“Rough sex doesn’t fix everything. Sometimes you actually have to talk.”
As much as possible, I try to push myself as a reader, to read beyond comfort zones, expand horizons and challenge my imagination. I've yet to scratch the surface of these wonderful worlds, yet to have read and quoted every heart-wrenching dialogue crafted especially to gut me every imaginable way...
But sometimes, I just want to read some smut.
Not the funny, absurd kind with men who cums jarfuls of semen but the smut that calls to the romantic in me that answers the call of the hot, tattooed rockstar... Like the Thundercats answering Lion-O.
Unfortunately, I am not a Thundercat (dammit!) and while the lure of sex, drugs and rock and roll is strong on this one, I could not switch off that part of me that needs to connect with the characters, to make sense of their actions and thoughts that enables me to empathize with their requisite drama and share in their joy as they triumph against all odds.
I thought the premise of Lick was promising: a girl wakes up in Vegas married to a rockstar without any such recollection on their wedding night. Mixing rock and roll with matrimony always end up with something interesting. John and Yoko, Mick and Bianca, Tommy and Pamela... Need I go on? So the first chapter really hooked me in, because the possibilities of squee and shenanigans was endless as Evelyn, the plain, country music loving heroine, tries to piece together her night of debauchery with a stranger who turns out to be rock icon David Ferris.
The succeeding chapters called for some meditating with my WHAT WOULD BRITNEY DO bracelet.
If I found out a total stranger married me while I was drunk, while KNOWING full well I was drunk, I probably would've demand for a divorce then go back home. Which was what Ev did. Yay Ev!
But probably not get on a private plane to LA immediately after landing from Vegas, back to the stranger I married, in order to escape the paparazzi camped at my house. To sign my divorce papers.
From there every scene was solely between David and Evelyn, which was good for the steam factor but not for either characters' personality details. They never spent any time apart longer than a few pages, and when they do, you could smell the contrived plot device to have one of them turn up unannounced two paragraphs in. I was around 50% in when I realized I don't know enough about these people to care about their drama. Who was Evelyn the daughter? The friend? The sister? Who is David beyond his fame and fortune? Where does his principle stand on the lifestyle he's in? What's their stand on same-sex marriage and the genocide in Uganda?
Something. Anything for me to latch on to care beyond the sex. Some of these questions did get answered. In the end. At which point I was too exhausted to care and suddenly giving a damn about these people felt moot with only a chapter to go. Sadly, the only character who I felt like I understood was Martha because her actions at least bore some semblance of logic.
I also felt the story failed to capitalize on two of its strongest plot points: David and Ev's drunk marriage and David and Jimmy's relationship. The former got resolved halfway through the book putting a kibosh on the tension (which is always the best part) and just going all out on the sexeh (which was mediocre at best). I found the David and Jimmy dynamics to be severely lacking, in terms of being band mates and brothers. Who didn't pick a side between Liam and Noel Gallagher? That little nugget of conflict could have powered this book on its own but wasn't exploited much, unfortunately.
The writing was a bit all over the place. Most of the time it was okay and I didn't get bothered by it, but there were stretches that sounded like Ev needed some Ritalin.
“Does your heart understand you’re finished with her? I guess I mean your head, don’t I? The heart’s just another muscle, really. Silly to say it decides anything.”
So many thoughts, so few pages! Furthermore, Ev's inner thoughts have moments that have that brand of strange bordering on funny where I'm not sure if I should laugh or frown.
“He treated me like I was precious. Like I was a china doll. One he could apparently have rough sex with upon occasion.”
"I needed new panties and a heart transplant."
I feel this would have worked better as a novella, because as a quick and sexy romp this would have totally delivered. I would then just take it for the fun and sexytimes that it did provide and I wouldn't have any material to overanalyze and pick on, no grief to give the cardboard personalities of both leads. But as the plot thickened so did the expectations which, unfortunately this one fell short out of. To modify David's words:
“With great breasts more pages, come great responsibility.”