Friends with Partial Benefits by Luke Young

If this book was half as saucy and funny as it thinks it is, Luke Young could make a fortune. Wait. According to Amazon: Over 1.4 million eBooks downloaded! With the sixth and final book released, now is the time to start the hilarious and sexy Friends With Benefits series. Seriously? I’m going to go rethink my life. The book review proper will continue when I return.

[musical interlude]

From Amazon: Jillian Grayson is a disillusioned divorcée and best-selling romance novelist who suddenly can’t write a chapter without her hunky male heartthrob suffering ED, an STD, or even worse. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed college senior who’s unlucky in love and the roommate and best friend of Jillian’s son, Rob. When Rob brings Brian home for Spring Break, and Brian meets the surprisingly young and tennis passionate Jillian, their shared interest quickly develops into an intense mutual attraction. After nearly giving in to their feelings, they hatch a plan, while under the influence (of something more than just the perfect Miami night), to be Friends With Partial Benefits, complete with rules to define the boundaries. Will the lonely pair continue with this distinctive relationship, actually explore their desires, or discover all of it is a really bad idea?

Totally unsurprising spoiler: Yes, she’s 40, but he turns out to be 27.

I read a Danielle Steele novel, once. I think it was her, it might have been Jackie Collins. Whatever the awfulness was, I remember the “novel” as essentially a plot summary with clothing descriptions. Friends with Partial Benefits wasn’t that bad or as much of an offense to the stringing of words together, but it was simply some banter with a suggestion of naughtiness and glimpses of coitus. There was a framework of plot, rather than an actual narrative, and gestures of winking mischievousness in the characters’ exploits: Jillian and Brian find each other hot and desperately fight their attraction for a week or so. Jillian’s widowed friend is sex-crazed and boffing her way through the neighbourhood. There are sundry hijinks involving Jillian’s son and a young woman from college who both said son and Brian, our hero, are interested in. Co-eds claim to be both more and less experienced than they are and there are some questionable slut-shamey attitudes towards this. There’s mention of buttstuff that’s meant, I believe, to upgrade the playful wickedness angle, but Friends with Partial Benefits never committed fully to being either an erotic romp or a romance and therefore fell flat, a softcore pornographic movie in novel form.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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