“Ruby” by Jeffe Kennedy

My final class of graduate school is a course on genre fiction, and as part of an assignment, I’m writing a paper on erotica.  After working on it for a while this afternoon, I decided that my brain hurt, and that maybe I should read some erotica instead of just researching it.

Conveniently, I had also just won a copy of Jeffe Kennedy’s “Ruby” from a giveaway during Armchair BEA.

Danielle Sosna is a type-A, ambitious young woman who coordinates photo shoots for magazines.  She’s just been offered a coveted job working for Vogue in Paris.  Her last job before she leaves takes her to New Orleans, where she meets Bobby Prejean, a famous Cajun chef.  A battle of wills in his restaurant leads to a whirlwind BDSM affair as Prejean shows Dani all that New Orleans has to offer.

Kennedy does a fantastic job building her setting, incorporating the flavors and aesthetics of New Orleans into her story.  Prejean’s dishes sound heavenly and decadent, and his dates with Dani are filled with masquerades and revelry.

I’m very impressed.  It’s hard to find romance or erotica that work for me, because I need to see characters that aren’t ditzy, possess a modicum of intelligence, and respect each other.  Here, the characters are smart, sexy, and self-possessed.

Prejean and Dani’s entire relationship is based on respect, both for each other and for their own limits.  The main conflict/drama in the story is related to the workplace and not the dynamic between the two lovers.  That’s refreshing, and absolutely necessary in a book that explores a kinkier relationship.  One of the (many) things that I was disappointed with when reading Fifty Shades of Grey was the fact that the characters had an inherently dysfunctional relationship, and Christian Grey didn’t seem like the kind of person one could fully trust.  Prejean is the opposite–he pays careful attention to Dani’s level of comfort and her limitations, and it allows both of them to fully explore their desires in a responsible way.  Oh, and the best part?  The two of them can actually hold a conversation with each other outside the bedroom.  I like the relationships between my fictional characters to be based on more than just mind-blowing sex.  Dani and Prejean’s personalities complemented each other perfectly.

When I started reading “Ruby,” I was looking for a quick and relaxing read that would help relieve some stress.  Jeffe Kennedy delivers, and I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.

Categories: Erotica, Fiction, Romance | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on ““Ruby” by Jeffe Kennedy

  1. Pingback: “Petals and Thorns” by Jeffe Kennedy | Books Without Any Pictures

  2. a paper on erotica. where did I go wrong in grad school? That sounds awesome. And I have to admit, I’m like Caroline, I’m a sucker for stories set in New Orleans.

    • I figured if I couldn’t go sci-fi, I might as well pick something ridiculous. 😛

      I haven’t read a ton of books set in New Orleans, but I’ve loved all of the ones that I have. Do you have any suggestions?

  3. I very rarely read erotica but this does not sound bad at all and not so full of clichés.
    I’m a sucker for stories set in New Orleans anyway. Hmmm. I’m tempted.

    • It’s not a genre that I normally read or give much credit to, but I liked this one for a quick and relaxing read. Makes me wonder if I’d only read some of the worst examples of the genre…

  4. Ooh okay, so if I ever give erotica a go I will try this one. I’ve been looking at starting with.. now what’s it called.. ah! Tiffany Reisz. 🙂 Her’s are supposed to be pretty good.

    • Ooh, I hadn’t thought to try her books, even though I do follow her on Twitter. *makes mental note*

  5. Interesting review – I must admit I haven’t really read a lot of what you would class erotica – other than 50 Shades – which isn’t really an introduction to the genre for anyone!! Good luck with your paper on this – how many books will you have to read?
    Lynn 😀

    • I don’t have to read a specific number, but I do have to be able to give advice on how to locate and find books within the genre and its sub-genres to recommend to readers based on their interests. It’s the sort of thing that I don’t want to go about completely blind. 🙂

  6. Your Genre Fiction course sounds wonderful. When I started out in librarianship and had to provide readers’ advisory, I was at a loss because I read so narrowly. Not now! I read in all genre. Believe it or not, I first encountered truly steamy romances when I began reviewing audio books. A good plot is will hold anyone’s interest more than the naughty bits.

    • Mhm. So far the class is very interesting. I don’t do a lot of readers advisory in my current job since I work in a science library, but I’m hoping to eventually move to a public or academic library where there’s more interaction with patrons. This class is definitely going to challenge the way that I think about specific genres, which is always a good thing. 🙂

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