A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Review: Reversal by Cara McKenna

on October 15, 2013

What tickled my fancy: The progression in the relationship is becoming really exciting.
What ticked me off: Nothing, though I seem to prefer the stories written in Caroly’s voice over Didier’s.
Who might like this: Readers who enjoyed the previous stories. Start at the beginning.

Continuing the pattern of alternating between voices, the fourth book in the “Curio” series is narrated by Didier, the agoraphobic Parisian prostitute. But the pattern breaks with the title — all the previous books began with a C — and I think this is deliberate, since the theme of the book is, obviously, reversing the usual order of things.

As the book begins, Didier is dealing with the shameful aftermath of having a brave attempt go badly wrong; hoping to surprise his lover Caroly with a present from a shop he hasn’t been able to visit in years, he instead got lost and is now a nervous wreck. Didier has begun to want a more regularized relationship with Caroly, to even live with her — which would pretty much require changing jobs. But his failure makes the whole idea seem impossible.

When Caroly arrives, Didier attempts to soothe himself by devoting himself to her pleasure, as usual. But Caroly objects to being used for distraction, and proposes that she take charge, for a change.

I enjoyed this more than the first story narrated by Didier, which felt a little too flowery to me.  He’s very vulnerable here, which is touching, and the descriptions of his anxiety were illuminating. The suspense about their relationship is intense — although I was happy with the end of Curio as it stood, seeing them move closer to admitting they’re in love and perhaps to an exclusive relationship is making my romantic heart go pitter-pat.  I’m torn between wanting to dive into the last two stories and knowing I should stretch them out so as to properly enjoy them.

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