Purdu’s sprightly debut romance follows one woman’s quest for the “Big O”—and the love she finds along the way.
Twenty-seven-year-old Austin pianist Desdemona Lorents is relaxing at home one Saturday night when she’s shocked to see her ex-boyfriend, Burt, and his wife on Marriage Exposure, a trashy talk show whose guests spill juicy details about their sex lives. To Desdemona’s horror, the conversation turns to her—and Burt reveals on national television that she faked all her orgasms. Even more humiliating? It’s true. Now that her secret’s out, Desdemona’s more determined than ever to prove to herself she isn’t a “freak.” Maybe she’s been with the wrong men? She has a one-night stand with Miguel San Felipe Rodriguez, a charming classical guitarist. She experiments with Ross, a “sweet, handsome systems engineer” and her only adult piano student, who lets her tie him up and take control. But orgasm still eludes her. Her high school sweetheart, Hunter Johns, comes back into her life. They haven’t seen each other for nine years, ever since he took the rap for his mother’s embezzlement and was sent to juvenile detention. Before long, the old flame has rekindled—but is it enough to overcome Desdemona’s problem? Purdu gives a voice to the many women who can’t achieve orgasm with a partner—and who rarely, if ever, see themselves in romance novels. Desdemona’s internal monologues are funny and relatable, especially during sex: “What will he do next? Take off my dress? Take off his own clothes? Where does he keep condoms? What if he doesn’t want to use a condom? Should I ask now? My armpits get moist….Is my deodorant still working?” However, and it’s hard to avoid spoilers here, readers may feel that the finale begs for more emotional nuance.
Frothy, sexy fun despite its flaws.