Faking It – Elisa Lorello

What to expect:
After breaking off her engagement, thirty-something writing professor Andi Cutrone abandons New England for her native Long Island to focus on her career and start over. When she meets Devin at a cocktail party, the sight of an honest-to-goodness male escort shocks her—and fascinates her more than a little. Months later, Andi impulsively calls Devin. Over cheesecake in Brooklyn, she offers him a proposition: he will teach her how to be a better lover, and in return, she will give him writing lessons. He agrees, and together they embark upon an intense partnership that proves to be as instructive as it is arousing. For in the midst of lessons in rhetorical theory and foreplay, Andi and Devin delve into deeper questions about truth, beauty, and self, gradually coming face-to-face with the issues at the core of their emotional limitations. Smart, witty, and introspective, Faking It is an engrossing novel about two people discovering their authentic selves.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Andi has problems with intimacy but doesn’t understand their cause and how to overcome them. Fortunately she gets up the nerve to enlist the expertise of a male escort in a barter arrangement. Andi has (well justified) professional confidence; she is a very talented writing professor well on the way to academic acclaim. Her personal life contrasts this with body image issues, a difficult relationship with her mother and a sense of not belonging in either of the areas in which she’s lived. Fortunately Devin proves just the catalyst she needs to find personal freedom. Andi’s self aware enough to know that she’s going to break the rules and fall for Devin- but things don’t turn out quite as expected.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Devin is not your average frothy male, his hidden depths cause Andi to question his choice of occupation- but as with Andi, his own hang ups are holding him back. Andi’s best mate Maggie shares her love of writing, she employed her and they each push each other to improvement. Maggie’s pleasantly non-judgmental. Various other smaller characters are well thought out and varied, especially the men in Andi’s life.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The setting isn’t really the focus here, the standout feature is the teaching of writing (the author passes on her own love and expertise), and the breaking down of Andi’s hang ups. I did tune out some of the more involved discussions on rhetoric and composition- i think you’d need to be educated to a higher level on the subject than I am to understand them! But that doesn’t detract from an absorbing read for all.

Nookie for your Nook?– Surprisingly chaste considering the subject matter. While it’s quite steamy, a discreet veil is drawn at delicate moments.

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s a strange mixture of frothily readable and stylishly intelligent. I loved the unpredictability of it, especially the ending. The description above is not quite accurate, it felt more like Andi enlisted Devin to break down her psychological barriers, rather than becoming a better lover. You might imagine that a story involving the inexperienced Andi entering into a contractual relationship might head into Fifty Shades territory, but it’s way smarter, less sleazy and the heroine doesn’t make you want to stab her in the eye. Andi is the kind of leading lady I appreciate; she has guts, confidence and enough self respect to be her own woman. It’s a fun, witty, clever, sexy and original story with surprises along the way.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £3.49, although I recently got it on special for 99p.

US: Amazon for $2.99.

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