What She Needs
by Lacy Alexander
304 pg.- Penguin Group
Buy it Amazon, B&N, Borders
By Guest Reviewer- Jill Sorenson
The author of "The Bikini Diaries" now invites readers to an erotic hotel where sensual satisfaction is the main amenity...
Mild-mannered Jenna Banks never considered sex a recreational sport-until she wins a two-week stay at the notorious Hotel Erotique, where every sexual fantasy comes true-in room after room, with stranger after stranger. Even more unnerving for Jenna is Brent Powers, her wildly sensual personal guide who can't wait to put his degree in sexual psychology to work. But with the steady seduction of Jenna come feelings that neither expected. Where will the ultimate fantasy take them?
I’m going to preface this review with a confession. LVLM asked if I wanted to be added to the sidebar, and I said yes. But I don’t know if I belong there. I’m an infrequent contributor, and most of the f/f I read is in m/f books. I’ve never actually read a lesbian romance! I have a few in my digital library, but I’m not a big ebook reader. I also tend to gravitate towards straight or bisexual female characters, because I think I’ll be able to relate to them better. I’m new to this subgenre and just sort of experimenting with it. I hope to read and review of a “real” f/f novel sometime in the future. Stay tuned?
Okay, so even an ingénue like me knows that good f/f is hard to find. I’m always looking for m/f erotic romance with f/f scenes or ménage situations, but the blurb rarely hints at that kind of material. Reviewers don’t mention it. Authors keep quiet. Shhh! It’s dirty. ;)
I got an f/f vibe from a review (can’t remember where) of What She Needs. Really, a person has to be psychic to figure these things out. Anyway, I ordered this book hoping it might have some light girl-on-girl, and I was pleasantly surprised. The f/f content is a good portion, maybe 25%. Although the type of contact isn’t as intense as I’d have liked, and the emotional connection between the women is nonexistent, I really enjoyed this story.
To set it up, Jenna Banks wins a surprise vacation to the Hotel Erotique, where all of her sexual dreams can come true. She intends to turn down the sex and enjoy the beach, but her handsome guide, Brent Powers, is impossible to resist. Jenna admits that she wants to relinquish control, and Brent is happy to direct her. If you’re squeamish about BDSM, group sex, m/m, or multiple partners, this story is not for you. It’s all a bit of a smorgasbord, to be honest, and plays out as more of a spicy fantasy than a deep-seated need for Jenna. She acts as the submissive, and is aroused by Brent’s orders, but this is not a permanent lifestyle switch for her.
Most of Jenna’s contact with other women is orchestrated by Brent. There’s a harem scene, a sensual massage, and a very sexy encounter at a private pool. The turn-on, for Jenna, is performing for Brent. At times, I found her lack of engagement unsatisfying. She’s okay with receiving oral sex, but not giving it. During the pool scene, there’s a third woman hanging around for no reason, and Brent watches from a distance. I wanted Jenna to get her groove on without these distractions, to find pleasure in another woman for herself.
The romance portion is well done. Jenna and Brent negotiate the sexual relationship like reasonable adults, use safe words, and constantly reevaluate each other. It turns out that Brent needs to change just as much as Jenna, if not more. I appreciated that the story wasn’t just a “good girl gone bad” meets “all-knowing sensual master.” Brent isn’t perfect, and the concession he makes at the end totally worked for me.
All in all, What She Needs is a very steamy read with some nice f/f scenes.