Spice, $14.95, ISBN 978-0-373-60558-3
Contemporary Erotica, 2011
Tell Me More is a work of contemporary erotica. It has a romantic element, but the central focus is on our radio DJ heroine Jo Hutchinson’s sexual romps with an array of guys while believing that she’s infatuated with an anonymous caller, Mr D. Eventually she ends up with Patrick Delaney, her tenant. Whether or not he’s Mr D, I’d let you find out for yourself. Meanwhile, Jo sleeps with pretty much every guy that crosses her path, in what seems like an attempt to spice up her amorous phone adventures with Mr D. There’s a sex club in here as well, because an erotica is not complete unless there’s a club for everyone that swings.
There are many sex scenes in this story, but I find myself curiously distanced from them. A reason for this is that I don’t get any sense of joy in this story. Jo has sex with so many guys, but I don’t get the impression that she’s enjoying her times with those guys (some of them, she doesn’t even like). Her first time at the sex club ends up with her leaving, bored, and yet she keeps going back there. There is a clinical going through the motions feel to the proceedings, and it isn’t long before I begin to feel bored by the whole thing. Jo has her first person point of view here, but I have a hard time knowing whom she is. I don’t know why she’s sleeping with these boring and rather smarmy guys, I don’t even know why she’s infatuated with Mr D in the first place, and I have no idea why she ends up with Patrick. Patrick isn’t exactly an open book either. He goes from being torn up over his divorce to quickly sleeping with Jo’s co-worker while lusting after Jo. When they end up together finally, I’m indifferent to their happily for now.
Of course, I don’t make it a point to expect plenty of drama and romance from erotica, but when the author throws in a romantic element, I’d like to get at least a little hint as to why the romantic coupling is meant to be. Failing that, plenty of fun sex scenes to make up for the lack. However, Jo doesn’t seem to be having much fun here, and the last quarter or so of this book sees her experiencing all kinds of emotional turmoil when she rather predictably makes a mess of things, which only adds on the gloom factor.
Tell Me More is not an entertaining dirty read, it’s more like a tale of sex standing in for psychotherapy. It doesn’t work for me, I’m afraid.