I never would have found this book if not for Mandi over at SmexyBooks. I’ve never read anything by Cara McKenna, and I haven’t really read much released by Ellora’s Cave.
Curio is a novella by Cara McKenna, a story told from the perspective of Caroly Evardt. On the cusp of her 30th birthday, Caroly decides to finally get rid of her burdening virginity. She’s 29, independent, smart, sassy and successful, but her own emotional baggage has never allowed her to find comfort among that opposite sex.
She’s tired of it.
When she learns that one of her favorite models among the art in her gallery also sidelights as a prostitute, she decides that he’ll be the one to induct her into her sexuality.
Didier Pedra is a strikingly beautiful person, a man who has no problem with the inherent desire his physical beauty brings about in those around him. He utilizes it to support himself, earning a stellar reputation among his clients and more. When Caroly arrives for her first appointment, he ends up discovering something in her he wasn’t expecting.
There are so many ways this story could have gone. What I wasn’t expecting was a dark and emotional story, painted with just the right amount of humor that turns an extremely erotic tale into one that I found myself relating to. Caroly and Didier are so human, so complex and raw that I found myself unable to put this book down until I finished it. I was torn between wishing Curio had been a full lenth novel and relishing that McKenna had the chops to write such a ravishing story with less than 40,000 words.
So, immabout to get graphic. Can you dig? Some of my favorite quotes:
Didier is the type of man, who, even if you can’t stand seafood, makes you crave oysters. There is something raw and primal yet utterly refined about him that leaves you hungry for such a thing. He pairs with liver and black caviar and hundred-dollar champagne, this extraordinary delicacy of a man. A rare animal, worthy of hunting to extintinction lest anyone else lay claim to the beauty of him.
What really makes this story shine, though, is that we get glimpses beyond Didier’s beautiful facade. The man knows he’s beautiful, yet he is far from conceited. We come to learn that he has his own emotional troubles, a beautiful human being that is just as damaged and fragile as our heroine.
And our heroine is just as fascinating. She’s so relatable, so normal to a point I found myself able to understand her emotional point of view completely. Which makes following in her (sexual awakening) footsteps most extraordinary. We’re treated to some pretty hot scenes. I won’t spoil it for you, but let’s just say that this was possibly one of the best voyeuristic self-pleasuring scenes I’ve yet read. Didier and Caroly’s visits gradually evolve as Caroly becomes more comfortable in her skin. And finally, finally, when the moment comes it’s fantastically beautiful.
His fingers knew exactly how to tease me and it wan’t long before a miraculous realization dawned on me. I was going to come. I was having sex and I was going to have an orgasm – be given an orgasm – by Didier. The world’s biggest sexual fusspot was getting laid and, how do you fucking like that, it was hot.
I adored this book. I’m definitely going to be check out more of Cara McKenna. Her style is brutally sensual yet realistic. Curio is a fantastic breakaway on a long day.
Romance: 3/5 Raunch: 5/5