Review: Eden Rayna's "Just a Fling"
“I wish he needed to take his shirt off to hear me better.”
Just a Fling, Chapter Two
Disclosure: I am NOT a romance fiction reader. In fact, I think this is the first ever romance I have read to completion (and not just the first three pages of) in my entire life. So, this review should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Being the adult that I am, I am no stranger to rated R bedroom content, but the romance novel is something new that I have brought to bed with me…
Formalities aside, I thought what better way to start this review than with my favorite line? It is cheeky, I do not deny that, but I laughed out loud. No line in this novella reflected my internal thoughts when checking someone out better than that line above. It brings out the playful, almost nonsensical nature of first flirtation and how at the very start: it’s all about the attraction game.
Just a Fling is a romance novella based in Canada about a motel secretary named Danielle and an oil rigging hunk named Kirk. Danielle has always been the party-type: scared of commitment and how her personality changes when the big ‘L’ word swirls in her brain. Kirk is a drifter of sorts, flowing back and forth between towns depending on work and his duties at his family’s farm. He reads as one who is prone to falling into lasting love, no matter how he may convince himself otherwise. These two characters collide (mentally and physically) after crossing paths at The Blue Star Bar (I actually really like how it has a ring to it).
I must say, I was pleasantly surprised while reading. This romance was written responsibly, and I cannot stress enough how important that fact is. Yes, this book was about stepping outside of comfort zones, pushing boundaries, and, well, sex, but it was also in many ways a guide on how to safely embrace your sexuality as a woman. Piper, Danielle’s best friend, acts as the mom of the friend group. She has seen what attraction looks like at its worst: when you are left feeling trapped and hopeless. Due to this, she stands as a light house drawing her friends back home after night after night of clubbing and romantic encounters. She wants them to enjoy what they have—the potential romance waiting for them—but safely. Piper acts as the cautionary tale.
There is great time spent detailing Piper’s Rules for Clubbing and Casual Sex. Danielle must text Piper the name of the club she is at, the address, the name of the man she goes home with, a picture of his face, his home address, and his phone number. Lastly, she must text Piper the moment she leaves the man’s home. I found this detailed process, and its inclusion in the narrative to be one of the novella’s best qualities. There is not enough discussion about how a woman can be safe while embracing her sexuality and the rule set in this novella was a fantastic educational aside.
This being said, I wished this book were aimed for a younger age-range (say college on up). This is because that is the crucial age where this type of education could be trauma-preventing and life-saving. And, hey, if they read about it in a steamy romance novel, maybe it wont feel like old grandmas are lecturing them about how to have fun.
If I am going critique the target audience, then it is only natural that I should critique the cover. In full honesty: I hate romance covers. I loathe them. In the words of librarians I saw online somewhere, these are the “guys who have lost their shirts” covers.
Yes, I agree that covers should accurately convey the genre to the reader, however, I rebel against the tacky trope of shirtless men romance covers. Spice it up a bit! Throw some lady-leg in there, a sexy gaze, quivering lips… something above the trope. I think adjusting the cover might also open the novella up to a younger audience. It would make the novella more versatile in its target audience.
The only other complaint that I would have is: sometimes I would expect a sex scene to come rolling in, and not get one. But, hey, I can’t argue with romantic character development instead. Maybe that’s a me-problem that I wanted more sex…
Just a Fling is available on Amazon Kindle and Paperback, if you are interested, visit the link below: