Author: Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
My Rating: B
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Chick Lit
Main Characters: Magnolia
Release Date: November 2012
Publisher: B&B Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
On a hot, sultry August afternoon, twenty-two year old Magnolia Larson finds herself sitting on a barstool at the Miami Sports Bar, nursing a rum and Coke and having to decide whether to remain in Miami or return home to Minneapolis.
Suddenly, a very attractive, beautifully dressed woman sits on the barstool next to her and introduces herself as a sports agent. Almost out of money and with no prospects of making any, Magnolia is intrigued by the sports agent's proposal to train as a "sports geisha," a high-priced hooker for elite athletes. While making a great deal of money, Magnolia would acquire skills that will serve her well throughout her life-- learning languages, studying the pressures elite athletes are under with a sports psychologist, and getting into top-notch physical shape-- but the decision isn't as simple as it seems. The offer allows Magnolia to remain in Miami while enjoying a huge payday. But can a conservative Catholic girl from the Midwest transform herself into a courtesan? And if she does, at what personal cost?
This was a very different book, but I will admit that I enjoyed reading it. Magnolia is a 22 yo blonde, all-American girl. Her fair looks stand out in Miami where she's been abandoned by her boyfriend after upending her life in MN to move there with him. She has a degree in Art with a specialty in the impressionists. She has dreams of opening an art school for underprivileged kids, but right now she can't even make her rent. When Oona approaches Magnolia, Magnolia is pretty desperate and running out of ideas. Oona is an aging sports agent who has used her sexuality in this man-dominated world to find her place. As she's getting older, she's losing her clients and needs an "edge". She thinks Magnolia, as an attractive young woman with an enthusiasm for the sports world, will fit that place in her agency. The one thing her ex-boyfriend did for Magnolia is show her how much she enjoys sexual experimentation...one of the reasons she doesn't turn Oona down immediately.
I liked Magnolia as a character. She's obviously intelligent and uses this opportunity to get whatever she can out of it. She learns both fluent Spanish and Japanese. She also studies hard under a sports psychologist to understand the men she is interacting with. It's interesting because, as a reader, you get to meet several of her clients and see their needs. She definitely learns lots about sports psychology. She's also smart in how she handles the money she's making. With her father as an accountant, she knows that she needs to invest the money and becomes quite a player in the stock market.
You would think that with today's book market and the subject matter of this book that it would be an erotica. Well, never fear....it doesn't quite go to that place. I was actually surprised at how mild the book was sexually. There are several scenes described, but it never gets down into the nitty-gritty of it all. In fact, I almost gave it just a "spicy" rating rather than "hot", but this is about a prostitute and there are several games that she has to play which I think puts the book a little over the top of "spicy".
My main issue with this book is Max. Although she's not allowed to, Magnolia has a relationship with Max throughout the entire book. He has no idea what her job is and with him busy running his restaurant, he has no clue what she's hiding from him. As a reader, I needed more from this story line. Max is a big part of Magnolia's life, but all of the mentions of him are in a passive way. The reader is never given the chance to get to know him or become attached to him. I think that the author really passed up a fantastic opportunity here to push the book a little bit further on the emotional level.
There's also a slight issue with sequencing the timing in the book. The last half of the book is interspersed with client bios and experiences. They seem to be placed randomly which makes the story jump back and forth a bit. Add to that, there are several times that Magnolia is talking about how long she's been working for Oona or meeting clients and those time lengths do NOT mesh up at all. That became frustrating as a reader.
That being said though, the book was engaging and interesting. It's written so that you almost feel like you are reading someone's personal diary. I know it's fiction, but I still enjoyed the taboo sneak peek into this girl's extraordinary life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review