Published by: Loveswept
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Order at: Amazon
Reviewed by: Erin
What to Expect: An impeccably written erotic thriller, with terrific, complex characters and great female friendships.
Tiffany: After fighting for a new life, I don’t want to play the victim anymore. However, with three kids to raise, I’m getting desperate enough to make a deal with the devil. My estranged brother-in-law, Blake, says he just wants to help, but he’s been trouble since I met him. I don’t know if I can believe this kinder, gentler Blake, and there’s a friction between us that has turned into the sweetest chemistry. He could be my salvation . . . or my downfall.
Blake: I haven’t always had Tiffany’s best interests at heart but I’m ready to make up for my sins. Besides, I can’t help admiring her: The girl’s a genuine survivor, tough and lean, with eyes of steel. But the more I get to know Tiffany, the more I want her. Every inch of her. Which means I’m about to make a bad situation a hell of a lot worse.
Wait for It is filled with complicated, difficult, messy emotions. It’s dark, erotic, painful, and hopeful all at the same time. I loved this book, to the point where I’m not even sure how to write about it and I just want to put it in people’s faces. It’s wrenching and so goddamn smart and so sexy and yet I know it’s not going to be for everyone. (More on that later.) It’s a difficult book filled with difficult, but not unlikable characters. They have a long, hard road to an HEA, and god, is it ever great when they get there.
This book features Tiffany, the woman from the trailer park who befriends Annie in the first book. She’s been in an abusive relationship, trying to flee from her scumbag husband with her three small kids. When Phil’s rich brother Blake shows up, he tries to pay her $10k to go away. He doesn’t believe that the kids are Phil’s and thinks Tiffany is just trying to scam him. As much as she wants to throw it in his face, she talks him up to $20k and tells him to fuck off, like the badass that she is.
When their paths cross again, neither of them are prepared for how their mutual distrust, attraction, fear of Phil, and protectiveness of Tiffany’s kids will lead them to common ground again and again. This book shows us an absolute mess of emotional, financial, and physical ties, and shows us that something hopeful and healthy can come from it.
That said…I think there are absolutely some readers who won’t be able to get past a certain plot point. (Spoilers ahead)
In the course of them trying to make sense of their shattered emotional states, Blake pays Tiffany to have sex with him. She accepts the money partly because she knows it will make things easier for Blake, in terms of keeping his emotions separate, partly because she wants to have sex with him and it makes things easier for her, and partly because her three kids just had the stomach flu and she missed a bunch of waitressing shifts. It’s not prettied up or explained away that she really does need the money and that is part of her motivation. I remember saying “Ohhh, Oh, ok, ok” out loud while I was reading it, because I know that’s going to be a tough buy for a lot of people. It worked for me, because you got many books of buildup for both of these characters, and I think O’Keefe puts in the work to make you as ok with it as possible before and after.
I think it helps that they both feel really weird about it after, and that she doesn’t immediately fall into his arms in love/lust/gratitude. She’s basically like, “This is super fucked up that you think you need this, get your head on straight, but I’m going to wreck you and you’ll beg me for it.” It’s so painful and so good and so exquisitely, precisely written. This is the kind of story where if the author misses one emotional beat, has one misplaced word, it could toss the reader out of the story. And that doesn’t happen here. It’s impeccable.
Aside from the writing, I also loved the wonderful female relationships at the heart of this book. Tiffany and her sister, Tiffany and Annie, the growing relationship between Tiffany and Blake’s mother…they are relationships I recognize, fierce and loving, complicated and sometimes burdened by history. Tiffany is a woman surrounded by women, and her relationship with Blake has to fit into that, rather than the other way around. O’Keefe spends a lot of time exploring these characters as well-rounded, fully fleshed-out people, which helps to anchor you during all of the dark and difficult parts.
I loved this book, but it’s probably not going to be for everyone, and that’s ok! However, if you think 1st person dark erotic romance isn’t your thing…maybe give this series a try? It’s the best example of the genre I’ve come across.
What you may not like: This one might be too dark for some folks, or you might not get past the prostitution part.
What I loved: This is a deeply erotic, impeccably written book with terrific women at its core.
Erin is a full time contributor to Binge on Books. She is a voracious reader and reviewer who has been been reading romances since she stole them from under her neighbor’s mom’s bed while she was at work. You can read all her reviews here.
Connect with Erin on Twitter: @booksandjoe