Exposure (East Park)
<—- OMG that was steamy but done soooooo right. I absolutely LOVED it. I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe my luck when I saw this one pointed out by a fellow reader, because it was exactly what I needed. Angsty, but not too angsty. Super-sexy, but not over-the-top. It was witty, realistically romantic, had amazing dialogue, and had enough tension (and a few “forbidden” touches) to keep me glued.
At the time it was brought to my attention, there wasn’t much info by way of our fellow readers (as none of us had read it yet), but that synopsis had me, so I highlighted it on my latest bargain post. And then… a few of you picked it up, read it and LOVED it. And I’m RIGHT there with you! I didn’t put it down once.
Maryse: the synopsis intrigues me. 1.) She’s a university student with an “erotic modeling” secret (so she goes by two names – Evan, and Rylan, to keep her secret). Then she models with another student hottie and… “She promises herself that she can just be friends with Dallas. He has a girlfriend, after all. And Evan needs to focus.” Ruh Roh. (thanks Aimee!!) ME ME ME!!! I wanna try this one!
Emily: I just finished “Exposure” by Iris Blaire and I really enjoyed it. A fast, easy read with plenty of tension and steam worthy moments. I’m excited to see how this story continues.
B: Just finished “Exposure” and HOLY HOTNESS!!! PHEW! finished it in four hours, quick read.
Anna: Just bought and read Exposure. Totally hot. Adore both MCs. Picked it up and didn’t stop reading until I was done.
I’d almost say I “5-star” loved it because, to me, it had just enough of everything to make it almost my perfect read. But it was missing one tiny thing. Length. Tee hee. Oh come on… you know what I mean. *blush* It played out seamlessly, and while there were just a few things I would have wanted explored in more detail like…the girlfriend… stuff (and er… *more* other… stuff ), I think had the book been longer, these tiny hiccups wouldn’t have been an issue. That, plus a little extra of everything intense (more time in those moments, and more time in the angst) and I would have been a puddle of mush.
But, at 151 pages, this author ROCKED it, so imagine had it been 300 or 350 pages? If I was allowed even that much more time with Dallas, I have a feeling I’d be in a severe love-fog right now, rendering me delightfully useless. I lovvvve that feeling (when it’s book-induced, of course). But despite it’s shortish length, it still affected me enough to have me dreaming of it. And interestingly enough, it wasn’t so much the “steamy” that I was dreaming of, as much as it was the subtle gestures of affection, and looks. Specifically, I dreamed of the pining, and the stolen moments. It is that kind of detail, that has me falling and connecting.
And as much as these two wanted each other, there were (believable) issues standing in their way. Which made their connection even more intense, and the stolen moments that much more affecting. A sexy book, yes (and WOW what a premise), but so much more about those first stages of attraction and maybe even love, amongst all of that *hot*.
Dallas runs the pad of his thumb against my jaw and whispers in my ear, “You’re good at faking it.”
He’s teasing me. He’s teasing me because he knows my reaction is real.
I suppose it might be considered New Adult, considering both main characters are in University, but this one just had a slightly “older’ feel to it than many of the NA that I’ve been reading lately. Mature, determined characters with serious heads on their shoulders. And not so much “innocence” dictating the angst. More… the realistically “forbidden”.
So what’s it about?
Evan (oh that was another of my issues. The fact that almost every character had a unisex name was confusing at first, but I found the rhythm soon enough). Okay back to the story…
“Evan” (the heroine in the story), pays for her tuition by posing in an indie campus erotic magazine. Soft core, but still… she’s pretty much “exposed” for everyone to see.
I get paid well. A couple hours of shoots a week is better than thirty hours at the coffee shop, which is what I was doing when first starting college. But pulling straight As in class like molecular biology and immunobiotechnology isn’t exactly a cake walk. I need time. I need to eat.
East park exposed let me do both of those things. All I have to do is look like a naked Bratz doll for a couple of hours a week and boom. Groceries paid, tuition paid, rent paid.
Best friends with the talented female photographer, and the other main female model, the three of them are roommates and “stars” at school. Except that “Evan” is a plain-Jane on purpose (so that she is not recognized). Nobody knows normal college girl “Evan” is actually sex-pot “Rylan” and she goes out of her way to keep it that way. No boyfriends, no real socializing, and nothing for anyone to put “two and two” together.
No guys ever have the opportunity to connect Evan Cosette to Ryan Willow. And I’d like to keep it that way.
I know… believe me, at first, I was skeptical too. How could someone so high profile and coveted, be able to walk around in public, amongst her fans, without being recognized? While they are both the same girl, bombshell “Rylan” (with eyelashes, full makeup, and hair) does not look like the frumpy-on-purpose Evan. Glasses, full freckles, no lashes, messy bun. Nondescript clothing.
I take out my contacts and shove my glasses on my face.
Little ugly Evan is back. Glorious freckles and all.
Same girl yes, but two different girls to anyone not specifically looking for it.
I’ve managed this sh!t for two years without being recognized. I can manage one more semester.
But when her best-friend photographer wants to include some gorgeous male students as models in the photo shoots (to expand readership to female fans), Evan goes ballistic.
That’s too close for comfort and risks “outing” her if the news got out. If the guys realize who she actually is, before she becomes “Rylan”. And it doesn’t help matters (for her, but it sure did for me!! ) when the one she has to work with just so happens to be the gorgeous grad student (Dallas) teaching her class that morning. Eeeeeeep!!! (and YAY!!!!)
“He’s in my department, Brit. The first time a subscriber sees the two of us near each other, they are going to figure out exactly who I am.
And of course, they are AMAZING together in the photos.
My skin vibrates with his laughter. He’s aware of how much this is killing me.
This session just turned from smoldering hot to pure torture.
“Lick her neck,” Britain instructs.
Okay, now it’s pure torture.
Dallas crawls forward until his body covers mine. “Don’t mind me,” he murmurs, still grinning.
Dallas lights her up in every way, no matter how hard she tries to resist. For her own needs (she wants to stay focused on school, on anonymity and well… he has a girlfriend).
Yes, my girlfriend wants me to pose for East Park Exposed. The mag is so popular, she said. You’ll get your face out there. Your modeling career will take off.
She’s been pushing the modeling thing ever since I decided to go into field research instead of med school. It’s her way of making sure I’m still going to be paying some bills, since now I’ll be getting my PhD for a five-figure salary.
But Dallas is OMG!!!!!! Soooooo sexy, so swooooonworthy, such a gentleman (and yet at times, when he can’t help himself… totally not ). But SUCH A SWEETHEART. So gorgeous, so intelligent, and the ultimate catch. Nope. No bad boy here, but I loved him just as intensely as if he was.
And don’t forget… he still only knows her as “Rylan” (who just so happens to be his favorite model from back when he was just a subscriber). And now he’s struggling with his own conscience as he tries to squash his increasing *crush* on her, while having to simulate intimacy. And what happens when simulation begins to feel real… and risks crossing the line?
Ohhhh the forbidden attraction. So fun!!!! Go read it. It’s SOOOO worth every minute, and I’m desperate for more!
Great writing, awesome characters, a slowly (but not too slowly) developing friendship craving for more. Original storyline (but believable). Definitely one for my “Favorite “Short” Stories” list, ’cause this was the PERFECT short.