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Smutty February: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild

With a title like that, this book better deliver the smutty goods.

Smutty February: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild

So I had planned on posting a smutty book review on Valentine's Day, because theme. But obvs, that didn't happen; I had Galentine's Day plans. Please accept this belated token of my affection (and because I really want to use this image):

Pictured: The reason why I can't stand the word 'lover'. (Unsurprisingly, these skits aired during Tina Fey's tenure as SNL head writer.)

LET'S GET IT ON with The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild by (Bluebonnet Book 3) Jessica Clare

First Impressions: 

Hey, it's our first (obscured) beefcake shot! Except WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HIS NIPPLE? I'm sorry to shout that at you, but I just noticed the possible engorgement and now I can't unsee it. And either she's way taller than him (untrue in the book), he has a really short torso, or he wears high waisted pants.

I've thought way too much about this. 

Anyway. The tagline isn't nearly salacious enough to be worthy of any of the titles in this series: The Girl's Guide to (Man) Hunting, The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male, and The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving. I kind of wish that 'guide' could have been worked into The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male. But then it wouldn't be called The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male, so mayhaps not.

Can I Buy You a Drink?:

As per the drinking game: 50 Lucilles, 32 Lizzes, and 57 Lorelais.

And here are some repeated devices from this book that might drive you to drink!

•  Eyes darkening with desire

•  Leaning in and kissing

•  Sex games

•  Penis similes (hard as rock, steel, iron, etc.)

•  Brenna's piercing

Also, an addition to the icky word list: JUICES. In a non actual fruit context. 

Recommended Bevvy: SnakeJuice

And not a negative, but let's take a shot when safe sex is being practiced, in honour of the shots that the male lead can't take, if ya know what I mean.

What's Your Type?: 

Fake romance turned real romance; opposites attract; romancing the boss; tragic backstory; tragic backstory that might make you snort derisively upon the reveal, until it tells you why your reaction makes you an insensitive jackhole (highlight for spoiler: mother is a hoarder).

Dating Profile:

Brenna is young, outspoken, and free-spirited; you can tell 'cause she has purple streaks, tattoos, and piercings. Straight-laced widower Grant is still mourning the loss of his wife five years ago. And you know that romance novel axiom: the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else, BOW CHICKA WOW WOW.

There's also setup for Grant's mousy sister Elise and mysterious drifter Rome (yeah, really), the couple of the next book in the series, the aforementioned The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving

Meet Cute:

Grant owns and runs a wilderness lodge -- because he's loaded, obvs -- and Brenna is his assistant... IN BED.

Foreplay:

Grant's parents are in town, and they're constantly trying to set him up with TEH LAYDEEZ. Brenna pretends to be Grant's girlfriend to get his parents off of his back... and him onto his, awww yeah

Are They Animals In the Sack?: 

Yowza, this book earns all of its vocab labels. Again and again and AGAIN. 

In fact, it really deserves this one, too:

This is seriously the abbreviation that my alma mater uses in its course listings.

Dirty Talk:

These two are veryyyyy vocal. And I feel like a rundown of their sweet smutty nothings will just make it awks for us to ever look each other in the internet eyes again. So let's just keep analyzing the shizz out of bad dialogue.

"Now I get to explore you at my leisure." Her pose as she leaned over the side of the bed raised the curved moon of her bottom into the air. 

Curved. Moon. Of. Her. Bottom. But the real question is, does she say LEE-zhur or LEH-zhur?

"What's your recovery time been like in the past? Does your cannon normally fire a single shot?"

"How's your cannon?"

"Getting harder with every moment."

So does that mean the penis cannon is the cousin of the crotch rocket? Either way, these unrealistic comparisons can't be healthy for self-esteems.

“If you could just keep doing that all  night—”

His rough, choked laugh made her smile. “I’m going to come long before that, Brenna."

"As long as you take me with you," she told him breathlessly.

"Then ride me," he said in a husky voice [...].

IS THIS REAL LIFE?! Oh wait, it's totally not. Because no one is bursting into laughter.

"Your brother was just telling me how he’s going to lick me into next week."

As you can deduce from context clues: SAID TO HIS SISTER. 

But that crassness doesn't always agree with the tone of Brenna's Inner monologue.

The small movement made her body sing with anticipation. Soon, my hormones. Very soon.

So her vag is a mustache-twirling villain now? WAIT, that analogy leads to unintended grooming innuendo.

he began to rub in tandem with her. Oh yes, that was lovely.

See, now the book has me thinking about things that I imagine the Queen of England would say. And tandem rubbing goes way beyond what 'close your eyes and think of England' entails.

Was she getting soft toward him? Just because he was good in bed? Was she dickmatized?

WHAT IS THAT WORDPLAY? Did Carrie Bradshaw write this?

Oh God, that was erotic.

sexual comment

It was a mixture of eroticism and satisfaction, and something else she couldn’t quite name.

Hmmm, could it be telling instead of showing? Just because you call it erotic and sexual does not make it so.

"I've got your erotic and sexual right here!"

Ms. Perky's Prize for Purplest Prose:


Since this book doesn't shy from the smuttiness, the flowery language is mostly reserved for non-intercoursing.

Brenna nearly melted against the heat of his mouth, the intensity with which he made love to her lips.

Not even the only time he makes love to her mouth-lips. And the fact that I had to clarify which set of lips I was referring to is cause for another drink.

His hand slid up to cup the back of her head and then he was kissing her deep, his tongue sweeping against hers in a kiss that claimed as much as it pleasured. She moaned and leaned into the kiss, feeling shivers run up and down her body. And he kissed her endlessly, as if nothing existed but her mouth and her tongue, and they were there simply for his pleasure. When the kiss finally broke an eternity later, she was left panting and breathless.

.... so he claims her, and her mouth parts are simply there for his pleasure? Just making sure these are the feminist ideals you want to project.

Deal Breakers:

So there's quite a bit of dramz to keep these two busy during their secksin' downtime. But none as ridiculous as Grant buying minimalist Brenna panties, getting pissy when she doesn't wear it, then asking for them back to RETURN THEM. Holy shit -- what kind of used underwear vending machine did you buy those from, Grant?!

Grant's also pretty possessive, and he says things like this about his grown-ass sister in her absence. 

“Elise is fragile.” He shook his head. “I forbid it."

Speaking of his sister, she of The Virgin's Guide to Misbehaving, she has ZERO confidence. It all has to do with her tragic past, which becomes more understandable by reading the excerpt from her book. But without it, she just comes off as a caricature pathetic virgin.

He’d be in her dreams tonight, that was for sure, provided that she allowed herself to fantasize about a man like him being interested in a mouse like her.

Say WHAT? Not allowing yourself to fantasize about someone? Unless they're children, relatives, or animals, EVERYONE'S FAIR GAME. No permission slips necessary!

Elise was wildly jealous of her. Not only was she pretty, she was fun and outgoing. Elise was none of those things. Brenna could get a man like Rome. Not Elise. Boring, plain, unable to speak to men Elise.

Pro-tip: Having a sad sack playing the same monotonous note OVER AND OVER is not the most convincing argument for picking up the next book with her as the main character.

Role Play:

Nina Dobrev as Brenna

No-humanity Elena would be perf. for Brenna. (Er, minus all the killing... ) She even has the right hair for it!

Taylor Kinney as Grant

I actually thought of someone else for Grant, but I reeeeally love my themes, you guys. Seeing how I've only cast actors from The Vampire Diaries in the smutty role plays so far, and how most characters in both TVD and romance novels are white, young, and pretty, I'm going to continue casting exclusively from TVD alumni. (QUICK, SOMEONE GIVE ME ALARICS AND ELIJAHS TO CAST.)

Was It Good For You, Too?:

Retrospection was not kind to my opinion of this book. We had a racy hookup, but the more I think about our one-night stand, the less fond I become of it. So I guess the lesson here is just to hit it and quit it.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my free review copy from Berkley. I received neither money nor froyo for writing this review (dammit!). The Expert's Guide to Driving a Man Wild is available now.

Mandy Wan's photo About the Author: Residing in Edmonton, AB, Mandy unabashedly loves YA lit, frozen desserts, and terrible puns.