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Book Review: The Mighty Quinn by Sommer Marsden

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I’ll be honest.  I didn’t read a lot of erotic novels in the past because I found it really hard to sustain interest.  Even the ones I’ve liked–like The Ninety Days of Genevieve or The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty–don’t generally merit a full re-read.  I’ll go back to the sex scenes I liked best and generally skip the rest.  I feel like a lot of what I read in the late 90’s and early 2000’s was wall to wall sex with only a thin narrative thread and that turned me off.  I switched to anthologies because they gave me sex and a more fleshed out narrative (or at least the ones I’ve been drawn to have).

What I learned earlier this year from Alison Tyler’s book Dark Secret Love (review here) and Lynn Townsend’s book Roll (review here) was that erotic novels have changed a lot in the past 5-10 years.  I’m so happy to find books that have a strong narrative thread and well written sex scenes.  Or maybe there wasn’t a shift and it’s that I’ve finally found the right authors and publishers?  Regardless, I am now slowly starting to dip my toe back into the world of erotic novels.

When Alison shared an excerpt from The Mighty Quinn, I immediately downloaded it to my kindle app. I have adored every short story that I’ve read by Sommer Marsden, so I was eager to read her novel.

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I have always loved chick lit, but one of my biggest issues was that the sex scenes were poorly written or fade to black/lights up on the next morning.  Sommer has managed to write something that could fit into the chick lit, romance, or erotica shelves.

The book opens with Quinn getting dumped.  As she attempts to crawl out of her post breakup funk, her neighbor/former burlesque queen Frenchy gives her a talking-to.

“I see you with your men,” she said lowly.  “You’re all poofy and swishy and like-me-like-me-like-me.”  She waved a wrinkled hand as if shooing a fly.  “That’s crap.  You need to figure out who Quinn is.  Embrace yourself.  Figure out what you want.  What makes you happy?  In life, in a job, in a man, hell, darling, in bed.  Id’ say that’s number one.  Because when you’ve had a good lay with a good man who wants you…” she grinned in the dark as if savoring a particularly delicious memory, “everything else just falls into place.”

Quinn enlists Frenchy’s aid to revamp her wardrobe, her walk, and her attitude.  After only a few days, she finds herself out to dinner with her best friend and her best friend’s drop dead gorgeous cousin Keaton.  She’s floored to discover that he likes her.

Frenchy is a brilliant character who has a low tolerance for bullshit and a high regard for high heels and hot sex.  Picturing an elderly burlesque dancer rasping out her lines never failed to give me a smile.  I wish I had a Frenchy in my life–someone who would give me a talking to when I needed that, and lessons in how to twirl a tassle when called for.

I relate to Quinn.  I have fallen prey to the same personality flaws in the past–I’ll be whatever you want me to be/like whatever you like without any regard for whether I am those things/like those things.  She goes through the kind of transformation that I always imagined going through.  That Hollywood-esque take off the glasses and everyone sees all along that she was hot shit transformation.  It’s better than any movie though, because Sommer ensures that we see Quinn struggle with it.  Fail at it.  Still babble when nervous.

The chemistry between Quinn and Keaton sizzles.  He’s an alpha male, but not in a mansplaining let-me-fix-you way that I find so grating.  We get to peek under the alpha male and see that he is just as uncertain as she is.  Does she like him for real, or will she break his heart?

The sex scenes made me squirm in my seat—in the best possible way.  But unlike those early erotic novels, I want to read the whole book again.  I want to go through the journey that gets me to those sex scenes because they’re not just hot, I’m emotionally invested in the relationship.

The Mighty Quinn is funny, compelling, and erotic.  Sommer gets an A+++

3 Responses

  1. “Come all without,
    Come all within,
    You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn.”

    I see this title and I hear this as the soundtrack and see Denzel Washington in Jamaica in my mind’s eye…. ok, very different, I know.

    Be that as it may, this is a great review, Delilah. I’ve known about this title from Sommer for a little bit, but now you’ve really revved up my desire to go read it.

  2. […] Book Review: The Mighty Quinn by Sommer Marsden […]

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