Taint: Sexual Education # 1 by S.L. Jennings with Excerpt and Giveaway
Welcome to today’s review for the first in the series A Sexual Education Novel from S.L. Jennings. Please be sure to read the excerpt, and don’t forget to see what others thought about the title by following the Tour Stops. Also, be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could win one of Ten (10) Print copies of TAINT by S.L. Jennings.
Please be aware – this is an 18+ tile for content and language
I will admit that the synopsis for the story had me intrigued, I was hoping for some dimension to the chraacers, something new and different with a perspective from a ‘master’ that could enlighten and educate women, as they improved their skills. As a premise – it was stellar.
And then, the questions started: like what motivated Justice to start this business, make no mistake, it is a business and he uses language to shock, intrigue and even shame people into following his instructions. He really doesn’t seem, at the core, to like or respect women, and he’s not very good at being challenged.
Now, the first half of the book is intriguing: watching his varied proclamations about the trophy wives who have come to him for that one ‘trick’ that will make them irreplaceable. And perhaps that is part of his attitude: he knows that no one is irreplaceable: the new students that clamor at his doors prove that.
I can’t say that he’s actually a hardened alpha: he talks brash, he acts brash, and he even manages to keep the façade up for a good portion of the story. But then, with one encounter with the girl who wouldn’t accept his belittling and orders, he is a mushy, mousy wimp – prone to clumsily applied poetic rambles and breaks in his confidence and brashness that make him feel like a man with a split personality. I didn’t find those moments helped me to understand the change in him, not to that extent.
And Allison really needed to have a couple of chapters in her POV, in my opinion. As we read it – we are only seeing Justice’s approach and handling, or mishandling of her challenge. I liked her humor and her ability to liven up the plot with some pointed (and well, frankly spot on) comments about him that lead to several encounters that end in storming off. But they do try to make a friendship, even though both seem to want something more, but Ally is married, and well, no one seems to have a chance at answers.
Because when the last page is turned – there are still questions that are HUGE, and unanswered. There wasn’t as much sex as I expected, not from the setting or the blurb, although what is there is very steamy and entertaining, it just isn’t always dramatically unique. Now, I read a ton of erotica, and lots of disenfranchised characters – but neither of these elements quite hit that right note for me in this book, and the lack of resolution to so many questions that are integral to the plot, combined with a THAT’S the Ending sort of whingey moment leave this book firmly in the ‘I’m not sure” category. I was interested and engaged enough despite the issues to read it through to the end: it could be your next favorite.
Right now, you’re probably asking yourself two things:
Who am I?
And, what the hell are you doing here?
Let’s start with the most obvious question, shall we?
You’re here, ladies, because you can’t f*ck.
Oh, stop it. Don’t cringe. No one under the age of 80 clutches their pearls.
You might as well get used to it, because for the next six weeks, you’re going to hear that word a lot. And you’re going to say it a lot.
Go ahead, try it out on your tongue.
Ok, good. Now where were we?
If you enrolled yourself in this program then you are wholly aware that you’re a lousy lay. Good for you. Admitting it is half the battle.
For those of you that have been sent here by your husband or significant other, dry your tears and get over it. You’ve been given a gift, ladies. The gift of mind-blowing, wall-climbing, multiple-orgasm-inducing sex. You have the opportunity to f*ck like a porn star. And I guarantee, you will when I’m done with you.
And who am I?
Well, for the next six weeks, I will be your lover, your teacher, your best friend, and your worst enemy. Your every-f*cking-thing. I’m the one who is going to save your relationship and your sex life.
I am Justice Drake.
And I turn housewives into whores.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to drug and alcohol use / violence and/or sexual content in a genre not specified as Erotic.
After letting the shower rinse away the day’s aggravation, I dress and head to the dining room for dinner. The ladies trickle in one by one, quietly taking seats around the grand table. They’re all still here. Eleven women desperate to reconnect with the men they hope to be tied to until death. The men that promised to move heaven and earth in exchange for their promise of commitment. The men who have broken their vows in order to sate sexual deviancies and feed their egos.
The women are silent as we’re served the first course. Hardly anyone touches the starter of foie gras, elaborately dressed with poached apple in a fig reduction. Not even the scrape of silver against china echoes through the vast space.
I chew slowly, surveying the eleven, perfectly poised women from the head of the table. All are determined to avoid eye contact as they pretend to nibble their appetizers and numb their nerves with wine.
“So …” I start, drawing their reluctant eyes. “When was the last time any of you masturbated?”
A symphony of coughs and gasps coaxes my mouth into a satisfied grin. This group should be fun.
“Excuse me?” one sneers, after downing her red wine. A server moves to grace her with a refill of velvety courage, knowing she’ll need it.
“Did I stutter? Or do you not know what it means to masturbate?”
“What? I know what”—she cringes, flustered, and shakes her head in embarrassment.—“… masturbating is. Why do you feel the need to ask such crude, inappropriate questions?”
I examine the striking redhead still glaring at me, her cherry lips tight with irritation. Her too large, almost animated eyes narrow in abhorrence, burning right through me with unspoken judgment. Even with her face twisted into a scowl, she’s stunning. Not overly done up or glamorous. She’s old Hollywood beautiful, yet there’s something fresh and simple about her.
I frown, because that type of beauty is too much for this place. Yet it’s not enough for the world that she lives in.
Allison Elliot-Carr. Daughter of Richard Elliot, owner and CEO of one of the largest investment banks in the world. Her husband, Evan Carr, is a trust-fund baby from an influential, political family, and Allison’s father’s golden boy. He’s also a pretty boy, a philandering bastard with no qualms about fucking anything in Manolos from Miami to Manhattan. Of course, that tidbit of information is not publicized. It’s my job to know these things. To get inside their heads. To expose their darkest secrets and make them confront them with unrelenting honesty.
Allison purses her lips and shakes her head, her mouth curling into a sardonic smile. “You like this, don’t you? Humiliating us? Making us feel flawed and defective? As if we are the cause of our less-than-perfect marriages? We’re responsible for the way the tabloids rip us to shreds? You don’t know me. You don’t know any of us. Yet you think you can help us? Please. I call that bullshit.”
I set down my silverware and dab my mouth with a linen napkin before giving her a knowing smirk. “Bullshit?”
“Yeah, complete bullshit. I mean, who the hell do you think you are?”
A smile slowly spreads my lips. I imagine licking my chops as a lion would before devouring a graceful, delicate gazelle. “I am Justice Drake,” I state smugly without apology. It’s a promise and an omen, gift-wrapped in two little words.
“Well, Justice Drake … you, my friend, are a bullshit artist. You know nothing about our situations. There’s no magic, cure-all remedy for our marriages. But you wouldn’t know that because you don’t know a damn thing about us. You’re not a part of our world. Hell, you probably do your research on Page Six or TMZ.” With a wave of Thoroughbred arrogance, she settles back into her chair and sips her red wine, her blue, doe eyes trained on my impassive features.
Mimicking her actions, I ease back into my own seat and steeple my fingers under my chin, elbows propped on the arms of the high-backed chair. A beat passes as my gaze delves into hers, unearthing traces of pain, embarrassment, and anger—feelings she’s been taught to hide in the face of the public. Still, no amount of MAC or Maybelline can mask the undeniable hell etched into her ivory skin.
“Allison Elliot-Carr, wife of Evan Winston Carr and daughter to Richard and Melinda Elliot. Graduated from Columbia with a degree in business and finance in 2009, though your true passion is philanthropy, and you spend your free time working with various charities and nonprofits. You pledged Kappa Delta Nu sophomore year, where you met Evan, a senior, legacy member, and president of your brother fraternity. You were exclusive to Evan throughout college, and during Christmas of 2008, he proposed in front of both your families at your parents’ winter estate in Aspen. You were wed the following summer in New York City and honeymooned in the Caribbean. You hate spiders and scary movies, and think sweater vests should be outlawed. You can’t function without Starbucks, have a borderline unhealthy addiction to Friends reruns, and you eat ice cream daily. Mint chocolate chip is your current drug of choice, I believe. And according to the tabloids, your husband is sleeping with your best friend, and charming the panties off half of the Upper East Side. Plus you two haven’t fucked in months. But that’s just a little something I didn’t pick up from Page Six.” I lift an amused brow and lean forward, taking in her horrified expression. “Shall I go on?”
The deafening silence swells and becomes uncomfortably dense, painfully pressing into my temples and crushing my skull, serving as punishment for my questionable conscience’s failure to intervene. Allison’s eyes mist with tears, transforming into an endless blue ocean of hurt. I don’t care. I shouldn’t care.
“Well,” she croaks, her mouth dry and her wineglass empty. “Congratulations, asshole. You know how to navigate Wikipedia.” And as graceful as the elegant gazelle she was bred to be, she slides her chair back and stands, head held high, and glides out of the room.
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About S.L. Jennings
S.L. Jennings is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance, reality TV junkie, obsessive coffee drinker and collector of crazy.