Author: Gina Gordon
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept
Rating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Everly Parker is about to graduate from law school, always busy, and can’t stop rushing through life. Her late grandmother left her a bucket list of meaningful, can’t-miss experiences, but she hasn’t completed a single one. Then searing-hot Max Levin bursts into her world. As a casting director for a porn production company, Max is loaded, cocky, and all wrong for Everly. Still, she’s tempted enough to cross the first item off her list: Go out with someone you’d never give the time of day.
Inheriting a porn empire isn’t every guy’s dream (well, actually, it probably is), but Max isn’t complaining. It’s just that until he meets Everly, he has no idea what he’s been missing. As the pressure mounts to take over the family business, Max can’t help wondering what would happen if he chose Everly instead. So far, his life has been a wild ride, but only Everly promises the greatest rush of all: love.
Review: Wow. Totally blew me out of the park. I read this book after a couple that didn’t amaze me, not expecting much, and it was such a surprise! I was thoroughly B.L.O.W.N. away. The premise? Kinda sketchy. The follow through? Amazeballs. This author, Gina Gordon, has got some serious writing chops, and her way with a phrase–combined with some seriously twisted, hot and dirty, sexy awesomeness–made an immediate fan out of me. The way she took what was essentially a taboo subject, the porn business–and Goddess knows, we’ve all read really icky books about that before– and DID NOT make it skanky? ImPOSSible to do. But making it a deeply felt, emotionally rich juxtaposition about not only the haves and the have-nots, but about being raised with self-worth versus being raised always feeling like you aren’t good enough? Deep shit, people. Can’t say enough good things about this, but I’ll try.
Max Levin was raised in a very loving home by two wonderful parents. They just happened to be in the porn industry. His father was the head of White Lace Productions, the largest distributor of adult films in Canada. His mother, who’d died from breast cancer, had been an adult film star until she’d aged out, the inevitable progression for all females in any type of film career–porn or not. She’d raised him with much love and affection, and in their house, porn was a business. One hundred percent. Their Levin Room of Accomplishment displayed his Spelling Achievement Award alongside his mother’s Playboy covers and her various sex toy designs. It was a very unusual upbringing, but what can you say? Max Levin had grown up very loved and believing what his mother had always told him–Max Levin could do anything he wanted.
But Max Levin didn’t want to be in the porn business. His dad was waiting for him to be ready to take over the business–handing it to him on a silver platter. What was wrong with him? He just knew he was uncomfortable with constantly defending himself when he went into regular society, and he was tired of having to make decisions that circled around why the plaster cast of their current porn stars vagina didn’t look like hers. He dreamed of other careers, but it felt dishonest and disloyal even imagining another career. His parents loved him so much and he felt like he was betraying them even wishing for something else. He was incredibly successful, wealthy, and had everything any man could want. But yet, inside, he didn’t.
On the other hand, Everly Parker is his mirror opposite. Raised in the “right” family, she belongs in polite society. Both of her parents are lawyers and she’s working to finish her law degree. It seems like she’s got all the respectability he’s lacking. But she’s unhappy too. Everly is also being forced into the family business, with no choice to escape. However, her upbringing was vastly different. Her parents didn’t make her feel like she could do anything–in fact the opposite. They made her feel like she was worthless. They constantly harped on her to do better and better and better. She’d given up everything for law school–friends, fun, hobbies, free time. Was that how her life was going to be once she passed the bar? She’d thought at the time that it would be the demarcation line–that after she finished, she’d get her life back. Unfortunately, she was beginning to realize that wasn’t the case. Her life was only going to continue this way and actually get worse–not only would her parents be demanding things from her constantly, but there would be the added pressure from the partners at the firm. Seeing a chance to take a brief break from the pressure with the handsome Max when she meets him at a bar, she agrees to let him help her with the bullet list her grandmother had left her in her will.
When Max and his partner Ben meet up to interview two possible film candidates in a bar, he notices Everly. The porn business has given him a weariness about sex that has him worried–it’s just mechanical to him now. However, Everly is different–he’s actually attracted to her! Finding out she’s friends with the two women gives him an intro to talk to her. When he does, he’s even more intrigued. As they get pulled into a relationship under the guise of fulfilling Everly’s bullet list, both realize that this might just be the change they’re looking for. And in each other, they might have found the person worth changing for.
Loved this book! Other than some issues regarding porn/safe sex, really really adored the writing, the depth of the character development, and the story line that gave so much more back than I expected–WAY more. I am totally into this author now! Thanks for a great read–I will be watching you now, Gina!
Watch out, boo, I think I’ve got a girl crush on you!