A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Repost Review: Curio by Cara McKenna

on September 25, 2013

I just finished reading Craving, so before I review it thought I’d repost my review of Curio.

What ticked my fancy: Erotica that made me cry!

What ticked me off: Don’t remember anything. Some reviewers found it too talky.

Who might like it: Anyone intrigued rather than put off by the premise.

I’ve joked before that I’m the only person in the world who reads erotic romance for the story, but reading Curio made me realize that it’s really not a joke. Story is always the most important part of a book to me — it’s just that in interesting erotica, the story is about how people feel about sex.

On an obvious plotline level, very little happens for the first three-fourths of this relatively short book: a repressed older virgin goes to visit a male prostitute several times and they talk a lot and have sex. Not even very obviously adventurous sex; the fact that he’s a prostitute is the most shocking thing about the story, at least in that area. What’s fascinating is what’s going on for them and between them: what we learn from Caroly, our narrator, about how it makes her feel, and what we slowly learn about Didier’s feelings. The utter newness and overwhelming beauty of everything for Caroly is masterfully written.

I don’t want to say much more, because I really enjoyed being surprised by how everything played out. I’ll just say that the ending brought tears to my eyes, and that though this book doesn’t exactly fit the standard “rules” of romance fiction, the romantic in me was completely satisfied. A


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