A challenge is something you stop wanting once you acquire it. I can’t know if you’re a challenge yet until I make you mine.
I went into Manwhore fully intending to hate it. This was a novel I picked up on a whim to cure a massive book hangover I'd been having for a few weeks. I never expected to like it, let alone love it. After-all, its plots are full of frequently used devices, tropes and all those bloody archetypes that grow more and more tedious with every passing day. We get it! Bad boy is tamed by a good girl.
The thing that surprised me about Manwhore was it was a total cliche. One that came into its own in a way that is very, very satisfying to a reader. Katy Evans spins a sizzling tale that is smart, sexy and quick on its feet. It only helps that it takes place in Chicago, a city that I love immensely. To describe the plot of Manwhore, I'd have to sum it up as a very steamy spin on How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. They're not identical in plots but I think the general premise will be appealing to those who love a good romp and the feel that comes with the now-classic romantic comedy.
Manwhore is a lot more serious than I expected but also not serious at all. I'm sure you're thinking the same thing I am: "Jessica, that makes no sense." I'm not going to apologize, though, because that's the only way I can describe it. Evans mixes business, pleasure, heart and everything in between. Not unlike the tone that Sylvia Day writes in--she'll captivate you with the romance that blossoms against odds between Malcolm and Rachel.
Do I think this is going to be THE most satisfying new adult novel for its target audience? No. But I know fuck-all for what is appealing for every last person. I just know that I enjoyed Manwhore in a way that made it impossible for me to put it down once I got into it. I loved seeing Rachel's internal struggle as she tried to find her own footing--what was more important, her career or her man?--and found her to be a very relatable, kind hearted woman.
Seeing her interests outside of work, seeing her interactions with friends, her mother and co-workers was fun. They weren't entirely developed but you can't go into a novel like this expecting an explosion of truths and character development. I liked the way that she grew within the span of a novel and how her feelings were constantly changing in real time. I felt very protective of her and it went beyond the good-girl trope--it's because she is a character that is just so pure you kind of want to wrap her up in a blanket. She's a genuinely good person.
Malcolm was hot. Which is a rare thing for me to say about a fictional male because, well, I don't care. I liked seeing him unwrap himself slowly and found him to be delightfully intriguing. His interactions with Rachel weren't quite what I expected. While the rich-womanizer trope can be a bit off-putting, I still actually liked him. He seemed to be maturing more than what anyone had expected but that's pretty true when all you see about a person are tabloid prints. I thought his backstory was interesting--it was tragic and obtainable in a way that is lacking in most NA reads.
Both characters are sexual beings, true, but unlike many of its counterparts it's equally "I want your body" and then "I want your mind/soul/heart"--which ultimately makes it all so much hotter. I feel like I need a shower? You know, a cold one.
(And then a nice hook-up that is both physically and mentally stimulating.)
When I think of NA novels, my first thought isn't necessarily "Damn, this story has soul, guys." and while I don't want to give you guys false notions of what the story is, I will say I had a blast reading it. It has a lot of heart, heat and soul. I was consumed by it.
That will not be true for all of you. Because at the end of the day, it's nothing entirely new and I'm sure there's a ton of novels out there that would be more unique for a lot of readers. If you're a fan of romance, of new adult, then Manwhore is going to be your next obsession--it's a can't-stop-won't-stop ride for the romantic at heart full of angst, sex and love.