by Violet Summers, contemporary (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $5.95, ISBN 978-1-59578-429-2
I don't know whether to laugh or not at poor Marcus Worthington. You see, he asked his buddy Daniel Ellis to join him and his wife Karen in bed on the anniversary of the wedding of Marcus and Karen. Alas, Danny balked at the idea of threesomes, since Daniel claimed not to believe in adultery, what with him coming from a broken home and all. But Marcus managed to persuade his buddy to agree, only to come home a later than usual from the office to discover Karen telling Danny that she didn't mind if Danny and she started the show first. She also added that she couldn't stand Marcus tying her up and she didn't even like his domination tendencies.
Of course, because the wife wanted to play with the guy without Marcus being around to supervise and give the thumbs up gesture, that is bad. He decided to give the wife the boot and Karen retaliated by running to the papers and revealing that Marcus likes to dominate in the bedroom. Despite the fact that Marcus isn't exactly a celebrity in the first place, his sex life somehow became public scandal. Well, okay. Marc, as a result, withdrew into his All Women Are Whores mode.
This is where our heroine Carrie Anderson comes in. She's the PA for Marcus and she's infatuated with him for quite a while now. I have high hopes for Carrie at first, mind you, when she threatens to sue Marcus when he tries to fire her to cover his own embarrassment at the start of the story, only to groan when she is willing to settle by asking him to spend the weekend training her to be his submissive. I have to wonder whether Carrie is genuinely into being dominated by the end of the story or she forces herself to love it because she's in love with Marcus. Either way, I just hope she doesn't end up becoming like Karen in a long run, bitter and unable to deal with Marcus' sexual proclivities any more.
I also have some problems with the scene where the hero wants to have unprotected sex with the heroine. He tells her that he's clean and she believes him, without asking for proof, even when she knows for a fact that he'd been carrying on with so many women prior to sleeping with her. That's not smart. Even more worrying is how he tells her that he knows she is clean because he finds her "pure". That's not smart at all. Were I Carrie, I'd wonder how many "pure women" he had done this with before insisting that either he get that rubber out of his wallet or he's going home without getting any.
I also wonder about that Danny fellow who keeps hanging around Marcus, sharing his women (including Carrie) while hating on every other woman (except Carrie, of course) that Marcus sleeps with. He's way too much like a Single White Female sequel waiting to happen. How sure are we that those two men aren't secretly in love with each other but are too inhibited to admit their feelings? They don't have high opinion of women in the first place, so I wonder why they even bother with women. All those constant getting naked together in the same room have to mean something, I'm sure.
On top of everything, I am not too fond of the depiction of the disposable women in Marcus' life as one-dimensional cartoon whores and lying sluts.
At the end of the day, Carrie's Answer is a problematic read for me. Ms Summers allows Carrie to enjoy sex, and I appreciate that, but the rest of the story is pretty much a textbook cliché of ridiculous men with All Women Are Whores complex and loose skanky female caricatures running wild. The whole thing is just not believable.
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