Jenna Jameson and Hope Tarr
Skyhorse / October 21, 2013 / $22.95 print & digital
Fleeing Los Angeles and her scarlet past a former porn star returns to her New York roots hoping to lose herself in the crowded city streets, protected from the paparazzi's reach . . . or so she thinks. A chance encounter with a returned war hero—now prominent investment CEO—is the very last thing she wants or needs, or is it?
When the handsome and deliciously kinky CEO shows her that there are other ways to satisfy her needs (and he knows all of them), she finds herself in the middle of a sexual awakening, a true romance and a happily ever after.
I admit to having some trepidation when I was contacted to read Jenna Jameson and Hope Tarr’s erotic romance contemporary, Sugar. Even with a co-author, a world-famous porn star doesn’t automatically equate well written erotic romance. Imagine my delight when upon reading I found a sweet, sexy, erotically charged romance between two people who are much more than what they present to the world. A welcome respite from the typical Cinderella-style storylines of the billionaire who saves the down-on-her-luck stripper/prostitute. Sugar offers a heroine and hero who are well matched on every level.
Sugar tells the story of Sarah Halliday, aka Sugar, an international porn star. Sarah has reached a point in her life where she is ready to retire her crown and begin a new chapter in her life. Sarah starts her journey by heading back home to New York in order to be closer to a sick friend. A chance meeting with billionaire CEO Colvin (Cole) A. Canning, puts a kink in her self imposed isolation. He wants her...bad...and won’t take no for an answer. Sarah pushes aside her initial concerns and decides that one night of guilt free sex on her terms is just what she needs to start her on the road to reclaiming her sexuality and life as a person and not a symbol.
Sarah enjoys her night with Cole, but knows it can't go anywhere. She can never escape who she is, and his blue blood heritage would never allow him to have a real relationship with someone with her past. When Cole discovers Sarah's identity, Sarah expects him to be like everyone else and demand something from her to keep silent. When he doesn’t, she decides to offer him something.
“I have a proposition for you.”
The glint in his eye was back, as was the boner pressing against his pants. “A proposition, huh? I like the sound of that.”
Swallowing, she said, “Hadn’t you better wait until you hear it?”
“Okay, let’s have it.”
“You can walk away now, and we never see each other again, or you can stick around for a sex-only relationship strictly behind-the-scenes.”
A black brow lifted. “Are we talking exclusivity?”
Sarah hesitated, mulling that over. “For safety’s sake, that would probably be best—but only for the time we’re together. Once one or both of us gets bored, we go our separate ways, no drama, no hurt feelings.”
“What kind of sex are we talking about? All the flavors?”
She nodded, feeling her panties dampen. “The whole freezer case, provided whatever we do is safe, consensual, and discussed in advance."
A purely sexual relationship with no strings that ends when one or both get bored. Sounds fabulous, right? Wrong. Because regardless of Sarah’s lifestyle choices, she is a closet romantic who longs for normality.
She’d lived the porn film script for ten years now. It had been one incredible ride, but now she wanted a new script for a new story—a good old-fashioned fairytale.
Sarah is an interesting character. Smart, intelligent, funny, and well off, she smashes many of stereotypes that revolve around adult entertainers. Her life is a study in duality because she is in essence two people. Sarah has no illusions that she can ever bury her past, but does hope to meet someone who can look beyond Sugar and just see Sarah.
That first night she and Cole had been together, he’d made love purely to her, not her legend.
Through Sarah’s memories and dialogue, we get an intimate look inside the world of adult entertainment. While some of the world views it as the ultimate career choice, Sarah takes pains to educate Cole to the realities behind the myth.
“Adult films are shot in very short time frames, anywhere from several days to just a few weeks. An average shoot is twelve hours, but I’ve been on set for as long as twenty. When you’re filming as a lead, you work a lot—and don’t roll your eyes at me. It is work. When the shoot wraps, you’re tired, you’re sore. Sex is the very last thing you want.[...]
“Having sex professionally makes you more discriminating in your private life, at least that’s how it’s always been for me. I’ve worked with all the leading adult actors in the business, guys who know every ‘dick trick’ in the book, as well as a few that aren’t, who can stay on the edge for hours and then come on command—as in thirty seconds.
“After that, do you really think I’m going to go to bed with any
gonzo that walks up to me in a club?”
Cole’s and Sarah’s relationship is slow to evolve, but the journey is an eye opener. Cole, a war veteran, comes into the relationship with no real expectations beyond the fact he is getting free no holds barred sex from a porn star whose DVDs kept him entertained during the war. He, like millions of other guys, thinks he knows Sugar, therefore assuming he knows Sarah, that by watching her films, he has developed a connection to her that offers him some entitlement. The more time he spends with Sarah though, he realizes how ridiculous his assumptions are.
Two months ago he’d been hi-fiving himself for having scored “Sugar” as his no-strings-attached lover. Looking down at Sarah’s profile, peaceful in sleep, he couldn’t imagine feeling that way now.
Watching their relationship deepen and grow is a lesson for everyone who has ever fallen in love with someone deemed inappropriate in the eyes of your family and society. Sugar asks if you can look past your misconceptions and pride to go forward or are you willing to let the one person who means the world to you slip through your fingers.
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