Author: Megan Hart
I am going to start this review by saying that there is a sticker on the front of the book that almost made my skin crawl. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy really has brought erotic fiction to the forefront and sparked a major mainstream interest in the genre. I can not deny that and I can’t even argue that I think that’s a bad thing. I also can not judge the Fifty Shades trilogy because I have not read it. Having said all of that the ‘fifty shades hotter than grey’ stickers I find on many books of late does more to build apprehension than anticipation.
Even with that feeling I try to pick up the book with an open mind and no expectations; which with a book like this is a good idea because it was definitely not what I expected.
From the sticker, which isn’t an actual sticker but does look like one, to the cover, to the blurb, everything is telling me this is going to be hot and steamy. Hot and Steamy it certainly was but not to the exclusion of plot or character development which did surprise me a little, and there was quite a bit of intrigue which kept me guessing to the end. I did guess correctly at times throughout the story but always second guessed myself to the point that I wasn’t sure anymore.
A lot of the steam was either flashback or fantasy, there wasn’t a lot of graphic action actually happening which was another surprise but it didn’t dissipate the steam. What did dissipate the steam was some of the terminology used. I am far from prudish and I don’t really take issue to many words but there is one that makes my skin crawl. Hart does change up her terminology quite a bit throughout Switch and I think that made it even more jarring because you never knew what word you were going to get. Quite often the word used depended on the actions, whether it was tender, rough or gentle, so I could understand the usage of different terms but I personally still can’t think of that word in terms of the female anatomy. Just a personal opinion but if you are extremely turned off by its use, be warned that it’s here a lot.
Paige is a 20-something trying to make a new life for herself. She’s not real happy with where she’s come from and she has a few issues because of it. Mum’s had a string of boyfriends and she is the result of an illicit affair, a stigma that she’s always carried and has always affected her. Now she’s moved to a new city, got a job as a personal assistant, an expensive apartment and has decided it’s time to make a new life for herself.
As the story unfolds we discover that Paige’s biggest issues in life revolve around control, too much has happened that has been out of her control and now it’s time to change that. The thing is, there are times that Paige wants to be controlled which is something even she didn’t know about herself and she also likes to be the one in control so it’s a fine line she needs to tread.
We soon discover that Paige has an ex-husband in the background, she married her high school sweetheart and the course of true love didn’t quite run smooth. Except Austin never recovered from their split and he refuses to stay out of the picture. It isn’t til very near the end that we discover what went wrong for the young lovers but it’s clear from the outset that Austin still has his sights firmly set on his ex-wife, and she still reminisces quite a lot about their time together.
Paige is the only character that we really get to know well as we watch her evolve and blossom into the woman in control of her life that she has always longed to be. She is quite a contradiction in terms from the outset. She wants complete control of her life but she lets anonymous notes meant for someone else dictate the terms of her life; and when her boss starts to get more particular and control more of her workday she revels in the structure. Instead of being stifled by the control it allows her to assess herself differently and begin to realise what it is she wants, and how to go about getting it.
There are three men in Paige’s life and they all play a vital role in her evolution but we never quite get a clear picture of who they are and what makes them tick. The relationships they share with Paige are never fleshed out more than the way they affect Paige and what they teach her. Much of the background throughout the book was very hazy, there are no clear pictures as to what brought her to where she is now; like the total focus of the novel is in the present. Actually, that’s not entirely true. There were some clear pictures of the past – all of them memories of past encounters with Austin.
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, whether it is in fact hotter than 50 shades I can’t say because I don’t have the experience to compare. I did find Paige to be a believable character, the dialogue didn’t seem stilted as it so often can and there was quite a bit steam, none of it extreme. A lot of this was about control, about making people do your bidding and obey your command and it was done without the tools I would usually associate with control in the bedroom in an erotic novel. I did enjoy the romance and the sensuality of the stationery and its importance to the story.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!