Monday, May 5, 2008

Teaching Molly by Desiree Holt

TITLE: Teaching Molly
AUTHOR: Desiree Holt
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 19k)
GENRE: Contemporary erotic romance
COST: $4.45

A recent divorce, an ex-husband who convinced her she was sexually inadequate, and the ever-going gossip mill conspire against forty-five year old Molly Gerard. When she meets the attractive – and younger – Nick Trajan, she’s at a loss as to why he’s acting so interested in her. After the Fourth of July party where they meet, she agrees to go back to his place for a drink. But the doors that open to her from that point on aren’t just his. They’re the doors to her most secret desires to be a submissive…

I suspect I’m the wrong audience to give this story a fair review. I’m younger than Molly by a number of years, and I’m not as embittered as she very obviously is. My problems with the prose could likely be ignored if I was eager for the wish fulfillment fantasy the story provides. But I’m not, and the characterization isn’t nearly strong enough to convince me to buy into it anyway.

My problems began with the heroine’s obsession with how wet she gets, or rather, how wet she didn’t get when she was married. “Dry as the Sahara” is the analogy drawn, but then, when she meets the hero, the pendulum swings back in the opposite direction. All of a sudden, too much is about how aroused he makes her. cream flooded her panties and She felt juices gather inside her pussy and Molly was so wet between her legs now she was sure the liquid had leaked out onto the couch. It goes on. And on. And on. Interspersed with all of it is her obsession with her age, and the ten-year difference between her and the hero, and I just never was able to connect with her, either on a sexual level or an emotional one. Her sexual responses were too over the top and her emotional attitude consisted of self-doubt and whining. I couldn’t relate to her in the slightest.

Added in to this were continuity issues, like the brandy snifter Nick handed her when she arrived at his home, and then the brandy snifter he handed to her again, three paragraphs later. All of this occurred in the very first chapter, a full fourth of the story. With so many hang-ups in the prose itself, I never had the chance to sink into the fantasy it presented.

Because it is a fantasy. Nick’s presented as practically perfect, there to answer all of Molly’s fears and satisfy all her desires. He’s a Dom, and it just so happens that Molly has been harboring submissive tendencies for years. She jumps into his offer with both feet and never looks back. From that point on, the story is more a primer for entering a BDSM lifestyle than it is a tale of giving a divorced woman a second chance. In that light, it almost works. Almost. Because it stops just as it’s starting to get to the meat of the story, lumping all the emotional development into the final chapter.

The dedication probably has it right. To all the Mollys who need to know that there is life after divorce and it can be truly delicious. Because everybody needs fantasies. Even if I didn't buy into this one.


6/10 – Continuity errors and too much attention to the heroine’s readiness kept me from engaging until nearly the end of the story.


4/10 – More fantasy than real, there’s no depth to explain his predilections


4/10 – Whiny and flat

Entertainment value

4/10 – Without being able to get any kind of depth to the hero, this ends up being wish fulfillment held back by a whiny heroine and editorial issues.

World building

6/10 – The club he takes her to is nice, but the rest of it lacks any sense of place.



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