I downloaded this novella because I’ve always wanted to read something by Maya Banks, whose very cool sounding name seems to be everywhere, and the shorter length was about what I could handle this week. Published in 2007, Overheard is categorized by Samhain as “Contemporary Romance”. Perhaps because I purchased on the Kindle (approximately 100% of my purchases are ebooks these days), I didn’t notice the subgenre or the “Caught By Cupid” on the cover, and found myself surprised by the romantic angle.
The heroine, Gracie, has had bad luck with men, who mock her for her nipple rings and adventurous sexual fantasies. Overhearing Gracie’s woes, her friend Luke realizes Gracie is hot, and decides to date her and to make her fantasies come true with their other friend Wes. This being a contemporary erotic novella, only a few details are given about the main characters, one of which, oddly, is that they all like to hunt.
[As an aside, Luke uses "pussy" to refer to wimpy men of the sort Gracie has dated, and also to refer to Gracie's nether region. I don't love it when men insult each other with feminine terms -- bitch, pussy, girl -- and then use the same terms to refer to women and their body parts.]
This book featured two of my secret favorite “tropes”: (1) the bar/club scene (I have no idea why, but I pretty much love every scene set in a bar or restaurant in any romance I have read, whether it involves a fight, a first meeting, a date, a jealous spat, or, as in this case, dance floor sexxoring), and (2) the cabin getaway (I prefer my h/h to be stranded and estranged, but you can’t have everything). The long time friendship between Gracie and Luke made the accelerated sexual time table believable, and Banks certainly knows how to write hot. One question I had was whether Gracie would make the leap without blinking from vanilla sex to BDSM-lite.
If the threesome had enjoyed their weekend and the book ended, that would have been a fun read about a woman having her fantasies come true in a safe environment with two good friends who care for her.
But, to my great surprise, Banks has Luke and Gracie not only fall in love, but throws in a Big Misunderstanding, and a marriage proposal (!) complete with bended knee and ring (!!). Holy Harlequin Presents, Batman! The time line made this very awkward, Gracie having had every imaginable kind of sex with her fiance’s BFF hours prior. On the other hand, Wes French kisses Gracie to congratulate her on the engagement, so maybe he will continue to be a very special kind of best man in their lives after the wedding.
I would certainly read another book by Ms. Banks. Any suggestions?