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Delicate by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Gosh! What a beautiful romance! Sports romance with the most gorgeous MCs. Valentina González was a promising tennis playe...

Providence by Leigh Hays

⭐⭐⭐★

This is a genre-fluid book (borrowing, adopting and adapting the concept of gender-fluid here since that’s the only way to describe this book). It has romance, erotica, BDSM (but not intense enough to make us cringe) – so it’s all of these, yet none of them.

Lindsey Blackwell, daughter of a US Senator, is a globe-trotting wealth management consultant, partner in her own firm with Cathryn Wexler. She returns from an overseas trip to be informed that there were irregularities discovered in their third partner, Roger’s work and Cathryn has fired him. So Lindsey inherits Roger’s clients. One of them is Rebekiah Kearns, a boudoir photographer, who has come into a large inheritance courtesy a friend. Rebekiah doesn’t want to keep the money and is itching to give it away hence seeking the help of a wealth consultant. Lindsey doesn’t think Rebekiah should be hasty about unloading her inheritance and also that maybe better planning of the money can go a longer way to helping more people than a one-time donation. Insta-attraction (mostly lust) sees Rebekiah agreeing to Lindsey’s proposal of taking a little more time and deliberating some more about what can be done. Working on Lindsey’s ideas moves on to Lindsey becoming a model for Rebekiah and their relationship developing further.

We’re not quite certain about the two leads. Don’t get us wrong – both are well fleshed out with solid backstories, but we just didn’t get any feel about them. Rebekiah comes across as more or less a harmless drifter and we don’t understand much of her motivations. Maybe if her relationship with Emma was better fleshed out, we’d have got a better grasp of the character, her emotions (and emotional depth) and motivations. But as things are in this book, she seems a superficial drifter both emotionally and sexually. (Confession: during daily drudgery we often fantasized about becoming an artistic photographer, but now that we know something like boudoir photography exists, that is our dream job :D ).

Lindsey was even more difficult to understand. She is a successful wealth management consultant, which is at best a highly buttoned-up, uptight industry. Plus her mother is a US Senator. Yet, she not only agrees to being photographed by Rebekiah in extremely intimate acts, she also signs a model-waiver, which means she agrees to have her photographs out for public consumption. Had she just agreed to having said photographs takes privately, we’d have been able to understand it as latent exhibitionism, but to be okay with them being displayed publicly? We just couldn’t find an off switch to our mind screaming How is she allowing this? at eight hundred decibels. This is just one thing.

Lindsey is also a recovering alcoholic, which doesn’t exactly scream ‘responsible’.When Cathryn fires Roger without bringing Lindsey (remember, Linsey is a partner in the firm) into the loop, Lindsey is perfectly okay about it. She doesn’t even ask to see the irregularities. After being approached by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Lindsey still doesn’t seem to be particularly interested in what’s happening in her firm. When she learns that there have been payments made by her firm to a Russian who could have links to the Russian mafia – surprisingly, even that doesn’t seem to create a blip on her inexplicable nonchalance.

Yet, despite all this, we liked Lindsey more than Rebekiah. (There is a passing reference to Lindsey’s past infidelities in a long-term relationship. Thankfully that is not detailed too much. Nothing – nothing – makes us dislike a person more than them breaking someone’s heart either by cheating or being emotionally unavailable and/or absent. We are hopeless romantics that way.)

So here’s the thing – while there is nothing wrong with the book, there is nothing to do cartwheels about either. Though we feel very teenage about doing this, for a recommendation we’d go with a non-committal shrug.       

⭐⭐⭐★

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