Insatiable I & II by J.D. Hawkins
Overall Series Rating: 3 (sXe)
I can openly admit that I have a prejudice against male romance authors. I don’t know why–ok, maybe I know why. I don’t think a man can paint an accurate picture of a woman’s pleasure. But that is complete nonsense since female authors write about male pleasure all the time. To be fair, most popular culture circulates around male pleasure or popular depictions of male pleasure (read: porn). Very little focus is on women and, in fact, I think there is some legitimate feminist criticism about how even female romance authors often channel or emphasize male definitions of pleasure. But, all that fancy mumbo jumbo aside, this novel had enough positive reviews on amazon that I gave it a try. And I’m really glad that I did. I can’t say that the storyline was completely novel, but it was fun to see the story predominantly through the male view point written by a man. There was a ton of profanity–so if you don’t like swear words stay away from these books. And the guys in the novel can seem a little over-the-top (read: arrogant SOBs), but overall I had a good time with these two books. They are short, so they are more like the way books used to be published in serial format, rather than a part of a series. I gave it a 3 because while I liked them, I don’t know that I’d recommend them to anyone else. Unless that person is also a virgin when it comes to reading a work by male romance authors. Then, by all means, wade into these books. They’re fun.
I do want to say a word about the sex in these two books. There is sex in them. A lot of sex in them. But most of the sex is somewhat straightforward. There is no Fifty Shades of Gray going on. There are a variety of positions and different kinds of foreplay, but I wouldn’t describe anything as kinky, although there is a chance I forgot about a scene or two. But that’s why I gave the series the rating I did sex wise.
Jax is the typical player. The kind of player I imagine is only possible in a novel. He gets any girl he wants and when he enters a club or bar, all eyes turn to him. (I’ve never actually met a guy like this in real life, so I am skeptical, but who am I to say? I don’t frequent the bar or club scene. And maybe this is the epitome of a male romance–every guy’s dream is to be Jax.) One night he meets Lizzie and she’s the one girl he can’t get. She has a boyfriend and she’s going to be faithful to him, despite the chemistry between she and Jax. A few days later, Lizzie breaks up with her boyfriend, sees Jax and sleeps with him. Jax, a one night kind of guy, is happy he conquered the Lizzie-Mount-Everest, but is totally shocked when Lizzie suggests Jax become her sex teacher (again, this has to be every male’s fantasy right?). They agree to a week of no-strings sex. Jax is happy, Lizzie is having orgasms and all is right in the world. Until Lizzie realizes she might have feelings for Jax, meets a doctor, and decides to stop the affair with Jax to pursue a more traditional relationship with dr. dreamy. The novel ends with Jax shocked because Lizzie breaks off the agreement right before he can ask her to be his girlfriend.
So just in writing the story summary I think I’ve revealed some of the reasons why I enjoyed this novel, especially since it’s my first romance written by a male author. It has to be every guy’s fantasy to be desired by every woman, to have the one woman you want to ask you to teach her how to please you (the guy), and then to have a no-strings relationship. The twist that Jax actually has feelings beyond sex is kind of novel, both to Jax himself, and to the idea that all guys want non-committed relationships. There is some emotional layering within the characters. Jax reveals himself to be a man shaped by his childhood. Lizzie has insecurities most women have about “keeping” a man. I can’t say that this was the most emotionally deep book I’ve ever read, but that’s true of a lot of romance novels. This book was fun and easy to read. I was interested to see what happens in the next installment and I enjoyed the characters.
Insatiable II (3)
Jax needs to get Lizzie back, but Lizzie is dating Dr. Perfect and trying to Mrs Perfect while doing it. Jax concocts this plan to break up Lizzie and the good Dr. by giving Lizzie bad advice. This all backfires as the good Dr. is so completely weird. For all the arrogance of Jax, the Dr. was raised by the repressed housewives of Salt Lake City and wouldn’t know a come-on if it hit him in the face (although Lizzie tries). In the end, Lizzie realizes that chemistry is an important component in a relationship and that simply finding a guy who wants to have a family and live the white-picket-fence dream is not enough for happiness.
There was a lot less sex in this novel, although it was still there. But this continuation of the storyline was much more about Lizzie and Jax forming a non-sexual relationship. An important development for me, since one of my biggest pet peeves with rom com movies is how very little time the hero and Heroine spend together before falling madly in love (ugh). You can see the way Jax makes Lizzie feel beautiful and confident, and you can see the way Lizzie makes Jax feel smart and important. Both struggle with their own issues and seem to be happier together than apart. This book had some laughable moments, but while Lizzie and Jax seemed more than two dimensional characters, the supporting characters were blah. If I could give Hawkins a piece of advice I’d tell him to work a little more on crafting a wider supporting cast.