Friday, July 31, 2009

Review- Rules of Attraction by India Masters

Rules of Attraction
by India Masters
April 2009
Contemporary/ m/f, f/f, f/f/m/ erotica
49K words -$5.99

Buy it Loose-Id, Fictionwise, ARe

Successful and stylish fashion consultant Anna Craig thinks love is a greeting card marketing conspiracy. Her overgrown hippie of a best friend, polyamorous professor Parvoti Jordan thinks she couldn't be more wrong. Challenged, Anna decides to put it to the test, convincing Parvoti to sign up with her for an online dating service for wealthy men.

Playboy Jonathan Bain's not interested in relationships. So he has no qualms about making dates with two women he gets matched with. No problem. He has no intention of falling for either of them. Let alone both.

But Jonathan's not the only one who falls. Parvoti and Anna do too...and for each other. Maybe there's something real to those Rules of Attraction.

The words “Beach Read” are commonly used this time of year and that’s what I felt Rules of Attraction is; a good ménage beach read. It’s a fun, light, no need to think too much-- juicy love story in which three people come to really love each other and start a relationship.

Anna is a young writer for a chick magazine who thinks that men are only into relationships for the sex. She herself doesn’t believe in love. Being more concerned about appearances and the latest trendy clothes and make-up, she thinks that’s what her readers want to know about, not things like how to get a man. Her boss Nina thinks that the readers want to know more about dating and finding true love, so she puts Anna up to writing an article about it. Wanting to prove that she is right and that love really doesn’t exist, she signs up for an online dating site that caters to wealthier men.

To prove her point, Anna enlists the help of her best friend since childhood, Parvoti, a professor and expert on sexuality who believes in love and free sexual expression, including polyamory. She sets it up so that both she and Parvoti will date the same guy without telling him. Parvoti is a much deeper person though and feels uneasy about the whole thing, but goes along with it to prove to Anna that love does exist.

Jonathan is a major player and doesn’t believe in true love or settling down with one person. His best friend has found love and wishes that Jon could know the bliss of that. To prove his friend wrong that he’s not cut out for love, he signs up with his friend’s new online dating site. Of course, Anna finds Jon straight away and sets it up for both her and Parvoti to date him.

This is one of those stories that is nicely developed in all areas, which keep it fun to read. The characters are each so different and the plot, while a bit contrived in parts, has enough depth to keep out of the realm of being too fluffy. It’s not a deep book, but a very playful and loving take on a polyamorous relationship.

Author India Masters managed to convey that these three people all love each other and that somehow they will work it out. What I specifically enjoyed was that Anna and Parvoti have known each other since they were children and although they are completely opposites as far as personality traits, they still love and support each other. I liked that they don’t make a big deal about getting sexual with each other. It comes across as a natural progression or extension to their friendship and not something just to do. And they don’t do it solely for Jonathon’s titillation, which I appreciated.

Another positive note: normally, I don’t buy it when guys are a playboy, find “the one” and suddenly do a 360. But in this case, Anna really is a player herself and doesn’t cling onto Jon like all the other women have. For the first time he meets his match, which makes him think about things. So I could see him becoming very intrigued by her.

Parvoti is also a very interesting character and totally different from both Anna and Jon. She’s so open minded, socially a bit awkward, and down to earth. She’s not after his money or anything he has to offer and he finds that very attractive as well. When it comes to sex and love she’s rather innocent emotionally about it. And it’s hinted at that she’s open to women sometimes, which I liked.

While I really enjoyed this book, some bits of the plot were a bit goofy. OK, first, I don’t buy a woman not believing in love on any level. I can see a woman, in this case Anna, thinking that for most men sex is a bigger issue than love, but that love doesn’t exist at all is a bit far fetched. I also thought the set up of her and her friend dating the same guy anonymously as a very unrealistic way to test love being real or not. What if he hated both of them? What if he loved only one of them? As an excuse for the threesome though, it worked well.

The ending, not the relationship part, but the magazine part was also a bit hokey. You know those typical feel good American stories in which it all easily works out and is highly improbable? That was this ending. The relationship between Anna, Parvoti and Jon was what this story was about for me though and that ended on a very good and satisfying note.

The sex in this story is no holds barred steamy and juicy. However, one thing was just a bit off for me. Parvoti is a sexologist, meaning that she is very intellectually oriented about sex and talks very matter of fact about it. But then all the sudden, during sex, she’s talking like a sailor using very sexually explicit language and telling Jon and Anna what to do. It didn’t fit her character really; it’s more like how Anna would act.

Still though, I thought it was a nicely written story and for a f/f/m it’s my perfect kind of read; two women who are good friends and very close who take it to another level easily. And a man who can be a part of that, loving both of them.

Sex rating: Orgasmic- very graphic sexual language, public sex, f/f, m/f, f/f/m.

Grade: B++

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