Reviewed by Shelly
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did.
Nevada, local Bernice Babbitt is socially reserved and sexually
repressed but that's all about to change when she gets a make-up case
containing a secret that will open her eyes and her world. Living in a
town that was founded for the sole purpose of housing prostitutes, it's
no wonder that many of the locals (including Bernice's mother) want to
distance both themselves and the town from such a sordid past. Except
Bernice. She doesn't really believe that the town should distance
itself, she's actually quite happy that the it continues in its deep
tradition of prostitution.
childlike in her outlook on life, Bernice thinks all problems can be
fixed with a 'smile, laughter or a willingness to over-please'. She
loves her family and the inn they own and if she can keep both her
family and her customers happy then she's happy too. And although
Bernice likes the simple things in life, she's hidden away quite a
collection of female erotic memorabilia. One of her new purchases is a
makeup case housing a jar of powder that when applied allows the wearer
to have visions of the true sexual desires of certain people around
It's through these visions that Bernice
starts realizing what's important to her. She has visions of the town
locals and guests at the inn, all culminating when she has a vision of
her only daughter. This is when the story gets really interesting to me,
because up to now Bernice has lived her life according to her mother's
teachings - judge yourself based on the way others see you and not what
you believe to be the right way. Bernice has it so bad, she hasn't even
told her husband of twenty years about her secret stash.
plenty of secondary characters who keep this story moving along at a
very nice and even clip, like Mrs. Lin the local antique seller, who Bernice
gets her erotica from. Mrs. Lin cracked me up, she's Asian in ancestry
and ethnicity but is absolutely convinced that in a former life she was
Italian royalty. And so there's a whole story around her and her
husband's love of all things European.
Harold, who's just moved from San Francisco and wants to open a sex
shop store in Valentine. Trinket, a waitress at a cafe across the street
from Bernice's inn. Trinket's a bit free with her sexuality. It's
actually quite rare if she's without a sexual partner. And of course,
the town bully Lawrence Charles who's so greedy that he wants to close
the local whorehouse, The Honey Bunny Ranch, so he can build his
retirement community for the wealthy. These were all really fun people
to get to know, some more than I wanted to, but it totally worked and
kept the story moving along.
no sexually explicit scenes with Bernice and her husband there's one
vision that she had with herself and another character that I thought
was pretty hot after I got over the shock of it. Most, if not all of the
visions were sexual in nature and so for me it was a little hard to
find them exciting as I didn't see them as real.
completely enjoyed this story of Bernice and her evolution from what I
would consider mousy and timid into a strong and determined woman, it
left me with a big smile.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this story and look forward to other novels from this author - keep 'em coming.
Happy reading folks!
*Book provided by author for review
The Concubine's Gift
by K Ford K
Release Date: January 29, 2012
Labels: by Shelly, K Ford K