by Madeline Iva
We’re talking bad behavior this week on Lady Smut. At least, I am, because Isabelle Drake’s book about a girl behaving badly is available for pre-order this week, and to celebrate that, I wanted to talk about Beth Kery’s books with their different flavors of bad girl-ishness.
Now, I am a good girl. I mean, like, in high school, my friends could get permission to do anything if I was along for the ride. It’s like parents saw this invisible halo around my head. But as many a good girl does, I look over the fence at the other girls behaving badly and get a tad wistful from time to time. What better way to have vicarious fun (without the hangover, even!) than to read a great romance novel about a woman behaving badly.
Which leads us back to Beth Kery’s books. The first Beth Kery book I ever read is called BOUND TO YOU, and it was written under the name of Kery’s alter ego, Bethany Kane. It’s got a heroine bounding off the forest trail (naughty, naughty) at Shawnee National Forest, so that no one knows where she is, hiking alone (tsk, tsk). Only the hero who can hear her singing as she tromps along is able to figure out straight for the old sink holes left from a closed mine in the area. The hero is actually blind himself and winds up with her down in the hole. Are they too dumb to live? No, not really. She’s just sorta hapless, and he knows what’s what about the whole situation, but in his eagerness to help her and being blind, he was a little challenged when it came to her rescue.
The rest of the book is just one big excuse for her to get it on with a guy she just met. She’s scared of the dark, it’s cold, and she’s freaking out. But she’s also gettin’ a bit excited by this handsome man who’s clever with his fingers, and getting some nookie is a great way to release some of the tension and divert her anxious mind. As we all know, boinking a total stranger maybe three hours after you met him is within the range of bad behavior all rightly, though it’s a very common fantasy.
I’m often at war with this trope, because on one hand: scorching zipless fuck–yay! On the other hand: stranger danger–boo!
Kery’s masterful stroke relies upon on our innate stereotyping bias of the handicapped, whereby we assume all blind people are good at heart. All the stranger danger goes away, and we enjoy the heroine having her stranger cake and eating it too. (Literally.)
The second book I read by Kery was another Bethany Kane novel called ADDICTED TO YOU. And here Kery steps it up a notch. The hero is spending his time alone, blind drunk — so drunk he ends up falling over and attacking the heroine almost the second she enters the door. They have sex and then he passes out, remembering nothing when he comes to again. That’s a bad boy for ya.
The heroine desperately wants him, but there’s the sting of knowing he was her best friend’s husband. Best friend is now dead, alas, and the tamped down flame between the two rages in the house.
From the drunken movie director’s point of view, he’s done a caddish thing. He’s now sleeping with his best mate’s little sister. Ow. Oh, they’re being baaaaaad.
I just have to note that this book has almost hands down most cray-cray sex scene EVAH. (Absolute cray-cray oscar still goes to Lisa Valdez’s scene in Passion. You know which one I’m talking about. Pop!)
What we have here is sexy, scruffy Irish director who has this wild side to him that his dead wife never could entirely tame, caught in a house with a young sex kitten, and it’s getting out of control.
As in: at one point she goes down on him and for whatever reason, she’s kneeling there doing him, but his upper body is hidden behind the top half of a dutch door. Are you picturing that? He can’t bear to look at her or something, but slurp slurp slurp. My eyes! My eyes!
I think I’m the only one here who is like WTF? My friends–everyone I know who read this book– LOVES this scene. I can’t figure out exactly why, but I’ll grant it’s memorable.
It’s soon after this in the book that I fell under Kery’s spell. I loved the inner grinding gears of the hero. He doesn’t want to be who he is down deep–but the heroine is bringing it out in him. And that down deep guy–what does he wanna do? He wants to drive the heroine crazy with sexual pleasure, like so crazy it almost hurts. He wants to mark her with the pleasure of their boinking so she’ll never, ever forget it.
What romance reader doesn’t love a hero with that kind of single minded devotion? It’s just this romance sweet spot and Beth Kery hit it with that book.
All this talk about bad behavior brings us right back to the bad behavior of Isabelle Drake’s naughty heroine in OFF THE RAILS who decides she’s going to make an impression at her high school reunion. Instead of skulking back with little to show for ten years after high school, she’s going to invent a new life and career for herself in just a few weeks. It’s available for pre-order. Here’s a blurb —
High school reunion—three words that threaten to derail Madison’s life. Now she has only eight weeks to find the perfect guy, the perfect job, or a way to pretend she has the perfect life.
Madison is less than thrilled when the invitation to her five year high school reunion arrives. When she refuses to RSVP with a yes, her best friend Tia reminds her of a pact they’d made—they’d use the reunion to show up everyone from school. But Madison can’t show up anyone. She isn’t the super famous superstar she’d bragged that she’d be. She’s an unemployed singer with no boyfriend and no job. Her only option? Find a way to fake the perfect life.
Eight weeks isn’t much time. But it is long enough to get drunk and enter a bikini contest, redefine the term date-from-hell, get caught in an awkward ménage and win a bar fight. But will all this bad behavior help Madison snag the blond, blue-eyed geek who was foolish enough not to notice her in high school? No matter what it takes, she’s going to find out.
It sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Why don’t you go buy that bad girl right now?
And follow us at Lady Smut where we’ll relish vicarious naughty romantic adventures, even if we aren’t having them ourselves.