Alice Gaines, $2.99, ISBN 978-1-940854-07-6
Contemporary Romance, 2015
Southern belle Dixie Ann Beaumont had met many gorgeous blue-blooded men in her younger days, but she was never attracted to any of them, even when they tried to stick their fingers into places that they shouldn’t reach into. It’s not like Dixie is waiting for the right man, mind you, as she’s rushing to spread her legs and do the holla-holla with Ulrich “Rick” VomRamsburg on that every evening that they first bump into one another. It’s not like she wants to be a princess or anything either. Hence, I can only imagine that, at the moment she first looks at Rick, Dixie has finally entered puberty.
The sex is great, but Dixie has some issues about whether she can hold on to any man. She had a horrible divorce, you see. No matter, Rick shows up again after she’s left him the next morning, and they have sex. They go around talking and doing mundane, uninteresting things before having sex—this is repeated so often that Beauty Awakened, which starts out as an acceptable, if unremarkable, three-oogie read, soon slides further and further down the slippery slope where I am concerned.
Now, make no mistake, it can be nice to read about idyllic adventures of the rich and beautiful in a time like this. I am stuck at home, after all, and vicarious escapades are always welcome. However, the author chooses to have her characters spend time on hokey-pokey Southern stuff that has been done so many times before. I soon begin to yawn as I turn the pages. He’s a prince, right? So where’s the hot air balloon trip, the shopping sprees at posh places with names that I can’t pronounce, the magnificent dinners, and hot sex at exotic locations? Why have a prince for a hero, only to make him do boring stuff that any hoedown, podunk guy can do on an ordinary day?
The story relies on an increasingly repetitive sex scenes and filler moments to keep itself going, and I feel that there is actually no good reason for it to be as long as it is. The initial connection between the two main characters is physical in nature, and I never get the impression that things progress much beyond that even by the end of the story. Worst, the author slaps an eye-rolling conflict in the late act, for Dixie to pull off that predictable “I rush to the conclusion that you lied to me, for reasons that make me look really stupid, but hey, the story needs a conflict so may as well be me, eeee!” act. That… thing… doesn’t assure me that these two characters have developed any maturity to handle future conflicts in their relationship, so it’s not like I close this story thinking that the ending is worth the tedious slog up to that point.
If the author had halved the length of this story and ended the whole thing after Dixie has had the first of many best-ever orgasms in her life, this one would have been an alright read. The author keeps things going on and on, however, without injecting any compelling internal or external drama to make it worth my time. So while it’s Beauty Awakened where Dixie is concerned, beautiful old me is falling asleep.