Monday, March 31, 2014

(Review) Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry

Title: Satisfaction
Author: Sarah Mayberry
Published: February 28, 2014 (Small Cow Productions)
Rating: Staying in Tonight
Format: Digital copy received from author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Maggie Hendricks loves her life. She’s got a great job, amazing friends. Everything is perfect - except for one smallish problem. Maggie can’t quite get there, sexually speaking. It’s just never happened for her. And while she tells herself she’s fine with that, she can’t help feeling as though she’s missing out.

When her friend shares the intimate details of an encounter with an extremely talented lover, Maggie makes a desperate pact with herself. She will seduce this man - or allow him to seduce her - and if he can’t get her there...well, then she’ll hand herself over to medical science. A simple enough plan. What could possible go wrong?

Within minutes of meeting Rafel Oliveira, Maggie knows the answer to that one: plenty. But Rafel turns out to be far more than simply talented in the bedroom. As he takes her on a journey toward the ultimate pleasure, Maggie finds herself craving a lot more than his beautiful body. The question is, is Rafel’s heart available for the taking?
I've been reading Sarah Mayberry since I first became a fledgling romance convert years back, and she hasn't let me down yet. Obviously when the opportunity came, I jumped at the chance to review Satisfaction, her newest self-published novel (especially since her last self-pub was so freaking incredible. Seriously, if you like hate-to-love stories, check outHer Best Worst Mistake. You won't regret it.)

Satisfaction is such an original story! I've never read anything like it. This is the story of Maggie, a bookstore owner in Australia who has a frustrating problem: She cannot achieve orgasm. She's in her mid twenties and has never been able to, by herself or with the help of talented (or not-so-talented) partners.

So when her friend describes a one-off hands-down-best-sex-of-her-life encounter with a Brazilian tattoo artist in his parlor but has no intention of pursuing things, Maggie gets a crazy idea. She should go pretend like she's going to get a tattoo and seduce the guy. Obviously someone so legendarily talented couldn't let her down.

Only there's a slight problem.

She gets the wrong guy.

See, it turns out Mr. Potential Orgasm has a twin brother, Rafel, and Maggie propositions him instead. She flees in embarrassment when he rejects her, but a comment that she makes intrigues him. After some pondering, he tracks her down a bit later and offers to help her with her problem. She agrees.

Thus begins their sexy game.

But it becomes more than a game pretty quickly. What could have so very easily been a Magical Sex = Love plot did not fall into that trap. Between their sessions of Pursuit of the Little Death, Maggie and Rafel have real interactions. They talk about their emotions, their dreams. They joke, they laugh. He reads a book purely based on her recommendation. They spend a day together at the beach with his brother and Blue, a close friend of the brothers. And wait for it because this is the cherry on top: They actually communicate and are honest with each other! Something which is delightful to read even when it's painful, which is sometimes the case here.

I have read quite a few books lately where the heroines either work at or own a book store, and it always makes me happy! This one is especially awesome, as Maggie talks about a lot of romance authors like Meredith Duran, Nalini Singh, and Georgette Heyer (Maggie's favorite author, something which prompted me to finally pick up my first Heyer, which I'm currently reading!).

I've never read a story quite like Satisfaction, and I appreciate Mayberry's frank treatment of Maggie's orgasmically-challenged affliction. I'm not going to spoil whether or not she ever, ahem, reaches satisfaction, but I'll tell you that Rafel and Maggie's interactions are certain to have you reaching for a glass of cold water regardless. Plus, they are just so sweet! This is definitely a winner, and I would recommend it for anyone who likes her romances real, hot, and satisfying.
“Beautifully written. Very lyrical. And so many triple-score words I had to read with a dictionary by the bedside just to make sense of it.”

“What’s so funny?” he asked, head tilted to one side, quizzical smile on his mouth.
“Such a guy meal,” she said. “The sandwich equivalent of banging your chest like Tarzan.”
“You don’t like meatball subs?”
“I love them.”
“But you’re still giving me grief?”
“Seems like it.”

She felt a little dizzy. The man was so hot he was practically a walking erogenous zone.

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