Vanilla on Top
(Walk on the Wild Side #1)
by C.J. Ellisson
ebook, 279 pages
Published January 11th 2013 by Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
ARC Courtesy of Publisher
Discover your inner bad girl, and set her free…Goodreads - Amazon - B&N
Heather Pierce is done being a wallflower, both personally and professionally. Desperate to live a different life for one night, she attends a speed dating event. Maybe here, anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, she can become someone new. When a man way out of her league sits across from her, Heather gathers her courage and takes charge of what she wants, secretly fearing he won’t desire the real person she’s desperate to hide.
Top acquisitions officer and international playboy Tony Carmine is about to close the biggest deal of his career. But then he meets Heather at a speed dating event…and discovers losing control may be exactly what he needs. Her blossoming sensuality occupies his every thought, consuming him with the need to possess the most intriguing lover he’s ever encountered—until he walks into the boardroom and sees Heather on the other side of the negotiating table.
C.J. Ellison had a pretty good idea, she just didn’t know how to execute it. The plot was the only thing that kept me interested in reading this book. I wanted to know how things would work out between the companies and what it would mean for Tony and Heather. I thought she did a good job executing that part of the plot. Apart from that, I have a lot of complaints.
My number one complaint, and one that became a clear problem early on, was the lack of good editing. Yes, there were picky things like the fact that Heather and Tony’s pasts were underdeveloped. She thinks about her parents deaths a few times and tells Tony about it. He, in turn, tells her about his deadbeat father. That’s where it stops. Just a short conversation mentioning those two issues, but no real development. It’s a shame because that could have added much more depth their characters, and the whole book. That obviously bothered me, but mostly the problems were grammatical errors and dialogue that seemed unrealistic and out of place. Who actually calls someone a “two-timing rat bastard” in real life? No one. I actually found it astonishing that the book had been edited at all. I was under the impression that it was self-published. It’s kind of maddening that stuff like this got past and editor… who is paid to catch these things.
My second problem was with Heather herself. Heather is one of those girls who’s had bad luck with men and lets that define who she is. It just depressed me. She was always doubting Tony when it was clear that he was crazy about her. The man waited outside her apartment building for a chance to talk to her on more than one occasion. Does he need to hold a neon sign that says “I’m into you” or something? She spent the majority of the book being self-conscious about everything, and not just involving their relationship. It just made me sad because it came off like all she needed was a nice guy and new pair of shoes to feel good about herself. That’s just not a good message. In fact, if you’re as self-conscious as Heather, you should probably work that out yourself before you start dating. The point is, I couldn’t like her, no matter how hard I tried.
Their romantic development was okay. It felt a little rushed, but that’s just part of reading romance sometimes. I think Heather just ruined it for me. Romance is the best-selling genre in the world, so I have no doubt there is an audience for this book, it’s just not me.
Rating: 1 Wine Glass
Reviewed by: Laura