Review: Unconventional

Unconventional by Avery Aster

2 stars

Read from 10-11 May, 2017

Synopsis: From the NYT Bestselling author of The Manhattanites series and for fans of such films as Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Wild Things comes a ménage romance posing the question; can two men share the same woman forever?

They are the best of friends and the greatest of lovers. Two men and one woman, searching for fortune and fame, bound together by an eroticism their money and power can’t buy them. Luigi, the romantic alpha hunk. Rocco, the exotic bisexual. Jemma, the insatiable beauty who possesses them both.

From their first rendezvous in Milan, the three set out on a wicked course, jet-setting from the kinky underground sex clubs of Berlin, to the lavish palaces of Moscow, to New York’s high society in pursuit of pleasure. They have only each other to care for. That is…until a baby comes along and changes their destiny. But which of them is the father? And will they continue their poly relationship or give in to convention?

Bookish Things: 250 pages. The cover is very appropriate for the genre, but doesn’t really say much about the story. This is book #4 from The Manhattanites Series.

Where to buy: Amazon on kindle for $4.15.

My Review: 

When poly couple (thruple?), Jemma, Rocco and Luigi, run into relationship trouble and Jemma’s fashion designer career hits rock bottom, the boys whisk her away on a sexual safari! What an awesome story idea!

The story felt rushed, the characters wooden and despite the Italian sporadically added to their speech, they all sounded the same! I had difficulty telling which character was talking, except for the convenient chapter headings listing whose POV the chapter was from.

Some of the sexcapades were amusing (the BDSM club in Berlin for example), but they were glossed over and not fully explored. Avery could have taken the reader on a wicked ride, but instead patted the readers hand and told them of a trip to a Berlin BDSM club.

Also, there was a lot of repetition about Jemma’s breast cancer survival. If the c-word didn’t come out of her mouth or whizz around in her head once a chapter it’s like she’d forget. Now, I get that cancer is a horrible, horrible disease and people who survive do struggle with the things Jemma did in this story, I just felt we didn’t need to be reminded every other paragraph. It took over and wrecked what could have been a hot sexy story.

I didn’t love this story, in fact, I’d argue I didn’t even like it, and that was primarily because of the writing.

There was simply too much signposting emotions.
E.g. 30% – Shocked, I was speechless.
32% – In awe, I stood there, watching her.

This reads as if Avery is not confident enough in conveying the emotion with character actions without first stating it, just to make doubly sure her readers get it. Give us a little credit!

These examples could be fixed easily:
#1 – I was speechless. (No signposted emotion required.)
#2 – I stood there, mouth partially open and heat in my eyes, watching her.

Also, what on earth was with the word choices for private parts?!? An otherwise hot scene came (no pun intended!) to a screeching halt when a character refers to their ‘nuts’. That is the least sexy word. Period!

I don’t think I’ll revisit Avery’s work for a while. The ideas are good, but the execution not so great.

**Note: I received an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

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