Reviews

The List – Tawna Fenske

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As the millionaire owner of a chain of computer shops, Simon Traxel isn’t normally hands-on with mundane repairs. But when a fretful brunette shows up with her fried laptop and killer green eyes, he makes an exception. And as it turns out, she needs more hands-on help than Simon imagined.

Brainy soil scientist Cassie Michaels has spent her whole life feeling like a grungy tree trunk beside her delicate flower sisters. To make herself more interesting, Cassie invented stories about her wild sex life—stories she’s expected to retell in vivid detail at a bachelorette party. Cassie’s attempt to catalog her biggest whoppers goes awry when she spills wine on her laptop and lands in Simon’s shop with her sexy list frozen on the screen.

But Simon’s interest is piqued, and the two strike a deal to make Cassie’s make-believe sexploits a reality. From steamy public romps gone hilariously awry, to sexy antics with kitchen utensils, their quest to conquer The List is equal parts scorching hot and adorably awkward.

As they near the end of The List though, Cassie and Simon second guess their pledge to shake hands and say goodbye when they cross off the last item. But will Simon’s big secret make that the one fantasy that can never come true?

I received an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating 3.5 Stars

I’d like to begin this review with a public service announcement. This message is for all men, fictional or not, young or old, single or taken. Never, and I mean never ever ever, use the word “hella” in a sentence. I know what you’re thinking, “But Erin, sometimes it just works with the point I’m trying to ma-“. NO. It does not. You are mistaken. I know that this may seem a bit random, but there is a reason I’ve started my review with this message – I almost put this book down when not even 15% in, during a SEX SCENE, the male lead used the word “hella” to describe how intense the foreplay with the female lead was. To be entirely honest, I did put the book down for a few hours. I put it in the equivalent of book time out. Nothing puts a damper on a sex scene more than out-dated, unnecessary slang.

The above rant aside, I did enjoy”The List”. In this book, Cassie, a dirt scientist, makes up an elaborate list of sexual acts to impress her sisters. When her computer freezes on the word document containing 10 of the most salacious sex acts Cassie’s mind can come up with, she is forced to take it to a computer repair shop. Naturally, the man who assists her in her desperate time of need is not only the owner of the chain of computer retail stores, he is the hottest man Cassie has ever seen. After reading the list on Cassie’s laptop, Simon does what any ballsy red blooded male would do, and offers to help her check off every item on what has become her sexual bucket list.

With a premise like that, you really can’t go wrong (unless the male lead utters the word “hella” on more than one occasion, which fortunately Simon did not). The book was filled to the brim with sexy as sin, adventurous sex scenes and the author did a great job of tying the list into the romance. While Cassie and Simon could have easily worked their way through the list and moved on, each item required planning and time spent together outside the bedroom. This gave the couple time to develop more than a sexual relationship.

Although it did get a bit taxing reading about Simon’s wealth and reasons for hiding said wealth from Cassie, I understood its tie in to the plot. I do, however, wish that his sister Junie had gotten more screen time. Simon’s love and devotion for his down-syndrome sister was absolutely touching – it made him a relatable character, an impressive feat for a character who can’t seem to stop mentioning his bank account balance.

Sweet is the first word that comes to mind when describing Cassie. She never really gets up the courage to tell Simon how she feels about him. While she certainly knows what she wants out of her sex life, she doesn’t seem to put herself out there in any other way. My favorite part of the book in relation to her was the moment when she finally stood up to her sisters and told them how she felt about her relationship with them. It was the first time in 178 pages that she showed some backbone.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is this: I liked “The List”, a lot. In fact, book time out notwithstanding, I finished it in one day. There were just a few things that, if changed, could transform this book from a 3.5 star story into a 5 star one. A bit more character development would have gone a long way towards making it an incredible read. As it stands, the novel had a fun premise, steamy sex scenes, and a sweet happy ending. I’m glad Fenske hinted at a follow up book in the epilogue, I will never say no to a light and fluffy book to curl up with.

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