Review: Just a Step Away

just a step awayReviewed by Janell

The blurb for this book infers a pretend boyfriend story, and I love pretend boyfriends! Unfortunately I didn’t feel that the book met my expectations.

Before I go on, I have to mention the writing style. The characters are very…loose with their discussion of sex and body parts. I couldn’t relate to it at all. So this is me, leaning on my old lady cane, saying, “Back in my day, we used purple prose like ‘turgid member’ and ‘throbbing manhood,’ and we liked it!” Kids these days apparently use crass euphemisms such as: fur burger, pussy pie a la mode, flick your bean, man-package, golden peen, and salami canoe. Is this the evolution of sexual language? Do we call it blue prose? Again, that’s just me not getting it, and I wouldn’t want to hang out with people who talked like that, but I bet they wouldn’t want to hang out with me, either.

Moving on! Once upon a time in the past, Lanie and Lucas met at a bar. She shot him down, so he wanted her more, and they hung out at the bar every day forever until Lanie’s roommate moved out and Lucas moved in. They’ve been roommates for a year when the story opens, and Lucas is madly in love with Lanie. He cooks for her, he rubs her feet and draws a bath when she’s had a bad day at work, but he never says anything or makes a move. Lanie thinks he’s a manwhore (her friends nicknamed him Sparky because he makes sparks fly out of their you-know-whats) but he’s also her best friend and she doesn’t see him as anything else.

Lanie grew up in Stereotypeville, South USA, but she moved away five years ago because she was horribly embarrassed by her gross family. She never went back. But now she’s planning her cousin’s wedding, and has to make an appearance with the boyfriend she claims to have. Lanie has no such boyfriend because she has issues and men are all dumb or something. Lucas steps up to be the fake boyfriend so he can tell Lanie how much he loves her.

Things I expect in a fake boyfriend book: PDA to prove the relationship, tense moments discussing the fake relationship with others, inner turmoil about whether the fake boyfriend is really faking it, and maybe fake boyfriend rescuing the girl from an awkward situation by proving his fake love.

Things I got from this book: fake boyfriend pooping in an outhouse, fake boyfriend telling smelly cowboy strangers that the girl’s vagina looks like a cheese grater, every other character seeing through the fake boyfriend ruse and telling the girl that she should really get a piece of that alleged fake boyfriend because he has a golden peen. Yes, they had sex, and it was graphic in a “Mr. Thundercock was jealous” talky sort of way, but I didn’t feel that it was romantic.

Their relationship, such as it was, was already established from the beginning of the book. I didn’t feel that the relationship changed or developed beyond the addition of sex, and it felt very much like it was just sex. Lucas was hot but also gross, Lanie was oblivious then accepting, there wasn’t any drama to draw them apart or throw them together. I wasn’t satisfied.

Grade: D-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Just a Step Away
by Flora Roberts
Release Date: November 20, 2013

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