One of my blog readers recently asked me why I read/review erotica/porn on my blog.
First … I’m trying to understand the genre. Second … it’s incredibly popular, though few ever actually admit to reading it.
Read almost any fiction book on the NY Times best-seller list and you’re bound to come across some incredibly steamy sex scenes. Some described in vivid detail. But if you get a book like this, Programmed to Please, which has a story and a plot, but a lot of very explicit sex, it’s erotica rather than a sci-fi or mystery novel.
So what’s the difference?
In the bestseller books, story and plot come first and the steamy sex is usually incidental to the story. In a book like this one, the sex is integral to the plot and the plot usually is simply a way to get to the next sex scene. And while most people will publicly claim they don’t read this sort of fiction, sales on the major book-sellers’ sites say otherwise.
In Programmed to Please, Jai Turner is an agent with the Tau Cetus police. Tau Cetus? Don’t know…doesn’t matter. What matters is that she’s ordered to go undercover (heh heh) to help the force get the low-down on a major arms dealer. He’s the most-wanted criminal around and he doesn’t trust anyone or anything. But he’s been offered the opportunity to sample a brand new sexual robot – unlike any other sexual device, this one is so life-like he’ll be amazed that it’s a robot. He places an order for this new robot and except for the hair color and eye color, Jai is exactly what he’s described. So…hair dyed, contact lenses in, a crash course in all the best sex techniques, and a thin layer of plastic to coat her entire body to make her look a little less human, and Jai is the master criminal’s new sex robot!
Of course he can’t believe that she’s a robot…she’s so lifelike in every way, except for the plastic-y feel and the strange eyes. This company really did create the ultimate pleasure robot! And despite the fact that he’s a target and possibly the most wanted man alive, it never seems to occur to him that this might be a set-up. Sure…he’s got a bodyguard outside the door, and someone checks the room before he enters, and they even wanted to scan Jai to make sure there was nothing harmful inside her (but they were talked out of it), but with every sexual encounter he can’t believe how real she seems. What an amazing robot. He’s even falling in love with it!
I think that what gets me a little furious with these erotica books is not that the story is intended to get from one sex scene to another, but that it seems there’s hardly any effort to build a story. The story here all falls together so nicely. So nicely, in fact, that I laughed out loud (yes, a real LOL) on more than one occasion when everything just fell perfectly in place. For instance, while the criminal ordered a blue-eyed blonde, he doesn’t really like blue-eyed blondes. He just didn’t want to fall in love with his robot so he thought that might help. Of course his true perfect women is EXACTLY Jai, to a ‘t.’ And of COURSE he’s really a good guy, also deeply under-cover, so it’s okay that Jai has fallen in love with him as well.
‘Obvious’ is the word I’m looking for, I think. Ives constantly takes the obvious path to get from one sexual encounter to the next and there’s no surprise or mystery in what’s going to happen next.
Looking for a good book? If what you are looking for is erotica with a wisp of a thread story connecting the sex scenes, and in a sci-fi vein, then Programmed to Please by Jenna Ives works pretty well. I’d like to find erotica in which the story actually matters and isn’t pieced in for convenience sake.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Programmed to Please
author: Jenna Ives
series: The Tau Cetus Chronicles #1
publisher: Jenna Ives
Kindle Edition, 153 pages