Who doesn’t like reading all the latest gossip of Hollywood’s most elite? Certainly, I love me some great gossip so the premise of Rough Cut, the third novel in the Black and White Collection by Mari Carr, held quite a bit of promise for me. This was my first time reading this author as well and I have to say that I have mixed feelings after reading it. On one hand, I enjoyed the conflicted relationship between the characters, however, on the other I completely hated the self loathing going on within the heroine. Most of the novel was built up around sex, not a bad thing in and of itself, but there was little in the way of an actual story, which is a bad thing.
Ty Ransome. Reigning king of Hollywood, producer, actor, Look Magazine’s Hottest Man Alive. He has it all—until he reads a book of short stories that touches him in places kept carefully hidden from the tabloid gossip mill. There’s only one way to meet the introverted writer—invite her to Tinseltown to work on a script. The moment he sees her, he realizes why her work haunts him. There’s something missing in his life, and it’s her.
Gwen steps off the plane with reservations. For one thing, her darkly sexual stories are hardly movie material. Then there’s Ty’s reputation as a ladies’ man. Yet she’s won over by his charm and agrees to stay on for a week to get to know him before making her decision. And as the days go by, she discovers there’s far more to Ty than a handsome face.
They eat, drink and breathe the characters in their screenplay, re-enacting scenes that delve into the BDSM realm, setting Ty free to unleash his powerful cravings and exposing Gwen’s deepest needs. Needs she set free on paper…but is not sure she’s ready to make a reality.
Carr’s writing style is nice creating a fairytale like glow about the setting. I did enjoy the idea of the ‘behind the scenes’ premise delving deeply into the secret life of one of Hollywood’s leading men, however, that’s about where my enjoyment ended. The writing style failed to capture the characters or the story thus it didn’t draw me into the story. There’s a lot of the relationship that ended up on the cutting room floor that I would have liked to see because as hacked as the story comes out, I felt like I missed so much of the growing connection between the characters. Also, as far as the story goes, it never felt like it climaxed, instead staying pretty flat throughout lacking any ups or downs-well, aside from the characters’ moods that is.
The characters themselves were a little flat, with all the development focused on their time spent in the bedroom. I hated the constant hesitation of Gwen to accept what she truly wanted when there was no question that Ty wanted to give her exactly the things she wanted most. The struggle to accept her sexuality was a bit tiring after, oh say, the second chapter because it’s the same things over and over again. Ty was also a little lacking as all we come to see through him is his lustful desire to have Gwen become his slave. Yes, there is some nice chemistry between them when Gwen isn’t thinking, but it failed to really ignite any of my feelings towards them.
Overall, if you want a book filled with pretty much meaningless sex with the pretense that there is indeed meaning behind it, then this is the novella for you. Me? I like a little more development, even when it comes to my smut.
My Rating: 3 out 5 Scars
Advisory: Strong sexual content including BDSM themes