Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Book Review: 'Stripped Bare' by Heidi McLaughlin

Vermont author Heidi McLaughlin is a prolific writer and a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author. Her genre is Chick Lit – a designator no longer considered ‘fluff for gals’ but instead in this age when most books are read on the go in one of the many tech formats, these stories are meant to be fast action romances with a taste of raw that provides solid entertainment as well as stimulus for putting spice in life. One of Heidi’s novels has been optioned as a film – so that informs us that this level of reading is growing rapidly in popularity.

One of the many reasons this book works so well is that it addresses contemporary issues of financially supporting a life style in different ways, the growing interest in titillating entertainment, and hard raw sexual excitement – with a dollop of nostalgia and tenderness added to the erotica.

Insight into the life of a stripper comes at us in the first paragraph – more sensitivity than expected - ‘The stench of deep fry emanates from my clothes. I hate the smell and I know the other girls can smell it, but I ignore the looks they’re giving me and hustle through the dressing room to my locker. The older women and the ones who have been stripping here longer always look down on the younger girls and the newbies. I’m somewhere in the middle. I stripped here when I was younger, during my first trimester with my daughter, and then again after she was born when I had my figure back. Actually, stripping helped me tone as a result of all the pole work that I had to do. I took some time off after that, but I always come back because the money is fast and somewhat decent. Each time I leave, though, I say that it’s for good and that was the last time and yet a few months later, I always find myself back again, knocking on Lew’s door and asking for my spot in the rotation back. Girls come and go around here, and in this business you can’t expect to make a lasting connection with anyone.’

Las Vegas and ‘they don’t call it the Strip for nothing’ The synopsis outlines Heidi’s story well – ‘In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off. Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets. Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to baring her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.’

Sizzle, sparkle and very fine writing make this a satisfying quick read. Heidi has it down pat. Grady Harp, April 17
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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