Yes, I am still using the term.

But, am I learning that it is not a mark of shame for its reader? Also yes.

Two nights ago, I binge read The Dare by Elle Kennedy. I do not care what you think of her books or her writing style. Well, I do, but I refuse to be shamed because I enjoy them. Her books make me laugh. Her books make me swoon (a little and a lot…mostly a lot.). And, most importantly, they are something that I read because of my best friend. She shares new ones with me. She shares her favorite lines with me. We share our lol-worthy or swoon-worthy moments. As she would say: “Real friends share smutty books with each other.”

I think that is a beautiful sentiment.

This latest smutty-book-share follows elementary education major, sorority sister, curvier than she would like, college student Taylor. Very early on in the book, Taylor is dared by her arch-nemesis to seduce the hot new hockey player Conor, a tall order considering the lack of confidence that Taylor has in her body. Of course, high-jinx and smut ensue.

Not going to lie, this one is heavier on the smut, with a little bit of fun and feelings. It has the always great “fake dating” trope and fairly realistic heroine (who wants to be a teacher!)

My only gripe is that I wish Taylor had a bit more to her personality than her body image issues. As someone with a lot of hang-ups of her own, I like to think that I am more than that and I don’t need some handsome hockey player to convince me otherwise. So I found her relatable, but I thought we could have seen a little bit more of what she could be.

But complex characterization is not why you pick up an Elle Kennedy.

And I always do.

And I always enjoy it.

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