Review: Black Widow (Book #1: Club Bridge Series) by Lauren Runow

Black Widow

Title: Black Widow Series: Book #1: Club Bridge Author: Lauren Runow Format: Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 245 pages Published: February 23, 2016

Purple Goodreads

Preston: I bury my pain in a sex club. I can be anonymous and still be faithful to my deceased wife’s memory. At the club, I can give and receive pleasure without guilt or attachment. My mask hides the lies of my past.  Kamii: My marriage ended tragically. Since then, the only excitement in my lonely, pathetic, workaholic life is reading erotic novels. However, I now have the chance to be whoever I want to be, where no one knows my past and will never be my future.  When their worlds collide, fantasies become a reality by pushing boundaries. The anonymity of Bridge offers protection from painful pasts, cunning schemes and dangerous lies. But when the masks are removed, there are no safewords to protect hearts and lives from buried truths.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 2½/5 stars

My Review:

I think the speed at which I read this book really has nothing to do with my overall enjoyment and/or impression of the read.  Yes, I read Black Widow in a single sitting but I had some issues with it along the way.

The longer I think about the plot of Black Widow the more issues I seem to have with it.  There are a lot of things I am willing to accept in my reads.  I am reading fiction, after all.  But, I do have my limits and here’s are the major issues I can’t or am unwilling to accept about this read:

  1. Kamii is described as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in her area which leads me to believe she is both intelligent and shrewd.  I would also suspect and expect someone in her position to be quite wary which leads me to my first real issue with this read.  How in hell does a woman such as Kamii begin spilling all her sexual wants and desires almost immediately to a complete and total stranger?  Oh sure, the two do become friends but there is an awful lot of intimate sharing going on in an implausibly short amount of time. 
  2. I can totally accept the whole idea of becoming a member of an exclusive sex club.  What I can’t figure out is how a woman like Kamii who has admittedly NEVER engaged in anything sexually wild and daring outside of her fantasy world so easily jumps into threesomes, foursomes, girl on girl, and some light BDSM play.  For me, this plot point was a bit like saying I’ve always dreamed of base jumping and the next day you are jumping from Meru Peak in the Himalayan Mountains.  Yeah, I looked it up, this is one of the seven most extreme locations for base jumping in the world.  You see my point???
  3. In addition to the whole Kamii and Preston coming together, there is a secondary plot line involving a mystery killer.  I have very often enjoyed books with a thinish mystery plot line but this one is paper thin.  I will not reveal here who the big bad is but most readers will figure it out very quickly and not be at all surprised by the big reveal at the end.

While I get that the above seems highly critical and extremely negative, it isn’t all I have to say about this book.  There are things I did like about this read.  Here’s the skinny:

  1. Even with the speed of light development of friendship between Kamii and Becca, I liked Becca and how she worked to help Kamii overcome some of the tremendous loneliness in her life.  Quick development is the name of the game here with Becca also forming a similarly quick and intimate friendship with Preston. 
  2. Bridge!  Bridge is one hell of a club and with the added bonus of total anonymity and masks, the sex is all the hotter.  Once Kamii decides she is going to fulfill her fantasies, she goes big and then goes home. . . totally and completely sated.  The sex certainly doesn’t overtake the book but it is a large part of the read.  Though the sex is supposed to be anonymous, Preston totally knows who Kamii is and becomes a bit more attached to her each time he is with her.  Though Kamii doesn’t know it is Preston she is having sex with, she does know that each time with him makes her feel safer, freer, more secure, and happier than she has been in a very long time.  In this way, the sex really is the conduit for the feels that develop between Preston and Kamii. 

The Bottom Line:  As you can see, I had some big issues with Black Widow which kept me from truly liking this read.  There are certainly some good things about this read but in the end, I found the negative outweighed the positive.  In addition to the major issues, there are some minor issues as well including some glaring word choice errors, more than a few “what the actual hell?” moments, and some loose ends that never really got tied up.  While I would generally call it quits on a series after issues like this, I find myself willing to give the second book a try with the hope that it has seen better editing and some of the kinks inevitably found in a first book have been worked out.

Amazon | B & N | Kobo

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