Review: Screwed by Luke Prescott

Reviewed by Joanna

I saw this recommended, via a Facebook group, as a short, sexy, OTT romance and, in some respects, it didn’t disappoint. Mostly because it gave me a good laugh. Without meaning make fun, as for a while I assumed it was intended to be a parody, I can summarize the opening of the book thus:

Guy: I’m back in town and pissed at my dad. *screws hot blond in the bar’s bathroom* Ah, that’s better. Now I’m going to go to see Dad and give him a piece of my mind.

Woman: how super! I’ve got Mom and Stepdad’s house all to myself. *rubs own nipples in the shower and wishes for hot sex* Wait! Who is that handsome stranger in the kitchen?

Guy: *glares, bosses woman around for having pokey nipples* Ta da! I’m your surprise stepbrother. Go get changed while I pay for your pizza delivery and glower some more.

Woman: hot damn. But he’s my stepbrother! These nipples better stay under wraps. *dresses. Wanders about feeling sexually tense. Dials BFF for permission* Oh why won’t my panties stop getting wet?

Guy: goes for a run.

Woman: masturbates.

Guy: walks in on scene. Gets stuck in.

Woman: *post orgasmic* but you don’t want a relationship, do you? No no, man I’ve known you for approximately 12 hours. We can never do this again!

Guy: *sex-shaped eyes* let’s act out our fantasies! I’ll buy you breakfast.

Woman: *scampers to put on bright red lingerie and heavy makeup. And red fuck-me heels*

Ad nauseum. Public sex, a blow job scene in his office with her under his desk and him talking to his secretary. Him ‘surprising’ her with another woman for a threesome. It’s pretty much like that the whole way through.

There’s very little by way of character or emotional development. It’s like someone stripped 90% of the plot out of a romance and left a sex book with wire frames loosely connecting the sex scenes. There is a story, but it’s basic and unfulfilling with underdeveloped scenes and little insight into the hero or heroine. For the life of me now I couldn’t tell you their names.

Oh okay, I went back and checked. She’s Jana and he’s Shawn. There’s little chemistry to them and no discernible character traits other than she’s a nurse and he’s some sort of angry high-powered businessman (except one who can’t check diaries, rent a hotel room or remember he really should be nice to his secretary or she’ll spit in his tea).

Spoiler: the guy keeps saying he’s not one for relationships or love. The woman asks for more explanation, and he takes her to a cemetery and shows her a grave. It’s his mother’s. Apparently this is explanation enough.

It also could’ve done with a good line edit to sort out the repeated punctuation errors, as well as a few other issues. Most were pretty obvious so even an eagle-eyed friend could’ve mopped these up.

When non-romance readers describe romance to me, this is often the expectation they have. And where these kinds of books serve a purpose, they are so far removed from the core of Romancelandia’s beauty. There was no character arc, no strong sense of rightness to the pairing, no respect, and no weight to the love. The heroine had zero agency, and the hero was unnecessarily angry.

This might work beautifully for some readers, who just want to read sex scenes and don’t care about the rest, but it didn’t work for me on any level.

Update: I talked about this to a male friend who noted this was the sort of story they used to put in porn mags. Y’know, to pad out the screwing. So there’s that.

Rating: E (Jo’s version of an F-)

Click to purchase: Amazon

Screwed
by Luke Prescott
Release Date: February 27, 2017

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