Ravenous by M. S. Force

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by Notorious. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Erotic Romance category.

The summary:

She wants a baby. He wants her. Simple enough, right?

Ellie Godfrey has kissed her share of frogs. So many, in fact, that she fears she won’t recognize her prince if and when he finally comes along. Tired of waiting for THE ONE, Ellie decides to have a baby on her own before it’s too late.

When Jasper Autry hears about Ellie’s plan, what else can he do but step in and offer to “contribute” to her project. Does that make him an opportunist? Whatever. He wants the perpetually out-of-reach Ellie Godfrey, and when he sees his chance, he takes it. That she’s the sister of his business partner and close friend Flynn gives him pause, but it doesn’t stop him from having what he wants.

As Jasper and Ellie embark upon their secret “project,” he makes it clear that for as long as they’re together, he’s in charge—in the bedroom anyway. After the hottest sex of her life, Ellie realizes she’s made a deal with the devil himself.

Warning: If you hate foul-mouthed heroes who like it a little rough and dirty, this might not be the book for you…Contains hot and sexy BDSM scenes among other things that might not appeal to the faint of heart. Enter at your own risk and enjoy!

Here is Notorious’s review:

No joke – when I started writing this review, I had to look up the name of the book because I totally forgot. That pretty much sums up my feelings for Ravenous.

I swear I wanted to finish this book. I stopped and started reading it again multiple times in the hopes I would finally give two shits about the plot or the characters, but alas, it was not to be. When I got to about the 30% mark, I realized nothing that I found interesting was going to happen and I was never going to care. Also, the heroine busted out the word “p*ssy,” which I CANNOT STAND even in erotic fiction (because what woman uses this word in real life? Feel free to shout out if you call your own vagina your “p*ssy” and prove me wrong, please).

Normally this flavor of internalized sexism would be an automatic grade drop for me, but in this case it gave me the final go-ahead to give up on the book altogether.

A gif of a cat trying to escape a harness

I’ll warn you that my opinion is in the minority; the book has a 4.28-stars average on Goodreads with over a thousand reviews, so take my two cents for what you will.

Here was my main issue with it: Let’s say you cough up big bucks dine at what you’ve been told is a five-star award-winning restaurant. It’s the “best of the best.” You sit down and order a dessert, and they serve you…Oreos.

A dude mouthing the words what the fuck

Now don’t get me wrong. Oreos are delicious. Almost everybody likes them—I like them! They are a tasty, cheap, mass-produced product that you can buy in bags filled with identical cookies perfect for binge-eating. You know exactly what you’re getting when you bite into an Oreo, for better or worse. If you’re expecting something artisan, you will be sorely disappointed.

Stephen Colbert shoving Oreos into his mouth

And, stupid me, I was sorely disappointed. For me, this book was an Oreo in a five-star restaurant. The plot is very simple: Ellie Godfrey is the sister of a famous actor who has a job doing something important in a family-owned film production company (I think—I skimmed the explanation because it was long and boring). She needs to have a baby asap because she’s 36 and her biological clock is ticking down to Doomsday. Her hot British co-worker, Jasper, volunteers to be the sperm donor as long as they can have kinky butt-slapping sex per his Dom proclivities.

Since Ravenous is the fifth book in the Quantum series centered around a famous Hollywood family, the hero and heroine know each other from previous books, which means we’re told of their backstory in long internal monologues while the characters stare off into space. Jasper offers, and Ellie agrees, to father Ellie’s baby by the end of Chapter One. Since I hadn’t read the previous books, I had no perspective on who these characters were or why I should care about them, and that never changed as I kept reading.

Spongebob Squarepants flipping through a book, searching for a fuck to give

There’s a lot of telling rather than showing, with paragraphs and paragraphs of narrative dedicated to describing the backstories and current status of literally dozens of characters from previous books who I couldn’t care less about. In fact, I imagined the Godfreys and their associates walking around with Joker smiles slapped across their faces given how perfect their lives seemed, especially the couples with previous HEAs (they are lobotomized shiny happy people now—THAT’S WHAT LOVE DOES TO YOU). They live in a Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous world, which is great except no one seems to have any real problems that aren’t of the first-world variety, including the hero and heroine. (Ex: “My rich parents might move to Las Vegas and be unavailable to provide child care for my theoretical baby if the nanny isn’t around that day. WHATEVER SHALL I DO??”)

Woody Harrelson drying his tears with a bunch of money

The main conflict in the book stems from the fact Ellie thinks her brother will get mad if he finds out she fathered a baby with Jasper, and Jasper has Daddy Issues which he feels will make him a bad father, and of course the usual Big Mis where they each assume the other is just in it for the sex, and…that’s it. It’s not exactly nail-biting tension or hard to figure out exactly how things will turn out.

Here’s our first introduction to Jasper, and a good example of why I couldn’t get through this book:

Jasper…tall, blond, muscular in a lanky sort of way, handsome as sin, talented as all get-out and a manwhore of the highest order. He’s the proverbial pot of honey when it comes to women, attracting them as effortlessly as he breathes. Speaking of a man who will never settle for just one when he can have them all, Jasper Autry fits that bill to a T.

This is all the physical description we get of Jasper—he’s a generic fill-in-the-blanks Hot Guy. The most distinctive thing about him is his British accent, which is mentioned about five thousand times. The whole book is as generic an erotic romance as you’ll get, checking all the boxes to please as wide of an audience as possible—a perfect Oreo.

But the RITAs are supposed to be the best of the best. If you try to serve me an Oreo in a five-star restaurant, I’m going to get up and leave. So that’s what I did.

Mary Poppins nope-ing out of here

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