When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she's both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places.
Comment: This is the first book published by this author, who got known for her slow burn romances. I've liked all the books by her I've tried so far and I was quite curious with this one as it would feature a theme not often seen in romances (unless it's erotica or with erotic content), which is the porn industry. Sadly, I think one detail overpowered everything else in my enjoyment of the story.
In this book the narrator is Katherine Berger, a young woman who, along with her closest friends, actually likes to watch porn. When the story begins she is being dragged into a porn convention, something she has always wanted to do but at the same time she still feels a little embarrassed and the idea of finding someone who knows her makes her feel shy but her friend quickly tells her everyone else will be in the same position so the embarrassment can be mutual.
While waiting for her friend to get an autograph of a porn star, Kat sits on the side and she has a weird meet cute with a guy who tells her he's waiting for a friend too. As they talk through chance encounters through the day, Kat discovers she has a great time with him and they become friends as the story progresses. However, will Kat be able to deal with the whole porn world influence?
In general terms, I'd say it can be a little obvious how this was the author's first book. The structure is pretty much the same, we have the slow burn evolution of the romance by having the main characters interact often in diverse situations where we get to see how meant for each other they can be and how their relationship sets in more than just sexual attraction. However, the way this was written did seem a little less polished, less complimentary on the characters and the things they say than in her more recent - and more well thought, in my opinion - work.
The theme is quite interesting. I confess I don't have any interest in watching porn nor does this get into my mind whatsoever, it doesn't bother me it exists but I don't have any specific interest in looking for it. This means it would be a novelty for me to read about someone who likes it but I think, for all this was a very particular preference, the heroine didn't spend much time sharing why she liked it or why it was something she spent time with outside of the basics.
This means that, for me at least, the porn industry here was not as much the focus but the notion it is something very different and handy in this situation.
Part of the conflict is how Kat deals with having a friend she develops a very good relationship with, still working in the area. We don't have much details besides the difficulty it is for partners of those workers to deal with the jealousy, the doubts, the complexes of measuring up. This is all understandable and I can't decide if I think the information was just enough because the author didn't want this to be the huge focus of the story (opposed to the romance) or if she didn't want to go too much into something that is already obvious anyway.
The romance is, of course, slow. We get to see them be together many times as friends, doing things together or just talking. Since the author's trademark in the narration is having only the heroine's POV, some things are obviously a little one sided and not that easy to balance out, although it's interesting to read somethings through the heroine's eyes already knowing the hero has to be falling in love too but some scenes are supposed to be doubtful nevertheless. I don't like the first person that much in romance because it can be a bit silly to guess in scenes what we already have to take for granted...
Anyway, the romance is cute as one would expect and the fact they don't discuss the porn that much felt natural if they didn't want to acknowledge where things were going between them but considering the way they met, it was also rather disappointing.
The story would probably be slightly better than average for me (if one thinks about the star grading in goodreads, this would fall into 4 in my personal scale) if not for one detail. Kat is a woman who likes porn and she even attended a porn convention. I must agree with other readers, then, in being negatively impressed by how she would describe other women in the same convention, especially if their clothing and make-up were more obvious. Why would this matter to her, since she was there in the same capacity as herself?
I suppose this would be a way for the reader to have something to balance out the fact Kat was quieter, just an average woman who liked something people tend to categorize others for. But then, if so, why would Kat be so mean and negative about other women? This was repeated here and there somehow so no escaping it, in my point of view. It really removed some of the fun and novelty of reading about someone who enjoys watching porn.
In the end, this is a good story, with interesting details and theme and characters captivating enough too. I just think there was way too much negativity and not enough discussion on the merits/favorable aspects of porn, for instance.
I liked reading the book but it was not as cute or fun as other books by her were before, for me.