Show and Tell

Jasmine Haynes
2008, Erotic Romance
Berkley Sensation, $14.00, 320 pages, Amazon ASIN 042522158X

Grade: B
Sensuality: Burning

A reserved woman’s sexual liberation is hardly new ground when it comes to erotic romance. Sometimes the story works, sometimes it doesn’t. Show and Tell works for the most part, though there was a bit lost in the story of Trinity Green's conversion.

All her life Trinity has counted calories, made sure her lipstick stayed intact during sex, conducted charity work, and generally lived her life as the cool and composed trophy wife she thought she should be. However, after she walks in on her husband with another woman in the shower, she kicks him out, then leaves to stay in a hotel for the night. She realizes that her attempts at perfection led to a lack of passion, so she decides to throw her old life out the window. And the first step is letting a stranger into her hotel room, after he hears her self-induced orgasms through the wall.

Scott Sinclair is a successful CFO whose marriage came to an end after his youngest daughter left for college. Hearing Trinity through the wall spurred him to do something he’d never done before. Though they don’t have sex, his voyeurism begins an affair – and he doesn’t know her name. He refers to her as Jezebel and they arrange meetings and engage in phone sex through an untraceable line or through e-mail. Trinity’s personal and professional life is on a downhill slide, and she finds herself relying more and more on Scott, though she refuses to make it more than sex, which would require her to relinquish control.

For a relationship in which it takes about 2/3 of a book for one character to learn the other’s name, their emotional connection was surprisingly believable. Scott is significantly older than her - more than 15 years - but they have a good dynamic and great chemistry (both physical and emotional). Though both were given to a few bouts of childishness that belied their respective ages, his maturity and wisdom are what Trinity needs.

There were several subplots, involving a blackmailer and a feud between Trinity’s brother and father that floundered a bit. While both were resolved in the end, they could have had a larger, more significant role in the story as a whole.

Also, Trinity’s reinvention came a bit too quickly for me. One minute she measures the skim milk she drinks with a half-slice of dry toast and makes sure her hair doesn’t get messed up in bed, then the next she’s having crepes with cream sauce and giving strangers blow jobs in the back seats of cars (well, only one stranger, but you get my point). I wanted more hesitancy, more struggle in breaking her ways. I also wanted her liberation to be more than sexual (perhaps a tall order when it comes to erotic romance) and caloric. Trinity is certainly a feisty character in this book, but I can’t imagine she was so tart with her husband.

Overall, though, this was an enjoyable read. Scott and Trinity's great chemistry made for a sexy, emotional romance.

-- Jane Granville

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