While on a small vacation, I ventured into a bookstore to see what would whet my appetite. Lunch, an erotic fiction novel by Karen Moline, grabbed my attention. I've only read a handful of erotica, but I figured I would give it a shot. I read that 369 page paperback in one day, only to take a break to go shopping and eat dinner. That was it. I honestly couldn't put it down. I've never read the Fifty Shades trilogy although the blurb on the back of the book stated that Lunch was for those readers. I have to say that, from what I know of the books, Lunch is much, much better.
Nick Muncie is a man who has it all - looks, women willing to throw themselves at his feet, money, and an acting career that is poised to make him immortal. However, while enjoying lunch in a restaurant in London while on location for his latest film, he meets the painter Olivia Morgan. As much as he is bored by the hordes of women who throw themselves at him, he is however intrigued by Olivia because she has no idea who he is and doesn't really care. He is then determined to make her notice him and fall under his spell under the guise of her doing his portrait. While Olivia thinks he's nothing more than a pompous ass who gets what he wants, Nick finds himself at her aloof mercy. Sounds somewhat interesting, right? Well, how about if we throw in the fact that Nick has a very very very dark side, one that he enjoys unleashing on naive women. And, let's also throw into the mixture his "friend" and bodyguard known as either the Major or M (and also the narrator of the story) who assists Nick with whatever he wants. The two have a history and while you get only a glimpse of it, it's enough to understand their dynamic. It's also good to have M as the narrator as we witness the spiral of darkness, sensuality, erotica, depravity, control, and obsession between Nick and Olivia because he is neutral . . . to a point.
This was a damn good read. There, I said it. I wanted to know the fates of all of the characters and my desire was satisfied. I've always stated that if an author can make me become a part of their world, they've hooked me. Moline did a fantastic job of that with Lunch and even beyond. However, I will also give kudos to her because while this novel is very erotic, you don't have explicit sex scenes. You have just enough (and hopefully, you have a good enough imagination) to give you wave after wave of thrills. Several times, I put the book down and stared off into space; not because I was imaging those scenes with my boyfriend but because they were that intense. Moline pulled something deep within me (my own darkness) - very few authors can do that to me. Moline is a natural.
I've already added her other book, Belladonna, to my Amazon shopping cart but I'll probably begin looking for it in bookstores around here - I want to return to her words, her sensuality.
Thank you, Karen, for Lunch.