Review: Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun

Uncommon Pleasure by Anne CalhounUncommon Pleasure contains two stories: Over the Edge and All on the Line.

In “Over the Edge,” after a tragic incident during Ty Hendricks’ last tour of duty, he cut off all connection with anyone he cares about—until a night with Lauren Kincaid draws him reluctantly back into the world. Lauren sees a wounded man in danger of losing everything to his inner demons, but the sensual, no-holds-barred fight for Ty’s soul could cost Lauren her heart.

In “All on the Line,” Abby Simmons fell hard for Lieutenant Sean Winthrop, but he sacrificed their relationship when he deployed to Afghanistan. Now he’s home, full of regrets and intent on winning back the woman he never forgot. Abby gives Sean her body but holds her heart aloof, until one night of pleasure forces her to choose either her U.S. Marine…or life without him, forever.

This review is very hard to write. Calhoun’s book Liberating Lacey is one of my all-time favorite books, and that book really sets the bar in my mind of the quality of her writing. Sadly, Uncommon Pleasure fell a little flat with me overall. We have two separate stories but with intertwined timelines for parts of each. I really loved the hero in the first book and I felt it was easy to connect to the heroine. Their passion was believable and I thought the sex was super hot. I loved the way Ty and Lauren interacted with each other – both in and out of the bed.  But then ….

What I found to be a very unnecessary menage (M/F/M) is thrown into the story and for me, it really detracted from Ty and Lauren’s story and relationship. I didn’t feel that the menage was needed in any way to make the sex between Ty and Lauren more erotic. I also didn’t think it was needed as a tool to help Lauren and Ty figure out how much they really liked each other or how much they knew they wanted to be together.

Once I started All on the Line, I found the timeline of it to be a bit confusing as it intermingled with parts of the first story and frankly, it made the whole thing a little less believable for me. Yes, I know this is fiction but I found myself starting to pick apart the events instead of getting lost in the story or lost into the developing relationship of Sean and Abby. And wait for it….another menage (M/F/M) is in All on the Line and this one is with the guy Abby was having sex with for awhile before Sean re-entered the picture. And that’s when I was done.

I would have loved for Ty and Lauren to have had a full novel. I really connected with both of those characters and enjoyed their story with the exception of the menage. And it’s not that I have a problem with a menage at all – I love a good sexy menage in a book! But in this book I just felt the characters were strong enough on their own to not need another guy thrown into the mix.

Favorite quote:

From Over the Edge – Ty (swoon) and Lauren –

When she emerged he was sitting in one of the room’s two chairs, her dress pooled in his lap as he deftly reattached the shoulder strap to the bodice with a needle and thread.

Over the Edge: B
All on the Line: D
Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun
March 5th 2013 by Berkley Trade
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  1. says

    I read a book by this author in an anthology and ever since I have been wanting to read more of her work. I’ve been scoping out this book for a little while and I’m sad to hear that it wasn’t that good. Maybe I shall just have to read the one story in the book and forget about the second part.

    Thanks for the great review!