3 1/2 stars for Unscrupulous. A fun, crazy book that is completely unique. The tone is on, sometimes turbo-charged, which means it bounces along. There wasn't a lot of plot, but the characters are engaging--and wild--and some delicate relationships start to unfold in the last 20-30 pages.
I wouldn't necessarily have thought a contemporary, or erotic, story would have world-building, but, to me, that was part of what was so engaging about this book. The sense of place (from Manhattan and St. Barth's to Cannes), of time (now, like, right now), of name-dropped designers and labels, all work together to create a universe of characters who have a lot of money, power, and who are, mostly good friends. It was both familiar and alien, in a good way. A lot of erotica can be dark, which is fine, but this was completely different. It was sexy and fun. And, yes, even though she nicknames the hero Big Daddy. Crazy-sauce, but fun.
The sexy scenes were pretty steamy, but didn't inundate the book. I think I expected them to? Part of what could cause it to be labelled erotic is the way that the main character, Taddy, is pretty much perma-horny. She is funny, and a workaholic, has a huge heart, but practically sexually harasses everyone. Or thinks about sexually harassing them. I liked her and appreciated how different she is as a heroine.
Warner Truman, the aptly named hero, is likable and strong, but seems to fall instantly in love with Taddy. It was sweet but didn't necessarily work with the image of a self-made billionaire hotelier. (Although Romancelandia has plenty of unrealistic billionaire heroes.) Still, there wasn't a ton of conflict between Taddy and Warner, so much of their relationship just works out when they finally find time to be together. Still, they work well as a couple and I appreciated their sweet moments.
This arc was provided by the author via Netgalley in return for an honest review.