Review – Consent to Love by Abby Wood

I was still a kid when I started reading romances (some might argue that I’m still a kid at heart/in my mind), and I used to bring my books in to school and giggle over the juicy bits with my little friends.  “He put his WHAT where?”  These days, I take most of the stuff that happens in romance novels or erotica with a “yep, that happens” attitude.  Some adjectives (turgid, tumescent, throbbing, flaccid, etc.) will always make me chuckle, but they are an expected element of most romantic or erotic fiction.  It takes a lot to shock me.

Well, color me shocked.

Cover image, Consent to Love by Abby Wood

Let’s start with the publisher’s blurb:

Twenty-four-year-old small-town girl Ana Reynold serves beer at the local bar, tries to keep her beater car running, and dreams of a better life as a painter. If she can learn to make a decent steak, she might get promoted to cook-and earn enough for her real heart’s desire. Right now, that doesn’t include romance.

But when she meets a tall, dark and sexy Native American man named Kane, Ana can’t take her eyes off him-or stop thinking about him. But she’d better. Everyone knows the proud Lakota who raises horses wants nothing to do with a townie barmaid who’ll bring shame to his people.

Except Kane can’t get Ana off his mind. He proposes a red-hot weekend in bed, a no-strings affair to end Monday morning. Yet once Kane brings the outsider onto Lakota land, everything changes…

44,000 words

By the time I was two chapters in, I was fairly certain I was not going to like the book (melodrama for DAYS), but I kept reading it because it was funny.  By the time I reached the second or third sex scene (there are a lot of them crammed into the short book), I had contracted a case of the horrified giggles.  You know the kind I mean: you’re giggling madly while reading the crazy nonsense, but you also have aftershock giggles hit you at unexpected moments during the days following.  Trying to go to sleep, are you?  Well, you can count that out once you remember this line: “He removed himself from her puckered hole…”

My top 3 dropped jaw moments:

  1. Ana, naked, rubbing her girly parts all over the saddle Kane made for her.  Ew.  How do you clean that up afterward?
  2. The sheer number of truly unhygienic moments.   Matters should always progress from front to back (and then wash your damn hands) where female anatomy is concerned.  Kane missed that day in sex-ed (so did Ana, apparently).
  3. This line: “How was she supposed to form an opinion when her dress and lack of panties allowed the hard ridge of his cock to boink her between her butt cheeks?”  Boink!!

If you leave the raunchy sex out of the picture–not an easy thing to do, by the way, as raunchy sex comprises most of the book–the remaining story swings between unreasonably emotional melodrama and implausibility.  When Ana and Kane first meet, they both acknowledge the strange attraction between them with much more emotional honesty that is typical for strangers sharing their first conversation.  Ana’s unschooled painting talent and the wide interest in her work–not to mention how instantly lucrative her hobby is–seem implausible.

Bottom line: Considering how less-than-stellar this book is, I really did have a blast reading it.  I don’t think the author intended it to be humorous, exactly, but there are some laugh-out-loud funny bits that kept me giggling for days.  Sometimes I do just want to read something silly that has a high entertainment value, and this book actually qualifies.  Boink!

*FTC disclaimer: I received a free e-galley of this book from Carina Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*