Publisher: Bold Strokes
A week in paradise—with the ex-girlfriend from Hell.
Winifred Martin has a new job, newfound confidence, and a glamorous new lover. In fact, after moving on from a heart-wrenching breakup, Win has a whole new life.
Benedikte (Benny) Fiske has also sold up and moved on, too—to a wonderful Greek island where she can invest in herself again and find peace and quiet.
When Win arrives at a luxurious boutique hotel for a much-anticipated week of sun and sex with her new girlfriend, she is stunned to find her ex-girlfriend, Benny, is the proprietor. Benny is equally shocked to find Win doing so well and looking so gorgeous…far too gorgeous. She’s convinced Win is wasting her time on this vacuous new lover. In fact, she has a lot of opinions on Win and her new life—the strongest being Benny should be back in it.
Nestled in the beautiful Aegean on an island blessed by Eros, the God of Love himself, Benny finds no lack of inspiration in her quest to woo back her lost love. Her methods, however, are the stuff myths are made of.
[Originally posted on Amazon 6/20/12]
The premise of Erosistible, ex-partners running unexpectedly into each other, and the setting on an island in the Aegean Sea, were the things that drew me to it. The story had great potential and McKnight has the skill to pull it off. Where things fell apart for me is that the character of Benny is extremely unlikable. For writing and story telling I’d give the book 3.5 to 4 stars, but for my personal enjoyment I’d give only 2, so I split the difference at three.
McKnight does a really nice job of choosing the setting for this little adventure. Benny has gone in with a business partner to create a romantic boutique hotel on the (fictional I think) island of Eros in the Aegean Sea. At first it didn’t seem the author was going to make good use of it, but as the book went on we get to see more of the island, sense the long reach of Greek history, and get a bit of a feel for the small island community.
The setup of Benny’s ex showing up at her hotel for a vacation with her current lover, a rising star, has the potential for a lot of humor. Especially given that neither of them ever expected to see the other woman there. McKnight delivered on this potential unevenly. There were a few places where I chuckled out loud and several more that had me grinning. But there were other times the humor fell flat, or wasn’t exploited at all.
One rather odd thing is that I was quite a ways into the book before I realized that Benny and Win are British. They had lived together in London. The use of American English in the writing and lack of Brit slang and terminology in dialogue made that information surprising when it was finally stated and it threw me off. The book and characters had a very American feel, so it just didn’t seem to fit.
Another small thing that many readers might never even notice, but that bugged the holy heck out of me, was the continual references to “so many years”, “several years”, or “all the years” concerning Benny and Win’s original relationship and also the time since they’d broken up. They were together for three years in London and they split up three years prior to the start of Erosistible. Three years just barely qualifies as “a few”, but the way the characters constantly talked about these two time spans you’d think they were both nearing at least a decade in length. Such references imply extra significance when none is warranted.
But the only thing that truly hindered my enjoyment of the book was Benny. She is a spoiled, selfish brat who frequently acts like a temperamental teenager. Benny was manipulative and constantly pulling stunts to try and get what she wanted without any consideration for what Win wanted or what was best for her. I almost quit reading more than once because I thought Win deserved so much better and I didn’t want to see them get together. At times it seemed like Benny was growing up and getting it together, then she’d go right back to doing something underhanded. Disliking one of the main characters to that degree kills a romance novel.
That is obviously a very personal reaction and others may not look at Benny the same way. For those readers Erosistible has the potential to be an entertaining read.