Sometimes Naughty, Sometimes Nice by Kimberley Raye
October 11, 2004
Courtesy of WWW.loveromances.com
What do you get when you have a woman who owns a company named "Wild Woman Inc", a manufacturer of erotic toys? You get SOMETIMES NAUGHTY, SOMETIMES NICE by Kimberly Raye, the second in a trilogy of books featuring three sisters raised by a woman who calls herself a "womanist". Jacqueline Farrel is mom, and she's a famous sexologist with her own television show. She's the guru of the womanist movement, women who are aware of their femininity but are not dependent on men. She doesn't believe in marriage, and in fact, she is not married to the sisters' father, Donovan Martin. Both parents are busy with their own careers and don't live in the same house most of the year. In this second novel, the main focus is on Xandra Farrel.
Xandra has just lost her live-in boyfriend Mark, who had fit perfectly into the role of the "holy commitment trinity". They had great sex, respected each other, and had common interests. According to her mother, these were the perfect relationship traits, and once you had them, you could not go wrong. Obviously this didn't apply to Xandra and Mark, since he decided they were no longer a perfect fit.
The book is filled with humorous scenes, such as the opening chapter, in which Xandra is upset that she's found a gray pubic hair. She vents her frustrations on Albert, her chief engineer and close confidante, and he tries to reassure her that her life is not over.
So, she decides that her new goal in life is to have babies. However, her mother had always taught them that there is no need for marriage. Time is running out, as her body is reaching that stage in life where she may no longer have viable eggs. Mark has spoiled it all by walking out on her, so now she has to rush to find a man that will contribute his sperm.
Enter Beau Hollister, the owner of "Hunks for Hire", who is going to renovate Xandra's home. The bad news is Beau is the first boy she tried to have sex with back in high school. The key word is "tried", since Beau was over and done with his part before she had a chance to blink. The event was so embarrassing that neither Beau nor Xandra want to rehash it.
Xandra in the mean time invents a new sex paraphernalia that she thinks is going to be the biggest toy in the industry. But she needs to test it out on a few people. After trying it out with her King Kong vibrator (she always tests out all new products) she gets it in her mind that Beau would be the perfect candidate. If this new contraption can make sex with Beau exhilarating, she has it made. Her next goal - seduce Beau into wanting to have sex with her. It's not an easy task.
This reviewer had mixed feelings for SOMETIMES NAUGHTY, SOMETIMES NICE. The overall story was original and fun. There was plenty of humor to make one chuckle. The problem had to do with the characters. Too many were introduced at once in the beginning of the book. Granted, this was the second in a trilogy of books; however, the reader should not have to read the first book to enjoy the second. This reviewer feels that a good romance introduces minor characters slowly, and does not make too many of these characters as important as the two main characters, the male and female leads. The character of Jacqueline Farrel is made to be as important as Xandra. It was frustrating to switch gears from Xandra, who was looking for a love interest, to her mother's personal life and her television show. This entire segment of the novel could have been left out.
Another problem with the characters was that their personalities felt forced. It felt as if they had been created mainly to fit the story line, and not the other way around. Although the characters in some way did evolve and grow, they felt too rigid and structured in the beginning. By the end of the story, the main male and female characters had resolved their differences, as in any romance, but the jump from point A to point B did not feel natural.
Despite these negative points, this reviewer gives three stars for SOMETIMES NAUGHTY, SOMETIMES NICE. It is still a good beach read and a nice way to pass the time.