Favorite Line: “The way into a man’s heart may be through his stomach but the way into your pants is via the florist.” (44)
Have you ever read romantic erotica and wondered where the romance was? I’ve read a few books that made me a tad bit weary when it comes to erotica for that very reason. Amie Stuart did a good job of reversing that damage. I started to read Hands On slowly, but soon found myself turning pages faster and faster. It might be because I could sympathize with the three women telling their stories or it might be because Stuart is a great writer.
Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the three stories that made up Hands On. The first story was about Lexie, a Safety Manager on a construction site. She worked hard to get and maintain her crew’s respect and refused to allow anything or anyone to interfere. This includes the sheet rock foreman, Wade. Don’t get me wrong, she wants Wade in a bad way but is up front with him and tells him he’s not worth her job. Despite this, on girl’s night out she hooks up with him.
The story is told in first person and takes you straight into her mind. The reality of the story hit close to home and I especially appreciated her self-preservation. She knows the rules of management, not sleeping with people you manage and this a major source of conflict for the story. It takes a strong woman to let go of what she wants in order to live in reality and that is exactly what Lexie does.
Story number two follows the bi-sexual Lanie through the torture of family expectations. Lanie is an outcast in her family. She went to college and received a business degree but instead of joining the family garage she opened her own. Her garage caters to women and is a source of contention among her family. Knowing that her family would not approve of her lifestyle, Lanie has allowed a huge gap to come between them and likes it that way. At a family gathering celebrating her brother’s release from prison, the family tries to set Lanie up with Jeff. Of course Lanie is having none of it, tells the family where to go, and leaves. To her surprise she runs into Jeff again at her shop where he has brought his mother to service her car.
Out of the three stories this was my favorite. I like feeling like I got a snapshot of her life. I don’t know everything, but I know enough to satisfy me. I don’t feel like information was piled on me either. The story is an equal balance of Lanie’s family issues, her personal struggles, and possible romance on the side. Did I mention that Lanie was bi-sexual? Like the other stories this is written in first person.
The final story, and my least favorite, is that of Carlotta. Carlotta is an electrician who meets a man destined to be her Dom. By day he’s a quiet, mild computer geek, but at night he transforms into a sexy Dom determined to win Carlotta. Trust is important in this relationship and Carlotta trusts few. Can this relationship last longer than the two week trial period they agreed upon?
I’m not into the mind games that come along with the Dom/Sub scene. I guess I have enough problems without a man adding to them. This made it very hard for me to get into the story. I didn’t see what Carlotta saw. It wasn’t a bad story, I just had reservations about the validity of such a relationship. Don’t throw things at me, please. I’m sure that there are plenty of relationships out there in the lifestyle that last longer than straight relationships. It just did nothing for me.
Should you buy it? Yes. It’s hot, a quick read, and enjoyable. It looks at working women, not the secretaries or lawyers, the women who get dirty. It’s refreshing and real something that isn’t always that easy to find in romantic erotica. The three stories are written in first person and hint at an opportunity for HEA.