All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Naked Sushi – Jina Bacarr

on October 17, 2013

Naked SushiNaked Sushi
Jina Bacarr
Cosmo Red-Hot Reads (Harlequin)
2013, eBook
Copy courtesy of Harlequin US via NetGalley

Pepper is computer programmer who is working late one night and has to photocopy something, a task she’s not really familiar with. She finds a strange man in the copy room and Pepper suddenly finds herself having an out of character one night stand with him. However she accidentally sets off the alarm which means the encounter ends abruptly. Her lover escapes before they are caught but Pepper is not so lucky and she is fired for her indiscretion.

After that her reputation is ruined – no one will grant her an interview and she’s being badmouthed by her former office manager. Pepper stalks her former boss, the owner of the company to where he’s having lunch and gets herself a gig there as the naked sushi girl in order to beg for her job back. She isn’t successful but she does come across her copy room lover again and discovers that he is undercover FBI.

Pepper has always longed to be a spy – in fact she’s applied and gotten past the first round but has never gone any further. When she discovers that Steve is gathering information on her former boss, she decides that getting her job back isn’t an option after all and she vows to help him with his job instead. And that way she gets to spend more time with the deliciously sexy Steve, who also owes her big time after their time in the copy room was cut short.

I’m interstate visiting family indefinitely due to an emergency and I knew I wouldn’t be able to bring books with me so I loaded up my kindle with a few contemporary romances, easy things that I could read whilst having a break while my youngest is napping or in between visits to the local hospital. I read this one the first night I was here – it’s short, which is both good and bad. Good because I didn’t enjoy it very much but also bad because I might’ve enjoyed it more if it were longer and took the time to actually flesh lots of things out, such as the attraction between Steve and Pepper, Steve’s job and the case investigating Pepper’s boss, Pepper deciding to help and the end.

I feel as though this story had so much potential based on the blurb – I’m a big fan of undercover stories and this one seemed like it would be really funny and also hot but unfortunately for me, it wasn’t either of those things. Everything from the very first scene seems rushed – no time is taken to set up anything. Pepper and Steve are bonking against a photocopier mere minutes after meeting each other and I just can’t buy that at all. I couldn’t really tell what sort of character Pepper was – we received little information about her romantic history, her friends, etc and yet she finds herself having sex with a man she doesn’t know who she only met mere minutes ago and doesn’t know his name or even what he’s doing in the building. I found the naked sushi scenes pretty unnecessary to the plot and probably not worthy of being the inspiration for the title.

There’s a real lack of chemistry between Steve and Pepper and I think this is because everything with them feels so rushed. When two characters jump straight to doing the deed in the first chapter, you lose a huge chance to really build attraction and sexual tension and get the reader super invested in the two characters. Everything kind of skipped along and it felt like crucial scenes that really would’ve built both an attraction/relationship between Steve and Pepper and also the story regarding the FBI investigation into something much more detailed. Also Pepper had a really disturbing habit of “clenching/contracting her pubes” which I just found really distracting and weird and what even does that mean?

Unfortunately for me this one sounded great in theory but was very poor in execution. Sometimes a short story isn’t as quick and fun as it seems and you get the feeling that the author could’ve made a much better story if she’d taken the time to really nut out the story line and get it tight and also make sure the character attraction and growth was there. The ending was extremely weak and the epilogue really cheesy and neither did the story any favours.

4/10

Book #267 of 2013

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