Honest Synopsis: A female mortician, Grace, has taken over her father’s business and is struggling with the stress of being poor, making the switch to modernize the said business, and her crazy family. Instead of adding in the stress of getting a boyfriend, she goes down the escort route which also ended up with happy endings that would stay that way. Not only do you not have to deal with any disgusting dating habits, but you can choose how any date starts, ends… and her next fantasy is to pick up a stranger, someone she would never date. Enter Sam, a struggling musician. Grace thinks Sam is her escort for the evening, but it turns out Sam is just that — a stranger. She quickly gets over this and goes with Jack to have sex all the time at $500 a pop, complains about not having money, doesn’t really get close to Sam but feels the need for drama which keeps him around, her father doesn’t trust her to run the business, and basically this book is just about addictions that occur when you’re under too much stress.

I play video games. A lot. I’d say that I play at least thirty minutes a day, and up to eight hours on my days off because I love playing ESO and Mario Kart 8 is probably the best co-player game when you’re playing online because you’re laughing like a maniacal scientist when one of you comes up with an insult toward a dick player, such as “The Richard The Third of Douchemongers”.

When people who aren’t gamers find out that I can play eight to ten hours of video games at a time (not including my 25 hours of gaming for charity), they become wary. Not when I say that I can spend eight hours reading a book or writing my never-to-be-published novel I can never finish. Most are thinking about what a waste of time it is, because their versions of fun are about playing a sport for eight to ten hours, or training for a marathon for eight to ten hours, or drinking heavily for eight to ten hours. The margin of what is considered acceptable hobbies is different to everyone, which is why I don’t judge when someone tells me that they spend at least an hour dusting their Spoons of the World collection.

I bring this up because some hobbies can be a bit more expensive than others. Writing can cost up to nothing, even if you go to a coffee shop. Reading costs as much as you want it to, from free if you use your local library to whatever you find the price of a signed copy by the author to be. Video games tend to be pretty expensive no matter how you look at it. You’ve got to have something to play them on (handheld, console, computer, etc.), the game itself, DLC, monthly fees… As someone who is pretty frugal, I look at my video gaming habits as an investment. This is something that I do so often, take great pleasure in, and consider myself pretty knowledgeable about. With every console, game, DLC purchased, I am investing in my long-lived life I enjoy immensely.

And it works. There are some people who will go out drinking every weekend, spending a fortune on food and alcohol, while I spend $60 on a game that I can play every weekend with friends or by myself. The same would go for cosplaying. That hobby is expensive, time consuming, and can get pretty competitive. However, I enjoy seeing the ultimate outcome, and it is what some people enjoy.

You may think I am really getting into depth on hobbies. But if you read Stranger, by Megan Hart, you’d understand why.

Stranger, by Megan Hart

My cover. You know, so I don’t get embarrassed on the bus or something?

Stranger Cover 2

Tam’s cover for Kindle. I got the raw end of the deal.

We start off the book with Grace feeling pretty sexy but a bit out of place at a restaurant/bar, looking for a stranger she had paid for. She’s uncertain due to not knowing exactly what he looks like, but that is the excitement she paid for, after all. As she’s trying to politely shoo away a frat boy, Sam comes to her rescue. Smelling of beer and soap, and with a smile that takes her off guard, she realizes that this is probably the man she paid for.

After the obligatory Dr. Seuss jokes about his name, they start to flirt about not drinking and how attractive Sam is, and how attractive Grace is. These guys are obviously meant to have sex. And that is what they do.

Grace is all too happy with her experience, feeling as if it had been the most intimate of any of her paid moments. But the afterglow is brought back to reality with a phone call from her job; another person has passed away and they needed her to take care of it. Nothing like a corpse to bring your libido down.

bill-and-sookie-season-2-true-blood

Well…. most corpses.

She awkwardly tells Sam, “Thank you,” and his confusion becomes even more so when she adds, “It was great.” She leaves it at that, extremely satisfied with her fantasy choice, until she checks her voicemail. Someone had called while she had been on the line, and it turns out, Sam really was a stranger — a stranger who wasn’t the one she had paid for.

Dun, dun, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun!

Grace is somehow mortified by this realization. Which I don’t fully understand because she just got a freebie. Think about it. After paying for sex for a good few years, she just had a safe sex experience for free. And later, when she talks with Jack to reschedule, she ends up going on the original date, too. She got a two-for-one deal, so she should stop complaining and start being smug about her smart-savers instinct.

Instead, she becomes a bit of a space case at work. Jared, her paid intern, even notices, but she quickly tells him she’s fine while thinking way too hard at the fact that, if it had indeed just been an actual stranger, why hadn’t they exchanged numbers since the sex was that good?

She quickly reminds herself of why she pays for sex: it isn’t that she is afraid to be alone, it is that boyfriends take too much work. Mrs. Smith’s Services for Ladies was a business she’d found out through her own business: from a mourning widow. No, the lady wasn’t cheating on her then-dead husband — have a little faith in people! The lady had worked there, and was giving Grace her card for contact information. And it had changed Grace’s life.

Of course, her first time with the agency had been an accidental sexual experience, too. She’d thought it was just for a paid date, catering to her wants of a gentleman dedicated to her, but he offered more and she took it. And she had the sudden inspiration of never having anything go wrong ever again, for just a simple fee.

And if you call and act now, you also get a free robe with a matching towel set. Call the toll-free number at the bottom of your screen today!

Just…make sure you know what type of towel you’re getting.

Her work day continues with her retired father checking up on her work, her daily reminder that she has to make the funeral job her life if she is ever going to succeed. And to also get rid of her website and computer because that is how business is apparently successful these days.

Grace, don’t listen to your father. He’s old and doesn’t understand how real life in the 21st century works. You should get a Twitter, Facebook, and probably Tumblr account for your funeral home. Don’t get a MySpace account though — it’s a dead social media site that is trying to get back by being strictly for musicians.

She basically hangs up on her father to go have lunch with her sister, who is married with two kids. Her sister immediately prods at her love-life, since that is what all family and friends do when you’re in your mid- to late-twenties and single (I should know), and Grace gently tries to change the subject until Hannah implies that Grace is a lesbian if she isn’t bringing any boys home.

Because, ladies, if you don’t have a man in your life and are still happy, you’re obviously a lesbian because why aren’t you trying to tie yourself down?!

Grace laughs in Hannah’s face, who is obviously jealous because she keeps telling Grace that boyfriends aren’t as much work as having a husband and two kids. They glare at each other and I can only guess it is a sister thing to let it go because my brother and I never let anything go until we were well into our adult-life. And we still don’t let things go.

But Grace has as appointment with a son who is preparing for his father’s inevitable demise, so they leave things semi-awkward. They are Jewish, so a chevra kadisha will be needed. While not unusual, they don’t do many Jewish burials, but she gives him the needed information anyway, then checks her personal email as soon as he leaves.

Mrs. Smith has emailed her about her missed connection she’d paid for. Grace had assumed the money had been basically burned as she felt the situation was her fault, but it turns out Grace has become a valued enough customer as she is allowed to reschedule at her convenience instead.

This lady has used this service so often, she is a valued customer. Nice.

All this does is remind her of her wonderful time with sexy Sam-I-Am, and when she realizes even a cold shower doesn’t do anything, she allows herself sexy-time in the shower with herself instead. And then she calls Mrs. Smith’s office to reschedule with Jack.

Jack and she have a quick discussion to reinstate their appointment, to go dancing instead of her normal stranger fantasy, grabs a quick description so she can’t mistake him for someone else again, and is happy to have her love-life back to where she wants it.

Jack turns out to be a bit of a punk, and, while sexy, isn’t at all what she would normally want. He’s got some tattoos, piercings, and he smokes. She goes out on the date, but Jack doesn’t seem to be as considerate as her other dates she’s paid for. He could pick up her cues, but he wasn’t very forward, and there were girls around the bar who knew him, and not very fondly. Which, to me, wasn’t very smart. If you’re an escort, staying away from your typical hangouts would be, I feel, the best way to not get caught in a bad situation with an old flame. Or as a prostitute.

And it turns out, I am right: an ex-girlfriend ends up getting drunk and chucks insults at him, then launches herself onto his back, shrieking and punching. It is all very romantic.

By the time things are over, Grace leads him to his car and it is found out that he is new to the business. She quickly gives him some tips since she is an elite member, knowing her way around. She tells it to him straight about how the date was, tells him they won’t be having sex, they don’t kiss, but she tells Jack that she’ll probably call him again to see how he’s doing.

Capture

And she does end up calling him. After taking care of a 30-year-old female suicide, a mother who left a husband, a little girl, and a baby behind, Jared starts asking her questions of what she does to take off the edge of these sad events. She tells him that you just tuck it away at the end of the day because it is a job. She’s been around the dead since she was very small, so of course she’s used to it.

But while her philosophical talk ends with Jared, she admits to herself that she got this way due to her last long relationship with Ben, which ended after college thanks to the constant death she kept seeing of wives bringing in their husbands. She is not afraid of dying, but of being left behind.

“OH, GODS, HOW WILL SHE GET OVER THAT?!” you say, gaping at this horrifying revelation.

Um, did you read the synopsis? Paid sex.

And that’s what she does. She calls up Jack and has him meet her at a motel she uses quite often for these events. This time, instead of a date, she asked for a role-play of older woman giving a young man his first time, which is appropriate for The Project she has not made of him. And she teaches him more about the business afterwards, and then gives him a cash tip and explains that it is normal to receive before or after the deed is done.

Wait. So, she has mind-blowing sex with Sam, one of the best of her life, and doesn’t give him a tip, but does for Jack their first time? RUDE.

Jack and Grace have a cute little “No, YOU take it.” over the cash, because Jack didn’t feel right taking extra money, and she teaches him how to make a phone call to make sure he is compensated correctly for his time in the future. He apparently has a difficult time with that because he loves sex enough to consider that the tip. But he’s her little protege, so she makes him take the tip and basically ruffles his hair with a promise to call again before she leaves. Little rascal.

However, as soon as she gets home, she gets the call about the gentleman who will be needing the chevra kadisha. She calls Jared to pick up the body from the hospital, then goes downstairs to take care of the other things needed in the funeral home. Because she lives in the apartment above the funeral home. I know this is something not that odd because I’ve seen the movie My Girl a billion times.

Grace FINALLY takes a shower after everything else is settled (nothing like smelling of sex and while your work), and then starts to watch a ghost-hunting show, even though she doesn’t believe in the afterlife. She gets freaked out enough that when she starts to hear odd sounds of music come to her ears, she figures she has to do something about it.

Here’s a fun paragraph: “There was no way I was going to slip down the stairs in my pajamas with an inadequate weapon in my hands to confront what surely was a homicidal maniac with a hook for a hand and his mother’s head on a platter.” And then she immediately grabs her father’s old golf club to wander downstairs in her pajamas to find out what was going on. Even though it has only been a few hours since the death of Mr. Stewart, she kicks in the door, club ready, loud growl to intimidate, because she’s forgotten all about how a chevra kadisha works. And because that is a better plan than calling the police if someone has broken into your morgue and is rummaging around with dead bodies.

But, hey, guess what? It’s Sam! It was his father that passed away, and it turns out that he plays guitar, which was making the noise!

Sam is so surprised that he topples over and knocks his head rather hard on the tile. Grace races over to see if he’s okay, and he immediately kisses her until she pushes back and slaps him across the face. Because it also turns out that Sam was drunk and thought he was dreaming about Grace.

And it turns out that although he’s participating in the chevra kadisha, he doesn’t give a fuck. He was playing music, was drinking, and fully leaves the body to talk with Grace in her apartment and get a little medical attention. She also mentions to herself that she was glad she hadn’t called the police because how embarrassing would that have been?

Anyway, she gives him some frozen peas and aspirin. When he settles down to close his eyes on the couch, she tries to keep him awake in case he has a concussion — instead of taking him to the hospital to make sure. He makes the suggestion that sex would definitely keep him awake, which makes her snap and tell him to leave.

Instead, he kisses her again, and she likes it. But she still forces him to leave in the end.

The funeral keeps her busy, and she sees Sam again at the cemetery the next day. He is grief-stricken a bit, but he keeps saying that he wants to see her again, and that he’s going to call her, even though she keeps saying not to.

Oh, the cute banter of a lady saying no but the guy taking it as yes. Persistence works, ya’ll!

Grace calls Jack to have sex again. This time, he’s a pizza delivery guy, and she didn’t order pizza, but he’s angry and wants money, but takes forced sex instead.

After this healthy fantasy, Jack and Grace talk while eating the pizza and being normal in a non-normal situation. Jack admits that she is really fun to be with, as the other ladies aren’t. She has an appointment, so she quickly gets dressed and they start to leave, but she notices he has a motorcycle and it is raining hard. She gives him a ride home on impulse, almost has sex again with him in the car, and she speeds over to her next appointment smelling of sex and pizza.

Classy.

And, to make things more awkward, Sam shows up after the appointment with Chinese food in hand. He convinces her to let him back into her apartment, and they dance around the fact that Sam is trying to get Grace back into bed, and Grace politely trying to decline.

This is also interesting because this is the point where Grace admits that she is poor and low on cash often. She had first mentioned this right after their time together in bed (which, now that I think about it, is super rude to pay $3oo for something and mention to the dude you’re paying that you’re poor — even if you didn’t realize he wasn’t your original appointment in the first place until five minutes later), and now that she mentions it again, both her and Sam commiserate about being poor.

Remember that time when I said that I am pretty committed to playing video games, and that I understand that it is an expensive hobby, but I am pretty frugal and plan accordingly? Well, the moments when I am poor, I just… don’t buy a game. I wait until my next paycheck or save up.

Grace doesn’t seem to do this.

But Sam doesn’t know about this expensive secret of hers, so they discuss that Grace isn’t looking for a boyfriend, that they’re just going to be friends, and Grace acted like she didn’t want to have sex with Sam at all while Sam said he was going to keep making her think about seeing him as more than a friend.

Then, Grace’s father lectures her again about the business. And, I’m not money shaming here, but I also get why a father would be worried if she was this was with her finances before taking up the sex business.

After that, Grace pays for sex with Jack again. This time, it’s dirty talk on the phone for 30 minutes, then oral. And she gets dressed without washing all of the disgusting off to meet with old family friends of hers. I say disgusting because semen was involved and she had stayed in her clothes during this time. Ew on the behalf of that family.

And she calls Sam because he called her four times while she had been on working duty but was fucking Jack instead.

I hope she whines about being poor in the near future again.

But it has been two weeks since she’s heard from Sam, so she is more than annoyed that it turns out he had left for New York without a word, and that his excuse for not saying anything was, “How could you miss me if I didn’t go away?”

You and I both, sista.

She rightfully hangs up on him, and then calls Jack again. This time, it was just hot and heavy, and they had extra time so they did it twice, talking about how he gets his other women off. And he tells her sweetly that nobody comes like her.

Aw!

But the pleasantries aren’t short. Her industrial-sized washer for dirty linens at work explodes, Jared’s ankle is sprained badly, and the fire department is called as water is everywhere in the basement with an electrical wire flinging around. Her father has a huge talk with her about finances, because maybe insurance won’t be enough. Grace plans on surviving on ramen noodles and mac-n-cheese for a few months and have her social life curtailed. You know, the social life she is always talking about never having.

Maybe her social life is the one she pays for.

Because instead of calling a friend, she calls Jack to throw her to the ground on her knees and be “ruthless” by her request. Afterwards, she’s all, “You’re pretty.” and he’s all “You’re pretty, too.” and she leaves to then talk with Sam on the phone.

This has officially become the most complicated, and expensive, lifestyle I’ve ever known.

And it continues to be expensive because her computer breaks down, too. She has yet another conversation with her father, where he officially tells her he is going to come in and go over their books, so she tells him that, while busy, he can simply come in and do what he needs to do to get him off of her back. And after a busy day, she comes back to finding out he couldn’t get her computer to work, so he took her personal laptop from her apartment instead.

What the actual fuck. No, seriously. The actual fuck. I don’t know what actual fuck looks like, but I have a feeling that it is definitely a gif of that situation.

I know that her father is increasingly overbearing, and that he thinks she is starting to drown by taking over his business after he retired, but this is crossing a line that I don’t know any father would do.

But what is more infuriating is her response to it: “There wasn’t anything to be done but clean my neglected apartment.”

More like OMFG.

Nothing to be done? NOTHING TO BE DONE?! What was wrong with immediately going over to his place to say, “Why the FUCK did you just take my personal laptop from my personal apartment without even saying something?!” or the much nicer wimpy version, which you, Grace, seem to prefer, of “Hey, let’s work on this together!” with a nervous laugh and awkwardly trying to hide your personal expenses. THERE IS PLENTY TO BE DONE IN THIS SITUATION.

Plus, if it were me, I wouldn’t have been worried at all because you’re a stupid shit if you don’t have a personal password placed on your user profile. Especially if you have certain secrets that no one knows about you. I would have been pissed at him taking my laptop, but it wouldn’t be as if he could do anything about it. Thank the fuck that it turns out she isn’t some serial killer because it looks like it wouldn’t have been a very long run for her.

But the most hilarious part of it all is that someone calls her on her cell, and she assumes it a call from her father that she’d been waiting for instead of calling herself, so she then yells, “I can’t believe you!”

No, I cant believe you.

But, no, it’s Sam, trying to be cute again, and succeeding. They throw around some cutesy words because Sam is excited to meet her for a Horrorfeast, an all-night event of eight horror films. He asks for her hand to hold while watching the scary film, and Sam jumped through the whole thing. It’s an official date of three scary films, popcorn, pancakes, and another call of someone passing away in a nursery home.

And, infuriatingly enough, she assumes after a few days that her father had opened her laptop and has seen all of her personal expenses, but just had decided to not say anything yet. But that wasn’t the problem. Nope. “The problem was, I had severe laptop withdrawal and needed my personal computer back from my dad.”

Plus, Sam hadn’t called her in three days 😦

Sam calls during her sighs/laments, and they discuss her seeing Sam play at a bar. And when she continues to play the game of, “I do, but I don’t,” Sam makes the joke of, “You have a boyfriend? Bring him along.” Which then goes into the joking of not caring if she did have a boyfriend and she brought him.

But then she decides to go. And to also bring Jack.

But not before deciding to go get her laptop because, “I didn’t exactly want to face my dad, but I wanted my computer. Being able to watch TV from bed while I instant messaged and surfed the Net had become too convenient.”

Instant messaged whom? The friends you never talk about? The family you see every once in a while? Or maybe instead of calling, you instant message Jack, too? Why are THESE the reasons why you want your laptop back?!

So she attempts to go to her parents’ house to pick the laptop up, but entering his private office, she couldn’t see it, so she leaves without even attempting to ruffle through all of his paperwork like he did to her.

And that’s when it gets even worse. While driving back from a body pickup with Jared, they are hit from behind by a fast driver not paying attention.

I’m going to skip over the fact that the air bag was deployed and she didn’t receive the typical bruises and burn marks along the arm. But I will say that I did laugh when Grace went to check the damage in the back, where her doors were now open and people could see a body inside. The lady who hit them was all, “Oh, God! I’ve killed her!” I lost myself in a fit of giggles at the idea of that happening.

Classic.

But then she started getting all, “Do you know how much this is going to cost?” and I sighed because she hardly talks about insurance and never once talks about letting go of her addiction to Jack.

Because, let’s face it — Jack isn’t a hobby anymore. It is a full on addiction. She can’t stop. Her reasoning is: “A few hours of Jack’s company would cost me more than I could afford, but would save me from a greater price in the end.”

I’m going to assume her sanity because what else is the greater price at this point? Oh, that’s right, losing her new-found business.

It turns out, Jack canceled one of his appointments to be with her, because, “He likes her.” He quickly tells her that it is still business, but it makes her pleased all the same, since it is flattering “when your hired fuck tells you he’s rather be with you than another client.” And it goes further when she says she’s on a tight budget but could still get them an appetizer and he replies with, “I could’ve had dinner tonight. That’s not why I’m out with you.”

Uh-oh. It seems that these sex-partners-in-crime have started to develop mutual feelings for each other.

200_s

They make their way sensually down the stairs of the bar to find a table and flirt through beers and an appetizer. When Sam comes on stage, she realizes why she is actually there, though. And she notices how much the crowd likes him, and that he is a great performer.

When Jack goes to get her another drink after Sam takes a break, Grace heads to the bathroom and comes back out to see Sam talking with a groupie. And being a little too friendly. She’s none-too-happy, and saunters over to see that he’s surprised to see her there.

It’s awkward. With Grace being jealous with the groupie, but Sam liking both of their attentions, but seeing that Grace is with another guy to make him jealous, but still playing into the groupie when she makes her advances. And then Jack was getting flirty with another girl at the bar he seemed to know.

SO MUCH DRAMA

And, you know what, it’s also totally understandable. One can’t blame a guy flirting with another girl when a girl states frequently that she isn’t looking for anything, and one can’t blame a girl for getting jealous when a guy has stated his intentions over and over again to only be seen flirting with another girl. It just doesn’t make it any less self-induced drama shit.

Oh, and Jack can do whatever the fuck he wants, honestly. He is on a date with Grace, yet he is being paid for it, technically.

So, Grace leaves to meet up with Jack and promptly tells him they’re leaving while Sam starts up a song he wrote for Grace. When Grace tries to leave, Jack tells her to not go yet, even though she can’t afford a hotel room. And that their date ended a half hour prior.

He convinces her to go back to his place, that them having sex will be his tip, and that he’s horny. She mentions he could just find someone else he knows, but he answers with, “I’m not a slut.”

I’m pretty sure this can’t end well. No one gets this close to a business venture and not take it personally. Because now Grace is seeing him as a date would. It’s one thing to hear in passing that someone is going into graphic design, but it is another to see his drawings. And now that she’s seen the inside of his apartment, she also realizes that this moment of having sex with Jack is different, too. There wasn’t any money between them, no role-playing, and it wasn’t all about her.

So she makes it about him, too, learning all about his body and his wants.

Basically, they were making love this time.

She realizes this has to be the last time, now that she got it for free. So when he comes back from cleaning up (at least one of them decides being clean is good), it becomes purposefully tense as she decides to leave and not stay. Asking questions of if Grace likes Sam, why she actually pays for sex in the first place, and Jack does the one thing he knows Grace doesn’t like while talking — smoking.

The conversation gets dicey quickly, going dark and unforgiving even more quickly. Why? Because she’s trying to break up with her paid fuck buddy. And there isn’t really a guide book on how that should go down.

I’m going to be honest, I actually thought that she would legit get with Jack. They both seemed to actually really like each other. And I thought that Jack was legit trying to woo her slowly but surely. Like that moment in Wedding Date, when he gives back the money she paid. Or that we’d at least get a threesome out of the deal.

But, alas, Grace in insistent on her motto of “Everything ends.” Jack shows some true colors of being a dick as he’s fed up with Grace’s lies, and Grace likes to wallow in her decided truths of the world. They both tell the other to date someone else, and she leaves.

Sam calls her at the break of dawn. And that doesn’t necessarily go down as well, either. Sam confesses that he was actually jealous that she had a fuck buddy boyfriend, and she pretty much tells him that, while creepy, he’s giving flattering attention. /sigh

I’m sorry, I’m just getting the feeling like Sam is thinking that because he is patient and persistent, Grace will then eventually owe him something. And she’s playing into that by being nice about his actions.

But he gets her to promise that she’d call him through her exhaustion.

And she does call him. But not for lunch.

She calls because she isn’t able to handle her most recent death — a four-year-old child.

Sam steps up to take care of her easily, much more than what he got for his father’s death. He brought food over, helped her take showers, held her… And even if she looked like shit when she woke up, he smiled and was still all attracted to her. I’m not saying she should have taken care of him during his pain, but I am saying that he was a pretty dang good person to drop all of his things for a day to take care of her when she hadn’t done it for him.

When she gets to work, her father finally brings back her laptop. And when she asked him if he got what he wanted, he says he printed off the register, but he hasn’t had time to look at it. He adds, “I figured if you were having real trouble, you’d let me know.” This is important for later.

But also, WHY DID HER FATHER TAKE HER LAPTOP TO ONLY PRINT OUT WHAT HE NEEDED IF HE COULD HAVE SIMPLY DONE THAT AT THE FUNERAL HOME, TOO?!?!?!?!!??!!?

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

Seriously?! She was without her laptop for over a week (possibly two — hard to tell as time is difficult to gauge in this book), and all you did was print off something and still not stare at that?

Is anyone else getting the feeling that this is just being a prolonged problem in the book at this point? Just me?

Let’s get this over with.

  • Sam takes Grace to his brother’s house for their first date
  • It is kind of awkward since Grace helped to bury their father
  • It is kind of awkward since Dan beat the shit out of Sam at one point
  • Sam seems to be drinking a lot
  • Elle, Dan’s wife, says Sam hasn’t been taking his father’s death very hard
  • It is obvious that Sam has been dealing with his father’s death by drinking at this point
  • Why no one has noticed that Sam has been drinking to get over his father’s death is odd
  • Even Grace doesn’t seem to really register this fact, even though it is a first-person novel and she is giving us the information
  • Grace decides they should sleep together
  • Grace thinks about Jack while undressing Sam
  • They experiment with a toy he finds in her desk drawer while trying to find a condom because every sex scene within this book has to be completely different
  • Sam makes sure that her having multiple orgasms was because of him
  • Grace freaks out and decides they need to have The Talk
  • They’re boyfriend and girlfriend, and have sex more.
  • Grace learns “not to struggle too hard against Sam’s persistence.”
  • Sam finally tells Grace his true feelings about his father’s death
  • Grace notices some more of Sam’s drinking habits but doesn’t think anything of it again
  • Paradise starts to get a little difficult in their relationship
  • Grace loves Sam but won’t tell him
  • Grace runs into Jack at Sam’s gig with his new lady, Sarah, who thanks Grace for basically being his fuck buddy — not awkward at all
  • Sam gets drunk and goes behind the wheel anyway

Things are finally getting interesting again. They leave a bar and Sam should be right behind Grace, but he’s a good half hour or so late. She immediately jumps to the conclusion that he’s dead, which tells me that she should probably talk to a therapist about this death issue. Sam finally comes home but with a six-pack of beer, one of the bottles missing, which tells me he should probably talk to a therapist about this death thing.

And when he passes out on the couch from being too drunk, she goes through a list of rather ridiculous possibilities of things he can die from. I repeat, she needs some help. And she sobs, and he wakes up and cuddles her, and their first fight isn’t talked about at all.

And when she mentions that she would never be ashamed of him, he replies with, “Give it time.”

I feel as if this is basically the whole book — ignoring and pressing down anything bad until it is too late.

Which finally brings us around to the plot point we’ve all been waiting for: Dad finding out about her other life.

It’s been well over a couple of weeks since she got the laptop back from her father, but it seems he finally got to looking at those reports that…wait, those are personal expenses. How did he know?

Why, he did more than print off the business expenses. He looked through her personal email and personal expenses, too! Because he was so worried about her, despite him saying that he knew she’d say something if she were really in trouble.

Which means he either read her emails and personal expenses, but managed to pretend to not know when he gave back the laptop, or that he printed off her emails and personal expenses, too. I guess?

He tries offering her a wad of money, which she throws to the ground, then drives away with Sam. Which turned into a fight with Sam because she was angry enough to finally tell him about the situation that she used to spend money on escorts for sex. Which causes him to drink more. And bring around the nasty conversation of dads and Grace having difficulties with real relationships.

This is getting long. Again.

  • Sam finally gets the DUI he deserves
  • Grace picks him up and leaves him at his mother’s house — they break up
  • Grace’s father gets over the fact that she paid for men to have sex with and they never talk about it again
  • Grace decides to merge her business with her funeral intern Jared
  • Sam is drunk and calls Grace again after a good few weeks
  • They talk about him leaving for NYC and getting an album deal
  • They kinda break up again
  • Grace decides to not use Mrs. Smith’s service again
  • Grace looks up Sam after a good few weeks to see that, while not making it huge, he’s made a positive impact in some areas
  • She randomly meets up with Sam again while taking care of her sister’s kids
  • Sam is with some lady and her kid
  • They talk and it is awkward and she tells him goodbye
  • Sam calls her really early in the morning, but he isn’t drunk — he’s gone sober for at least a month
  • He’s actually at her house
  • Apparently that other chick he was with doesn’t matter because they have sex
  • Apparently they are over her paying for sex because she immediately makes a joke about it and he laughs
  • Apparently Sam’s music career wasn’t too good because he’s back for good this time
  • Apparently they are now together and that is the end of the book
  • Apparently there is no need to talk about anything else

This book. I tell you.

4 Trashy Roses4/5 Trashy Roses. There is a lot going on in this book. I didn’t even write about the side stories of her sister’s problematic relationship with her husband or the weird things going on between her two co-workers. It is a quick read, despite how many things happen, and, honestly, it is rather realistic (you know, despite the whole apparently legal prostitution thing). While I got frustrated with some of the way things happened, as it felt more like a way for the author to draw things out (I’m looking at you laptop), I still accepted many of the things as realistic/capably happening. I mean, sometimes, we take the easy way out and fall in love with the “loser” musician rather than the tattooed graphic designer with a future, right? I did laugh and smile at many parts.

Stranger soundtrack:

 

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