Cover Image: Writing Her In

Writing Her In

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Member Reviews

When best-selling mystery author and slight curmudgeon Stacia Leonard gets the chance to meet the super popular cover model she credits for helping launch her series into the big leagues, she hesitantly agrees. All she really wants to do is crawl into bed after a long day of book signing, but her publicist and she agree this is one photo-op she shouldn't miss, especially since her series is being optioned for TV.
Adrien Valliere has a bit of an ulterior motive in asking Stacia to visit him and his wife at their LA home. The Valliere's appear to be a beautiful, perfect couple, but while they are madly in love they have a secret.
Dara, Adrien's wife, hopes Stacia will be able to give Adrien what he needs, not realizing that Stacia may also be able to help Dara with the same.
A delicious unconventional romance story between a husband, his wife, and the woman they both fall in love with (don't worry, with happily ever-afters for all). 
Besides being decadently sexy, the details of Stacia's life as a popular author, Dara's art, and Adrien's modeling career are exceptionally well-drawn, adding a lovely depth to an already stunning character study. I cannot wait to read more in this series!
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with this book apart from the part that I was expecting something very different from the marketing. We have an author and non-monogamy as the main events of this book, which immediately put me in mind of The Siren by Tiffany Riesz.

The way that this was marketed said that this was a polyamorous book. I would agree so far that it was a book with non-monogamy in it, but it also had themes of don't ask, don't tell between the already existing relationship, and it was a physical only relationship that Adrien and Stacia were to embark on at the start. I had the feeling multiple times throughout that it was not something that Stacia probably would have accepted had she had any feeling that she deserved more than what they were offering for the first half of the book. 

That said, the second half was much better in terms of themes. The main thing I had as a problem there was that it seemed a lot more rushed. Obviously we knew the characters at that point and they no longer needed to be quite so fleshed out, but I felt as though the problems that were brought up in the beginning of the story were either swept under the rug or resolved far too easily. I would have liked to see Stacia stand up for herself, rather than the two options we were given which was her running away or else being convinced of what she was worth by Adrien and his wife Dara. 

I really did love Dara's part of the story, however. Her backstory particularly was fleshed out well and the reason she was so drawn to Adrien despite not having a sexual attraction to men made a lot of sense to me. As did the friends to lovers storyline that went between her and Stacia.
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I really wanted to love this book. I really, really did. But there were just too many little annoyances that built up until I couldn't stand it.

Stacia, the author of a megapopular detective book series, currently in LA for a book signing, gets propositioned for a one-night stand by her cover model, Aidan, who is cheered on by his wife, Dara. Dara and Aidan have been together since high-school and married well over a decade, and they have a wonderful, healthy, honest marriage and adore each other. The only issue is that they are sexually incompatible- Dara seems to feel zero sexual attraction to Aidan and finds sex highly unpleasant. Seeing how Aidan has a libido and Dara is someone who tries to make everyone happy, she encourages him to hit up Stacia and take his chance with her, Dara's personal reservations on the subject. One night turns to two, to more, and all three people try to navigate falling in love while working together.

Right, that was the plot. Here we go into the details of what I had issues with. Spoilers beware.

* First of all, these three people are awful at communication. Dara, realizing she might be sexually attracted to Stacia, has sex with her without telling Aidan. Once is fine, as she needs time to figure out what this means to her. But then, when she's in Stacia's city for a work thing, she goes over to Stacia's house and has sex with her again and then still doesn't tell Aidan, for weeks afterwards. Their marriage is presented as open and honest, so why does she wait until Aidan and Stacia are fighting to just throw this, might I say, VERY important information at him? And Aidan doesn't really react to it either. You'd assume that his wife telling him she's bisexual (or a lesbian? Demisexual? it wasn't clear from the book) would have him have at least some kind of reaction. Plus keeping secret the fact she slept with someone else, even if originally they said they are both okay with the other sleeping with someone else, felt almost like cheating. 
* Dara and Aidan keep intruding on Stacia's comfort zone when she clearly said she doesn't want to see them. For plot reasons, Stacia and Aidan are fighting, so Dara just packs up and shows up on Stacia's doorstep the next day, basically forcing her to host her. And /then/ Aidan shows up as well. I'm sorry, what? That's absolutely unacceptable. How is this not a stalker behaviour?
* This is mostly on me, but when Dara is introduced, everything points to her being sex-repulsed/sex-averse asexual, which made me SO excited, so seeing how she turned out not to be ace was a bitter disappointment for me
* At one point when they're fighting, Aidan does the 'stops the heroine from speaking by making out with her' which always enrages me
* I couldn't like Raleigh, because there was just one too many 'bitches' thrown around by him. Seeing how this woman he keeps insulting is I'm assuming one of his future love interests means I'll not be picking up the next book.
* this is a nitpick, but when Stacia says the producers of the tv shows want to make a season per book based on her series, I laughed. You telling me some producers are out there saying they're already planning 10 series based on some books, when most tv shows with stars acting in them have to fight for every season they get? I'm sorry, but that's just too implausible.
* there are barely any scenes of the three of them being a unit. There's a lot of one-on-one action but by the time they are supposedly in love, we see them together only for one sex scene and that's it. That doesn't make me believe in HEA for these characters.

I enjoyed these characters, mostly. I enjoyed Aidan and Dara's interactions, I especially liked Dara as a character. But I couldn't enjoy them properly, because of all the unpleasant and bizzare things they pulled. I usually enjoy messy characters (in fact I love them), but none of these issues were even presented as issues, let alone worked through.
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*~~*ARC kindly provided to me for an honest review *~~*

- Review to come

Review originally posted on my blog with added content on Mikku-chan / A world full of words
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