Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Seduction and Snacks By Tara Sivec

Title: Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers #1)
Author: Tara Sivec
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Humour

Goodreads rating: 4.49 out of 5.00 (5, 000+ ratings)
Goodreads link

Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he's asleep) toddler a better life.

When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.

With Carter's undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire's panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after. 
Warning: contains explicit sex, profanity and enough sarcasm to choke a horse.

Review by Chantelle

WARNING! This novel is for readers who are strictly 18+ years and over, and unless you enjoy crude, genitalia related jokes, you will not enjoy this novel.

As it so happens, I myself am partial to a few inappropriate jokes, I loved this novel. 

This "chocolate covered love story" follows Claire, a twenty year old college student who absolutely abhors anything associated with pregnancy and young children. So naturally, she finds herself in a predicament after being knocked up from a drunken one night stand. Five years later, Claire is working (having dropped out of college) to support her toddler and runs into Carter, the guy who got her pregnant. Carter who also happens to be completely dreamy, and who can't forget that girl five years ago who smelt like chocolate...

At this point, I don't think you completely understand the extent to how crude this book is. Don't get me wrong, this book is hands down the funniest book I have ever read. I have never laughed so often in a book, making it an incredibly enjoyable read. However I do admit that this book is not for everyone and the writing is by no means sophisticated, though rather similar to a conversation with a sarcastic, inappropriately outspoken girlfriend. To give you an idea, the word vagina is mentioned 9 times in the first chapter alone. NINE times in about ten pages!

Tara Sivec's seemingly endless supply of humour and sarcastic one-liners associated with every contemporary aspect of female milestones including dating, pregnancy, and parenthood make the tone of this novel incredibly relateable and likeable. Tara Sivec is the bestfriend that my uterus never had. 

Click for an extract from the first chapter
The simple truth is I just never thought pushing a tiny human out of me that turns my vagina into something resembling roast beef that no man would ever want look at, let alone bang, was a stellar idea. End of story. 
And let’s face it people, no one is ever honest with you about child birth. Not even your mother. 
“It’s a pain you forget all about once you have that sweet little baby in your arms.” 
Bullshit. I CALL BULLSHIT. Any friend, cousin, or nosey-ass stranger in the grocery store that tells you it’s not that bad is a lying sack of shit. Your vagina is roughly the size of the girth of a penis. It has to stretch and open and turn into a giant bat cave so the life-sucking human you’ve been growing for nine months can angrily claw its way out.

Despite the never ending supply of humour, it does not completely hide the mediocre plot or lack of character development in this novel. Sivec writes narratives from both Claire and Carter's points of view, but as the story progresses, you can't help but notice that they have exactly the same personality, defeating the allure of dual perspectives. In parts, Carter's point of view was also overly cheesy and romanticised detracting from the frank honesty of Claire's narrative; an Achilles heel of many female authors. Minor inconsistencies such as these, including when Gavin, their toddler, brings Carter a book titled "The Vagina Monologues" (as if a toddler could read the title!), and the often unnecessary 'steamy' scenes were irksome. The humour was however so great that I could not help but give this novel a high overall rating; here's a taste:
“I remember that night fondly. And by fondly, I mean with bitter resentment toward all things alcoholic and with a penis.”
“I had been out of the game for too long. I couldn’t even get drunk and flirt anymore. I could however, get drunk and look like a stroke victim.”
My departing comment, is some advice. Do not read this book in public. You will be judged for laughing so loud and often at an inanimate object.

Overall: 10/10 (initially), 7/10 overall
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5