Monday, November 18, 2013

Review: Guilty Pleasures

Title: Guilty Pleasues
Author: Manuela Cardiga
Publication Date: December 5 2013
Source: Net Galley
Gorgeous, narcissistic, self-absorbed Lance Packhard is a sex therapist specializing in Awakenings, helping anorgasmic women find sexual fulfillment.

Lance’s spare time is dedicated to the cult of his body and writing a how-not-to book entitled Sexual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate. His personal life consists of Sunday tea with his grandmother and a monthly night out with his best friend, George. Oh, and no sex, none whatsoever.

When a wealthy, ruthless mother offers him an enormous sum to seduce and impregnate her thirty-six-year-old daughter, Millicent Deafly, a debt-ridden Lance hesitantly agrees.
However, Millicent is not into sex, and definitely not into Lance. She’s chosen the other end of the sensuality spectrum and is heavily into food. She is bright, bouncy and joyous, uninhibitedly plump, natural, and completely dedicated to her palate. The only way Lance will get her attention is if he dabs soy sauce on his pulse points.

Determined to get close to her, Lance creates an alter ego—sweetly shy Wilfred Pecklise—and takes a job at Millicent’s dinner club, Guilty Pleasures.

Guilty Pleasures caters to the flamboyant and the eccentric: supermodels pigging out, trash-metal rock stars with penis-piercings and their loving grannies, the widows of billionaires, and many more oddities.

Lance finds himself immersed in a sensuous world of scents, tastes, and color, and befriended by Serge Moreno—a homosexual black dwarf who has had a colorful life as a prostitute in Istanbul, a fluffer in skin flicks in Vegas, and is now a celebrity chef in London.

Ironically, Lance isn’t just failing to seduce Millie, but falling madly in love with her.
Balancing the two lives of Lance and Wilfred becomes next to impossible when his geeky best friend, George, suddenly marries and decides to hold the reception at Guilty Pleasures. Will the truth be uncovered?

I was really excited to get this one. I mean, have you seen the cover? Visions of hot sex and food flashed in my mind as I read the summary—two of my favourite things. I immediately dived right in, all but drooling on my reader as I started the first page and prepared for the blurry vision I expected to have from staying up all night to get as much of this treasure as I could before exhaustion took over.

I’m still asking myself where I went wrong.


First let me just say do not read this book if you’re hungry. But even if you’re not hungry prepare to be. The author does get your mouth watering with all the delicious meals described in the book, but I wanted more than my mouth to water. Again, have you seen that cover? And read that summary? Where was the hot sex I had dancing in my head like naughty little cherries coated in chocolate and rolling around in whipped cream?

My disappointment of the lack of sex in an erotic novel aside, it was just so long. At times it felt like the author was writing a cookbook rather than a novel with all the food that was involved. Yes, I understand that the book centers around food because of Milly, but there was just so much of it. It got to be repetitive. I would have liked to have seen more interaction between Milly and Lance/Will in a social setting than always at the restaurant.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, it just wasn’t what I expected. I did really love Serge and all his stories and foul mouth. He was the highlight, in my opinion. I just went into it expecting something completely different than what I received. Again, not a bad thing, just different. Ms. Cardiga definitely has a talent for storytelling (and making ones stomach grumble).

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