Sex and drugs—mostly sex—overpower a young fashion model’s luxurious lifestyle in this graphic tale of desire.
Katie Wolfer, a 24-year-old supermodel, abruptly flees a runway show in Paris when she receives the news that her mother has committed suicide. All that’s left of her family is her wealthy stepfather, Daniel, and her two stepsiblings. Returning to New York, she takes up residence with Daniel and his children in their extravagant Hamptons home. Hungry for pleasure, Katie shirks off mourning her mother in favor of her own libido, and she engages sexually with everyone from the handsome man beside her on her flight from Paris, to her stepsister, Caroline, to a pair of young peeping Toms in the Hamptons. Finding her life in flux, she pushes forward in pursuit of sex, flirting dangerously with how sexual prowess shapes her identity as a young woman. No erotic stone goes unturned in her escapades: Katie finds herself in situations ranging from sex in public to group sex to bondage. However, the most troublesome of all her yearnings is what she feels for her stepfather, Daniel—would sleeping with him validate her new, open-minded quest for pleasure or condemn her as someone who’s crossed a disturbing line? The feverish addition of drugs, glamour and money leads Katie to a definitive answer in the novel’s final pages. Jumping on the Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon, this novel is packed with more sex than plot, as each chapter centers on a titillating and explicit sex scene. The sexual encounters tend to offer more pornography than passion, with a preference for cringe-worthy metaphors, including everything from “water snake” to “lollipop.” Katie’s brush with near incest seems gratuitous as the book struggles to up the ante on each chapter’s over-the-top escapade. While Katie occasionally reflects on how her reckless behavior affects her identity, her character is otherwise flat; readers learn more about her favorite designer miniskirt than her emotional landscape. The story is hellbent on showing an outrageous lifestyle, but the result is more confused discomfort than a compelling narrative about sexual expression.
Erotica fans may be disappointed by this thinly plotted bodice ripper.