Baring your body is simple–but baring your soul might just change everything…
The last thing Glenna O’Donald expected to stumble upon in a cemetery was a pack of index cards. And not just any cards–each one contains instructions for a seriously kinky, no-holds-barred sexual encounter. Glenna, an over-analytical research assistant by day, is suddenly tempted to conduct some nocturnal experiments of her own. Especially when gorgeous university professor Eric Morris offers to be her lab partner. Soon Glenna begins meeting with Eric once a week to try out the suggestions that intrigue her most. In between those daring nights of sensual exploration are work days filled with laughter and flirting…until Glenna fears she’s getting in too deep. For all the pleasure she’s giving and receiving, Glenna wants more than skin-on-skin interaction–and Eric realizes he’s about to lose the intimate connection he didn’t know he needed. Can they find the courage to take this game to the next level? As hot as it is heartwarming, Christine d’Abo’s fresh, witty novel proves that practice makes perfect, and that some games are worth playing…
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
By her own admission, Glenna O’Donald is a coward. At just 28-years-old, Glenna lives a safe life. Though she is an immensely talented researcher, Glenna has chosen the safe route working for a tenured professor who takes advantage of her skills, intellect, and kind nature. Though she is young and attractive, Glenna has shied away from committed relationships following several early, failed attempts. Well, you see where this is going . . .
Everything changes for Glenna the day of her beloved great-grandmother’s funeral. At the cemetery, Glenna discovers a stack of 30 notecards with the most outrageous suggestions – wild and varied sex. The discovery of the cards leads Glenna to some wild and crazy fantasies but it is only at the very loud and overheard suggestion of her best-friend, Jasmine that Glenna takes the steps necessary to complete some of the suggestions with an actual partner.
For more than a year, Glenna has secretly lusted after Professor Eric Morris. He’s handsome, quiet, sexy, studious, and has no idea Glenna exists. Or, so Glenna thinks. In a bold and seemingly uncharacteristic move, Eric approaches Glenna about her sex cards after hearing Jasmine loudly discuss them. Eric doesn’t just want to see the cards and what’s written there, he wants to engage in the wild and varied activities, with Glenna!! The only caveat to the arrangement is no emotional involvement. Though he won’t speak at length about his past, Eric is unwilling to engage in anything more than a friends with benefits arrangement. Glenna’s attraction to Eric is so intense, she agrees to the arrangement never considering he may be far, far more than she bargained for.
With Eric, Glenna finds she is more adventurous, more daring, and far more willing to experiment sexually. Her past encounters have been satisfactory but with Eric, she feels safe and sexy and wants to try absolutely everything. For his part, Eric is just as willing to experiment sexually and is a kind and considerate lover. Coupled with the kindness and consideration is an intensity that makes him damn-near perfect in bed. Though he wants to remain emotionally detached, Eric finds it hard to resist Glenna which causes him to send a lot of mixed signals and become emotionally conflicted. The sex is good but the emotions that just keep leaking in from both sides are causing problems, and then there’s Jasmine, the best-friend from hell who isn’t satisfied until the proverbial sh*t hits the fan.
Hit the fan it does!! In what can only be described as a sh*tstorm, Glenna’s life falls completely apart in the span of roughly 12 hours. In the immediate aftermath, Glenna is sure her brief time as an adventurous and brave woman is to blame for her current situation. Upon further reflection, Glenna begins to realize the falling apart is only the beginning and if she can hold on to her bravery for just a bit longer, she may be able to have the life she has always dreamed of. All it will take is a little bit of courage, a whole lot of luck, a banana, and some help from some unexpected sources.
The Bottom Line: Last year’s 30 Days was one of my favorite reads of the year so I dove into 30 Nights with some seriously high expectations. While I didn’t love 30 Nights quite as much as 30 Days, I still really enjoyed this sweet and naughty read. In order to end on a high note, let’s deal with what I didn’t like about this read first. Jasmine! What a miserable effing character and best-friend she is!! Every encounter with Jasmine has me cringing and wondering what mess she would create next. I disliked the fact that Glenna didn’t speak her mind in one of the later and more dramatic scenes (NO SPOILERS!) In the spirit of the Great Glenna, I wanted younger Glenna to unload on the people who truly deserved her wrath and ire. To be fair, that would have been out of character for her but it sure would have been satisfying for me. The things I loved about this book are as wild and varied as the sex cards themselves. Though you don’t have to have read 30 Days, there is a bit of crossover in this book that I was completely delighted with. The same cards getting another chance to come out and play with two new and completely delightful characters is fabulous. Though the cards say the same thing as they did in 30 Days, the sexcapades in 30 Nights is completely different and appropriate to Glenna and Eric and those scenes are steamy, intense, funny, and inventive. Eric is my favorite character in this read and though he is often a dumbass, he is sincere, kind, caring, and just looking to do the right thing by Glenna. In all, I am totally smitten with the 30 Days series and can’t wait for the next installment!