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review 2015-12-10 01:20
Review: The Ninety Days of Genevieve
The Ninety Days of Genevieve - Lucinda Carrington

Initial reaction: I actually didn't realize this novel went back as far as it did for publishing and that it's actually a re-pub, but my biggest issue was how static the characters seemed despite some purportedly steamy scenes, alongside problematic scenes that just made my skin crawl despite reading it from a distant eye. It takes on the rather familiar premise (or was this one of the titles that shaped that particular premise - it's hard to tell) of a woman who's at the beck and call of her supervisor sensually for 90 days. As to how those following days go...I think I'd best leave that for the full review (as well as my reactions because I'm still meditating on how I feel about this). Probably a 1.5 - 2 star read overall for me, though not sure if I'll keep it at that yet.

Full review:

"The Ninety Days of Genevieve" by Lucinda Carrington left me mostly with mixed emotions for a novel of its genre. I wasn't familiar with this title before I saw it listed on Harlequin's line of requests a while back, nor did I realize this was a title that was published many years ago. It might be credited with contributing to the workplace steamy alpha male boss meets submissive employee - but the overarching narrative put a cold impression on me. On one hand, it doesn't waste time in showcasing the steam factor, and I somewhat understood that Carrington was going for different fantasies and imagery in the text for erotic overt and undertones. And that's not a bad thing - different displays of imagery can be good. I remember at one point Genevieve visualizing herself as a Dominant over her boss and saying "That's progressive, at least it's recognizing a woman can not only have active fantasies about sex but also have the willingness to take the lead." Where there's a step forward in this novel however, is accompanied by moments where it takes five steps back. Way back.

This novel lacks distinct characterization and personalities. Mostly while reading this, I felt like I was just wading through erotic image after image and boundary pushing scenarios without much heart or identity for the characters within. I spare no hesitation in saying that I didn't like Genevieve - she was incredibly judgmental (especially of other women) and oddly naive (who didn't see that coming).

One example of her judging:

"It was the first time Genevieve had actually watched women bodybuilders working out. She was surprised to see that both of these women were conventionally attractive. They had strong, muscular bodies, but their faces would not have looked out of place in a cosmetic advertisement. As she watched them straining to lift weights that would have given some men problems, she wondered why they wanted their bodies to look so unfeminine."

At one point after this, a guy shames the women whom Genevieve observes by calling them "Lezzies" (supposed to be condescending towards lesbians).

Dude...as a person from an exercise science background and who has a general appreciation for the capabilities of the human body - male or female - and knowing from experience that not all people in this field do it just to "look good" for men or that exercising is "unfeminine" - this is pretty darned ignorant and perpetuating antiquated, harmful stereotypes (which this narrative does more than once in general). Don't get me started on saying why using someone's (anyone's) sexual identity as a backhanded insult is abhorrent, because I could rage for days. Ugh. It's not just the fact this was penned in the latter 1990s, it's just crummy logic and showcasing to begin with.

But then again, it has a f-f sex scene, but part of me wondered how much of that was, well, playing to fantasy. When I reached the point where Bridget (the woman Genevieve was engaging) says “Playtime’s over...let’s go and find the men," I had my answer.

I went back and forth through this novel between saying certain ideas were interesting (but not expounded upon) and others being complete turn offs. And some of these ideas aren't bad, it's just nothing was done with them and there wasn't a human or sensual connection - just jaggedly presented scenes of varying quality one after the other. The other scenes between with the problematic turns threw me out of the book for how shallow and inaccurate they were, mostly through Genevieve's pampered and overly privileged lens.

In the end, while I'm giving this 1.5 stars at the most, I can't say I would recommend "The Ninety Days of Genevieve" - too immature and lacking direction for my preference, but maybe I need to read another book by Carrington to see what more of her style is like. I don't know. We'll see.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Harlequin Mira.

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review 2012-06-22 00:00
The Ninety Days of Genevieve - Lucinda Carrington Received from Book Geeks

Genevieve Loften is young and ambitious and determined to get James Sinclair to sign an advertising contract with the company she works for.
James Sinclair is arrogant and used to getting what he wants. When, at the end of her third sales presentation Genevieve asks him if there is anything else she can show him she presents him with his opportunity on a silver plate.
What he wants is to see and have is Genevieve however and whenever he desires for the next ninety days. If she sticks to the deal he will sign the contract. If she refuses, he will walk away, there will be no contract and no promotion opportunities for her.
Genevieve really is ambitious; she wants this contract and she wants that early promotion. Genevieve is also excited by what it might mean to be at Sinclair’s beck and call for the next three months. When Genevieve agrees to the offer she has no idea what exactly she is letting her in for or what she will discover about herself.
Only too soon Genevieve discovers that what Sinclair has in mind is anything but conventional sex. He supplies her with sexy clothes she has to wear for him, has perfect strangers touching her and puts her in other sexual situations she could not have imagined and would never have believed herself capable of submitting to, never mind enjoying.
At the same time it seems that she is not the only one after this very attractive contract Sinclair has on offer. And although nobody knows what she has submitted herself to in order to get his signature, her colleagues and friends are only too happy to share gossip about the man with her; gossip that implies that he is a ruthless womaniser and not to be trusted.
As Genevieve’s feelings towards Sinclair change over the three months and she discovers an appetite for adventurous sex she never suspected she had, she has to face that for him this is just a cynical business proposition and that he will more then likely drop her as soon as the ninety days are up. Or is she misjudging him?

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book.
I should start by pointing out that this is a re-release of a book previously published in 1996. And, in many ways, the story is a product of the times it was written in. While in those days some people did go to extreme lengths to make their way up the corporate ladder, these days the whole proposition of submitting yourself in exchange for a signature on a contract seems very far fetched.
My biggest problem with the book was that I really couldn’t like either Genevieve or Sinclair. As far as Sinclair is concerned that was because the reader doesn’t really get to know him, which was a shame. We only see him through Genevieve’s eyes and she doesn’t seem to see him at all. In fact, I think the story would have been more interesting if we had been given a few more glimpses into what might be going on in his mind.
Genevieve on the other hand we do get to know and I found myself losing patience with the way in which she found it perfectly acceptable that she had signed herself over to him and was constantly reminding Sinclair that all they were doing together was only a business deal while at the same time getting very upset about the fact that he didn’t seem to care for her at all.
On the other hand, I did enjoy the way in which the author makes Genevieve rediscover herself, and I have to admire Lucinda Carrington’s imagination when it comes to all the experiences Sinclair puts the ambitious young woman through.

Overall this was a quick and easy read with some rather exciting moments. I’m sure that anyone who enjoys erotica will have fun reading this book. On the other hand, I’m not sure the story quite lives up to the pink sticker on the cover which reads: “If you like Fifty Shades of Grey You’ll LOVE this!”
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