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REVIEW: Glutton for Pleasure by Alisha Rai

Dear Ms. Rai:

coverThis is the first book of yours that I have read. I picked it because it featured a non caucasion protagonist; it  had to do with cooking; and there were two hot guys in the story. I had mixed emotions at the end of the story. On the one hand I loved that the heroine,  Devi Malik, read like an authentic person of color.   I appreciated the committed threesome.   I felt, though, that there wasn’t as much character and relationship building as was needed to completely sell me on the romance.

Devi Malik is the chef at her family restaurant that she runs with her two older sisters.   Every Tuesday night for a month, one customer has come in and ordered her special, “a special twist on a thick lamb curry.”   Devi’s curiosity at who Mr. Tuesday Special was fanned by her sister, the front of the house, gushing about Mr. Tuesday Special’s good looks, great tipping habits, and “overall perfection.”   Devi peeked at him one night and agreed that her sister, Rana, was absolutely right in her assessment of him as perfection.

Mr. Tuesday Special came in on a Saturday and asked to meet the chef. In the ensuing panic, Devi burns herself, ruins a dish, and becomes generally discombobulated but she does want to meet him and so pulls herself together.

Jace Callahan stopped in one day to The Palace, got drunk off the food and then caught sight of the chef, Devi, and was determined to have her.   And having her meant getting his brother on board because Jace and Marcus weren’t just twins.   They shared women on a frequent basis because it was physically satisfying, but more importantly, emotionally necessary.   Jace believes for some reason not fully articulated that Devi could be the one for them and brings Marcus to meet her. (This part is a bit elusive for me. I didn’t know if Devi had some special pheremone she released that signalled she was made for two men or whether she plated the lamb in such a way that Jace had an inkling she was accepting of that kind of relationship or what).

Devi has no idea that Jace is a) attracted to her or b) interested in a menage. Her sister, Rana, practically has to draw diagrams with stick figures and maps to explain that Jace wants her bad and that Jace and Marcus are known to share women. It wasn’t Rana’s idea that Jace and Marcus would jump Devi’s bones, but she isn’t opposed to seeing her sister spread her wings sexually after Devi’s been so withdrawn since the end of Devi’s last relationship.

Devi isn’t traumatized by her last breakup like Rani believes. Instead she’s just disillusioned. She wants the grand passion but can’t seem to find it and the idea of hooking up with two men ready to lavish their attention on her is enticing and worth the risk.

Marcus isn’t the relationship type. He believes he’s content with the random and casual hookups but he has sensed Jace’s impatience and dissatisfaction with that lifestyle. The truth is that Jace is tired of casual relationships. He’s determined to woo Devi for both Marcus and himself and by the time she’s won, Marcus will not be able to let her go. Or so Jace hopes.

The setup, while slightly unbelievable, worked for me. Where the story stumbled was in the execution of the plot. Devi, Marcus, and Jace immediately embark on a physical relationship.   There’s little that the three know about each other but that doesn’t stop the hookup.   I think the instant physical connection was emblematic for most of the story which revolved primarily around the sex.   

Then there’s the exaggerated characters of Jace and Marcus. Jace is the neat one who likes clothes, cuddling, and cute things. Marcus is the one who has the harder edge; hates shopping, domesticity, and the even the mention of love. At times, Jace seems to be almost effeminate. Marcus and Jace come from a horrific childhood and of course, this is their excuse for having to have one woman to complete the threesome.

The initial chapters of the book showed detailed cooking by Devi and I wish more of that had been carried throughout the book. Perhaps it could have been metaphorical for her growing feelings for the two men or maybe symbolic of their relationship but after the first scene, cooking and food became more of a sexual prop than anything else.

What was wonderful were the descriptions of Devi, told mostly through the eyes of Jace and Marcus, that were wholly in keeping with her ethnicity. Her flesh was golden and her nipples were brown. (as opposed to the rosy nipples and the pale white skin we are so often reading about). Jace and Marcus’ view of Devi was that she was this lush goddess, pillowy and full and perfect for them in her round, brown beauty. It was easy to understand their attraction for her and vice versa. The sex scenes were spicy and well done.   I just wished that more attention was spent to fleshing out the three as individuals instead of characters in a menage. C+

Best regards

Jane

This book can be purchased in ebook format from Samhain.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

12 Comments

  1. Angela James
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 14:14:56

    This is the first book of yours that I have read.

    I *think* this is her first published release.

    I need to put this book on my Sony Reader and give it a go.

  2. Shanal
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 15:33:20

    Is the incest addressed in the book? I assume from the review the brothers are intimate with each other and don’t just take turns with Devi. Even if they do, well, I can’t imagine the childhood they must have had that resulted in them unable to create healthy, autonomous relationships of their own.

    If this had been about a sterile brother and sister searching for a third partner to complete them emotionally would you feel the same way about it?

  3. Jinni
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 17:42:36

    If only it weren’t an e-book, I’d give this a whirl. If it comes out in print, I’ll pick up a copy.

    I’ll read anything with a non-white heroine. Unfortunately it seems the abused hero background is getting a little too much play lately. Wasn’t that the issue in the latest Sarah Mayberry?

    @Jane – you may want to fix that misspelling of the author’s name in the blog entry’s tag.

  4. Samantha
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 20:01:27

    They shared women on a frequent basis because it was physically satisfying, but more importantly, emotionally necessary.

    Didn’t Lora Leigh write this same book about 20 times? LOL

  5. Angela James
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 20:05:12

    Is the incest addressed in the book? I assume from the review the brothers are intimate with each other and don't just take turns with Devi. Even if they do, well, I can't imagine the childhood they must have had that resulted in them unable to create healthy, autonomous relationships of their own.

    Brothers sharing a woman is a common trope in erotic romance, no incest. Not to say there aren’t those books out there that also include the brothers together, but the popular erotic romances are brothers sharing, but not being intimate with each other (see the commenter after you mentioning Lora Leigh as exhibit one :P ).

  6. ReacherFan
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 20:13:42

    LOL I reviewed the book on my blog and gave it a B, largely because I liked Devi. But I said the two men were generic in erotic romance and you’ve met them before in other books (I was thinking of Lora Leigh). Yeah, not original.

    Shanal – I don’t know why you would think the brothers were intimate with each other. They aren’t. This is a threesome with Devi in the middle.

  7. Shanal
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 22:03:06

    Devi, Marcus, and Jace immediately embark on a physical relationship.

    ReacherFan – because of the above.

    I had no idea “Brothers sharing a woman is a common trope in erotic romance, no incest.” And, oddly, I almost feel like I should apologize for being so . . . appalled? saddened? (both are true but not quite right) Ah, I’ve got it . . . being unable to say ‘to each his own’. I can say it — and mean it — about a lot but not that.

  8. Alisha Rai
    Apr 05, 2009 @ 22:55:27

    Holy crap. This was a surprise to see while I was just trying to put off sleeping.

    Jane, I will take your grade with pleasure. I’m sorry some parts didn’t work for you, but I’m happy you liked Devi. I sincerely hope you read and review my next one.

    What is the deal with rosy nipples everywhere! SOME of us aren’t lucky enough to have cotton candy nubs that harden to red berries, damn it. I would have written a non-caucasian heroine just to throw some brown nips around.

    It is my first published work. With Samhain, print does eventually come.

    NO incest. None at all.

    Thanks again! Now excuse me while I geek this up and screenshoot my first DA review…

  9. Lori
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 07:24:30

    Actually that’s an interesting question… just because there’s a third party does that mean that the incest isn’t there? Would it be incestuous if there were two brothers sitting together on a bed and jacking off?

    I’m going to be thinkng about this for awhile I think. What if it were two sisters? Or a brother and a sister?

    Sorry… don’t expect answers. Just personally finished a Lora Leigh book this weekend, Marly’s Choice which I didn’t enjoy and did have the three brothers trope. Of course they had to share because of a violently abusive background…

    And Reacherfan… aren’t the brothers naturally intimate with each other if their clothes are off and they’re both having sex with the same person at the same time? What constitutes intimacy?

    Okay, time to stop writing. My brain hurts.

  10. Anon
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 13:13:24

    And having her meant getting his brother on board because Jace and Marcus weren't just twins. They shared women on a frequent basis because it was physically satisfying, but more importantly, emotionally necessary.

    I think it’s the emotionally necessity that squicks me. Then again, I’ve never been able to get into menages with siblings or other various family members in them. *shudders* Can someone explain how it can be emotionally necessary without crossing over into a dark and ucky place?

  11. Jayne
    Apr 06, 2009 @ 17:48:58

    Jinni – tag is fixed.

    Shanal and Alisha – your comments were retrieved from our spam filter. Sorry for the delay in getting them posted.

  12. All About Samhain « Jorrie Spencer
    Apr 07, 2009 @ 08:14:58

    [...] Glutton For Pleasure by Alisha Rai C+ [...]

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