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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lip Service - MJ Rose creates a new genre!
M J Rose has, without a doubt, created a new genre of fiction. No wonder that traditional publishers 'didn't know where to put Lip Service'. This is an intelligent, fascinating book with serious erotica at just the right places in the plot, for just the right length and never 'just to take up space'. Deliciously naughty, tantilizing novel about Julia discovering a very...
Published on 23 Feb 2001

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3.0 out of 5 stars Empowered or used?
Julia's marriage to Paul, a psychiatrist, is passionless and more or less sexless. So when she meets charismatic Sam who runs a sex clinic, Julia can't help being intrigued. Drawn into Sam's slightly sinister world of therapeutic phone sex Julia finds it all too easy to become `Alice' - but will her enthrallment to her own repressed desires lead to her liberation or...
Published 23 months ago by Roman Clodia


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lip Service - MJ Rose creates a new genre!, 23 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service (Paperback)
M J Rose has, without a doubt, created a new genre of fiction. No wonder that traditional publishers 'didn't know where to put Lip Service'. This is an intelligent, fascinating book with serious erotica at just the right places in the plot, for just the right length and never 'just to take up space'. Deliciously naughty, tantilizing novel about Julia discovering a very real and honest side of herself that was never released (until...?), a smug psychiatrist husband needing one himself, 'The Institute' and a real page turner of a plot. Buy it and find out more. This novel will make for a much appreciated gift as well. An exciting read, I highly recommend this for readers of both genders. I await with anticipation 'In Fidelity'.
Patricia Conant - Freelance writer, columnist...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy and filled with suspense, 24 Sep 2012
By 
Marleen (Cavan, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lip Service (Paperback)
Julia Stirling has been content in her life until recently. Married to Paul, a psychiatrist turned professional fund-raiser, she has willingly assisted him in his efforts to promote his charity for Fathers In Trouble as a charming, if shy hostess. As a student Julia had a nervous break-down after a period during which she indulged in various and short-lived sexual encounters. Marrying the cool and emotionally detached Paul and allowing him to make her decisions for her while keeping her on medication has for a long time been her refuge from that past. Recently though she has started to question her detachment from life. After obtaining a degree in journalism she has been writing articles on a free-lance and part-time basis and this return to self-sufficiency is awakening other needs in her. Needs her husband won't acknowledge or tolerate. When Julia meets Sam Butterfield during a charity dinner she is fascinated by what he tells her about his work at a renowned sexual research centre. When he invites her to write a book about the work the institute does with the aid of telephone-therapists Julia jumps at the opportunity and asks to be trained as such a therapist as a form of research. She is slightly taken aback when she discovers that the therapy provided is in reality a form of phone sex but, once her initial shock wears of, she discovers that she is enjoying the way those phone conversations with sometimes desperate men make her feel. When one of her clients confesses to harming his step-daughter and needing her help in order to stop Julia is confused and conflicted. And because she has been keeping her research a secret from Paul, who doesn't want her involved with the Butterfield institute at all, she is facing her confused feelings alone. And then there are the accusations made against Sam; is it possible that he is not just the charming therapist he appears to be? Julia has to make a decision that requires the sort of strength she hasn't displayed in years; a decision that will have far-reaching consequences not just for her but also for a lot of people around her.

I loved this book. I really enjoyed this story about a woman who has been repressing her true self for years and slowly awakens to everything she really is and can be. There is enough background information for the reader to understand why Julia has been happy to allow her husband to rule her life for so long, just as it is easy to understand why that has changed for her at this particular point in her life.
In fact, I am very impressed with this book. This story embraces so many genres; psychological thriller, mystery, erotica and romance all intertwine to bring the reader a powerful, seductive and suspenseful read. And M.J. Rose's achievement is even more impressive when you realise that this was her first published novel, back in 1999. I did read other works by this author in the past and knew I liked her writing-style and stories, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that her earliest work is as good as those later books are.

M.J. Rose manages to create realistic characters it is easy to identify with even if their experiences are very different from the readers'. The main character in this book comes across as a real person. The reader may not agree with every decision she makes but will be able to understand why she makes them.
The writing in this book is smooth and descriptive. The pictures painted of the surroundings are as easy to picture as they are symbolic of what is going on inside Julia's head and heart.
The tension in this story slowly creeps up on the reader. What at first appears to be a rather sedate story almost imperceptibly turns into a full-blown thriller. I found myself rushing to turn the pages while at the same time being very careful not to miss a single one of the well chosen words.

In short this was a fascinating and engrossing read by an author who has yet to disappoint me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seduction, 2 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
I couldn't put this book down. It held me captive for a whole weekend. Its not quite like anything I've read before - erotic and engaging - about a woman who you don't think will win but does! Its insightful and thought provoking and I highly reccommend it to any woman who isn't afraid of facing her own sexuality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating compilation of genres, 1 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
I read this book in one absorbed sitting. Congratulations to M.J. Ross for having the balls to publish and promote her own book. I hope she and her agent are having the last laugh at the publishing world that wouldn't accept her manuscript in the first place.
The book is a fascinating compilation of genres -- literary, erotic, suspense, thriller, and social commentary -- with a twist at the end that caught me completely off guard. Great ending. Great reading.
The description of various upper class social worlds and concerns, I thought, were very wry and very dead on. In my best Hollywood pitch, LIP SERVICE was like: "Belle Du Jour" meets Evelyn Waugh meets Hitchcock meets Susie Bright at Good Vibrations (a woman's sex shop in San Francisco). Congratulations to M.J. Ross for having the courage to tell an intelligent story with compelling contemporary characters and not hold back on the sexual content.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books that you'll pass on to your best friend!, 9 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
Looking for an intelligent, modern-day love story with some steamy, summer sizzle? If the answer is yes, M.J. Rose's "Lip Service" could be the book for you.
Using modern-day New York as her backdrop, Rose invites us into the life of devoted wife and dutiful daughter Julia Sterling, and her sterile and controlling psychiatrist husband, Paul. The story begins as Julia, acting the part of trophy-wife for her husband's business dinner, meets Sam Butterfield, founder of the Butterfield Institute, a "progressive sex clinic."
Encouraged by Sam, but against the wishes of her overprotective husband, Julia agrees to write a book about the institute. Through her research, she struggles with the emotionally fragile label that has been thrust upon her by her father and husband, and the new awakening she experiences through her job as a phone sex therapist.
With plenty of suspense and intrigue, Rose entices us into Julia's psyche. As the story progresses, we realize just how much Julia has put her life on hold; not allowing herself to question what her husband tells her, nor allowing her true feelings to surface. But it is not until Julia is faced with making significant decisions about her future, that we really realize the significance of her newly found self-awareness.
Definitely a page-turner, this book is the perfect cure for the mid-summer blahs. With just enough erotica to be piquant, but not enough to be pornographic, "Lip Service" is one of those books that you'll be sure to pass on to your best friend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Empowered or used?, 22 Aug 2012
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Lip Service (Paperback)
Julia's marriage to Paul, a psychiatrist, is passionless and more or less sexless. So when she meets charismatic Sam who runs a sex clinic, Julia can't help being intrigued. Drawn into Sam's slightly sinister world of therapeutic phone sex Julia finds it all too easy to become `Alice' - but will her enthrallment to her own repressed desires lead to her liberation or something quite different?

This is an odd mix of the intelligent, the hippy-new age, and the frankly rather schlocky. Parts of it are done well and there is a genuine tension as to whether Julia's involvement in Sam's sexual therapy is empowering or a closet form of prostitution masquerading under a respectable name. The latter part of the book, however, seems to lose all sense of direction as the plot goes off the rails into the unbelievable and rather absurd.

So a mixed recommendation from me: it's worth a read for the good bits but sadly doesn't follow through.

(This review is from an ARC courtesy of the publisher).
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1.0 out of 5 stars An unpleasant little story, 1 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
What an unpleasant little story. Men are portrayed as perverts, thieves and pimps; women are righteous prudes. A woman is _shocked_ that a man wants to be sexually dominated during phone sex, the police antics are completely unbelievable, and the plot is silly. I just read the Kirkus review here that says "corny beyond belief," but I'd say that's being too kind. Its just plain dumb and a waste of time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars pleasantly surprised, 27 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
When this book was recommended to me I hesitated, erotica not being my genre of choice. But I am glad I was pursuaded to give it a try. It was a great read. I was drawn into the story quickly and found the plot to be much more intriguing than I expected (admittedly expecting a Danielle Steelesque fluff).
Give it a try, it's worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Move over Ayn Rand..., 26 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
Not since "Atlas Shrugged" has a book had the power to become such an instant classic. Rose has spun a modern tale of triumph and suspense that will forever ring true over the timeless hills of feminine bravura.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lip Service, Chillingly Erotic and More, 25 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Lip Service: A Novel (Hardcover)
MJ Rose's Lip Service is more than a wonderful, well-written and timely piece of fiction. It is more than a brilliant portrayal of a woman's sexual repression and revolt against her therapist/husband, which resolves itself in a tantalizing submersion into an erotic world. It is a discovery.
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Lip Service: A Novel
Lip Service: A Novel by M. J. Rose (Hardcover - 26 Oct 1999)
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