no, she braces herself for the broken heart she’s sure will follow.
What she doesn’t know however is that James has a hidden agenda…
Warnings: This title contains graphic language, light bondage and sex
One Last Vice is another example of a story toward which I'm drawn. James, a popular and successful musician, asks his PA, Chloe, for a very personal favor in effort to help him quit smoking. James has given up on patches and gum as a substitute for his nicotine fix, and believes the only real way to quit for good would be a live-in booty call. Chloe fits the bill; she's his assistant, they have been friends for years, and even if their relationship has never been sexual, he's confident she's the drug he needs in order to kick the habit.
The set-up was promising; I love friends-to-lovers stories, and the complications that arise when two people who have known each other for years take their relationship into the bedroom. The trouble came with the execution, which was awkward and slanted. We see Chloe's perspective throughout the first half (give or take) with no glimpses into what James feels, and by the time his point of view becomes prominent, it’s forced and convenient, and doesn’t really delve into feelings insomuch as revealing his motivation through dialogue. Their sexual encounters prior to this POV shift are harsh and incongruent for a man who has any feeling for his partner, romantic or otherwise. Perhaps if I’d seen more feeling from James, these faults could have been overlooked, but it made for a very physical story without aspects of the romantic; when things did take a turn for the sensual, it was too little too late.
Overall, I could not connect with the characters and the plot seemed contrived. However, it was an entertaining read, and I’m sure someone out there will take much more from it than I did.
2 Tea Cups!