Series: Pleasure #2
Published by Self Published on June 16, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
Hungry for a touch…
Rana Malik is over being her family’s resident black sheep. She’s on a mission: ditch the casual hook-ups, revamp her bad-girl image, and fall in love with a proper Mr. Right even her conservative mama can’t find fault with. Not on the menu? The beautiful, brooding Mr. Right Now who lives next door, and all the ways he whets her appetite.
Starving for love…
Artist Micah Hale had it all–women, success, friends and family–until his world changed in a single act of senseless violence. Now struggling to conceal his scars and get his life and career back on track, he knows he has nothing to offer a woman except his body. He’s not looking for love…but he can’t control his craving for the sexy bombshell voyeur he’s caught looking at him.
Just one bite.
Their attraction boils over, and their defenses are stripped off along with their clothes. They promise they’ll walk away if it gets too hot. But it’s hard to do the right thing…when being wrong feels so good.
I don’t really put gifs into my reviews, but if I did, I’d open this review with a gif of me throwing money out my window directly at Alisha Rai’s feet. You guys. This book was fantastic. I read the first book in the series, Glutton for Pleasure, and I liked it a lot, but this book was on a whole other level. It was hot, steamy, funny, smart, and so, so sexy. There was nothing cookie cutter here, no drama that was inserted just for the sake of drama. Both Micah and Rana went through a lot, between each other and with the outside world, and it was so realistic, so well done. Even their breakup and reconciliation was realistic. We all know someone, if it hasn’t happened to us personally, which it probably has, who broke up with a significant other for that significant other’s own good. There are very few breakup excuses that are so insulting or so frustrating. Rana handled it way better than I did. She said the things I wished I’d said and kept her cool until she was alone, then lost it.
The family dynamics here are wonderful. I liked the Malik family in Glutton for Pleasure, but they’re really delved into here. The relationship between the three sisters is explored a lot further, and their mother comes into focus a little more. Rana was really trying to balance her own wants and desires as a modern American while also trying so hard to honor her family and her Indian culture. She wants so badly, in fact, to honor them that she decides to turn off her naturally outgoing and sexy nature to try and find a man her family will accept. To that end, she decides to date doctors and lawyers and accountants and anyone else she thinks will please her mother, all the while stifling under the weight of denying her entire self.
Micah had what sounds like a pretty standard only-child upbringing, doted on by two parents who centered their world around him. None of them are dealing with the aftermath of his attack well, so much so that he left London and moved to Florida to get away from them. His mother calls him multiple times a day, going so far as to call the police in Florida if she can’t reach him. His father is a little more grounded, but still not completely over everything that happened to him.
I love Rana. She’s outgoing, impulsive, and throws herself fully into everything she loves. She refuses to let anyone walk all over her, even her mother, and she knows who she is. She’s willing to deny who she is to keep the peace in her family, but it’s a conscious decision she makes. She’s completely open with Micah, refusing to accept that he’s nothing but the darkness he seems to see in himself. She shows him, bit by bit, that there’s more to him than just the aftermath of the attack. He’s more than just the shell he’s allowed himself to become. She pulls him out of his self-imposed solitude and shows him so much more than he was willing to see in the beginning.
Alisha Rai grabbed my heart (and my one-click loyalty for all time) the first time they had sex. Rana tells Micah she can’t come in a certain position, and his response is basically “Okay, let’s change positions.” It wasn’t “Grr. I am manly man. I will fix this problem for you!” I loved Alisha Rai for this. It’s so irritating when I’m reading happily along and the man decides he needs to fix problems like this. It’s not a problem to be fixed. Just change positions and move the hell on.
One thing I enjoyed in Glutton that wasn’t as present here was descriptions of the food. I love Indian food, and in Glutton, Devi spent a lot of time in the kitchen. I swear to you, I could almost smell the food and hear the sizzles. (See also Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair for Indian food descriptions that will make you cry with their beauty.) There is a little bit of this here, just not as much and I missed it a little bit. There is, however, a scene involving a cinnamon roll that’s worth reading this book for in itself.
In short, you need to read everything Alisha Rai has written or will write.