Question: What happens when a thirty-year-old virgin hires a sex surrogate to take care of her “little problem”? Answer: Lots of laughs and tons of heat. You’ll be left wanting a Dr. Ryan Andrews of your own. Warning: This story contains mature humor, a lot of cursing, and of course, sexual situations. It’s intended for adult readers who enjoy that kind of thing. Sexual Surrogate (Definition): A sexual surrogate, sometimes called a surrogate partner, is a member of a sex therapy team consisting of client(s), supervising therapist, and surrogate. Some couples attend sexual surrogacy sessions together, while some people (either single or in a couple) attend them alone. The surrogate engages in education and often intimate physical contact and/or sexual activity with clients to achieve a therapeutic goal. – Wikipedia
I think you can tell from my star rating that I was not at all impressed with Elizabeth Brown’s The Lessons. As always, I don’t feel like I can just slap a number on a review without explaining myself.
My primary objection to this read is the fact that nearly every character is lying piece of crap. Natalie literally moves across the country so no one she knows will know she is still a virgin at the age of thirty. You see, Natalie had a plan in place for her life, one which involved doing all the big life things on a schedule and that schedule was not to be deviated from. Unfortunately, when her first serious boyfriend came out of the closet, well, the plan was well and truly derailed!!
In order to get her plan back on track, Natalie has to lay the groundwork and she does this researching sexual surrogates. Knowing this is a service that is generally reserved for people with actual sexual issues, Natalie has to build an entire backstory in order to be accepted into the program. Not only does she make up at least two boyfriends but she also makes up abuse and lets the idea of a fictional rape cross her mind in order to secure her place with the shrink. I really should have stopped reading at this point but Natalie acknowledges how wrong this would be. But making up boyfriends and other forms of abuse is OK??
Moving on . . . . once Natalie begins her “treatment” she is to meet with a man who will help her overcome her sexual issues (and by that I mean her virginity!) and move on with her life and plan. It just so happens the man she is meant to work with is the ONLY man she has met since moving from New York. Really?? She moved to California and the only person (other than the shrink) she has had a real conversation is, is to be her sexual surrogate??? Sorry, but California is a big state and I just don’t believe in coincidence that much.
Moving further on . . . let’s talk about the breach of ethics that runs rampant in this read. One, there is the hot to trot sexual surrogate who knows he should remove himself from Natalie’s case but is just too damn attracted to her. Repeating over and over again how wrong his involvement is yet continuing to have sex with Natalie just doesn’t help the situation. Additionally, there is the actual shrink and her actions. I won’t give them away here but suffice it to say, she is a completely wretched human being.
The Bottom Line: I read The Lessons, cover to cover and can’t honestly say why I didn’t DNF this read. The things I listed above as problems for me with this read are really just the tip of the iceberg. There isn’t a single character in this read that is likeable let alone relatable and worth rooting for. The cover and synopsis offers a whole lot of promise but, unfortunately the story just doesn’t deliver.