**WARNING: This review is intended for readers 18 and older. It contains coarse language and adult themes. If you think you may be offended, you might want to skip this one. Be warned that this review also contains spoilers.**
Let me begin by telling you about the two most redeeming qualities about this book: the premise and the sex. The story centers on Jo, a woman who is just coming off of a bad break-up with a long-term boyfriend. Jo is a radio DJ and has been talking on the phone to a mysterious stranger who calls in, night after night. She knows nothing about him, except that he's a bit older and his calls are becoming something she looks forward to every night. After months of just talk, her conversations with "Mr. D" begin to turn sexual. It starts with phone sex, but Jo finds that with each call, she wants to up the stakes.
I found the early chapters of the book to be charming and sexy. I was quickly wrapped up in Jo's attraction to Mr. D and I couldn't wait for them to finally get together. But things go downhill fast. She sleeps with a co-worker, so she can tell Mr. D all about it. That wasn't so bad. But then, she sleeps with a guy she doesn't even like for the same reason. From there, that guy brings her into a mild 4-some with a swinging couple. And that leads to a secret sex club. Sexual adventure descends basically into hoe-dom at this point.
When she's not having sex, we see Jo interact with her BFF Kimberly... and her new tenant Patrick. There is some undefined sizzle between Jo and Patrick, but I didn't think much of it at first. I mean, who can pay attention to a sexual undercurrent, when Jo is so busy doing the nasty with random strangers?
Jo finds herself getting deeper and deeper into sordid sexual situations, all to titillate Mr D. But in a bizarre twist, it turns out Mr D is heavily involved into the kink himself. This development annoyed me. Mr D was painted as this staid, older man. I got the impression that his sexual talks with Jo were an aberration in his life... an exciting new adventure, as much for him as for her. But that wasn't the case at all. In another bait and switch, the love interest doesn't even end up being Mr D... but Patrick.
I found myself getting more and more disgusted as the book drew to a close. Jo, who starts the book as a woman seeking adventure and sexual empowerment, ends up a slut-bag who is too stupid to live. She makes one idiotic decision after another, especially when it comes to Patrick. Not the least of which is asking him for sex without a condom.... after the copious amount of sexual activity she has had throughout the book. It's true, the other guys used condoms for sex, but she swallowed more spunk than a porn star and poor Patrick had no idea what he was getting into. She brings him into the sex house, which she already knows is filled with nefarious perverts, without telling him... then proceeded to be shocked when she was betrayed. And yet, he forgives her! I don't know who is the bigger idiot!!! I wish I could say that things get better from this point, but then, Jo actually cheats on Patrick... after all he has been willing to accept and forgive.
Jo is the worst character -- ever. I hope she gets crotch rot. And dies. I am a hardcore HEA fan, but I found myself wishing for her to end up living in abject misery. She deserved it. I read the last third of the book with my mouth hanging open, wishing I had never started it. Maybe this was magnified by the promise I saw early on. Maybe it was because Mr D was ruined. Maybe it was because I liked poor Patrick. Whatever the case, now that's it over, I feel like a need a shower. Or eye bleach. Or short-term amnesia... so I can forget I ever read this. Maybe 2 stars.