Saturday, September 7, 2019

Fluffy by Julia Kent

Rating: | 7 hours 4 minutes | Contemporary Romance | Prosaic Press | 4/30/2019
I heard the beginning of Fluffy on The Story Bites podcast --a podcast that plays and discusses audiobook snippets. In the Fluffy snippet Mallory, a recently unemployed house stager, is answering a Craigslist ad for a fluffer--assuming they mean a house fluffer. There is sort of a comedy of errors as she misinterprets everything the client is saying over the phone and the clip ended with her heading to the job. I thought the narration was good and I wanted to see where it went so I was super excited to pick it up and….Whooo, this book left a bad taste in my mouth. 

I’ll start with the two things I liked; the cover and the narration. This series uses some of my favorite romance cover motifs. The models are realistic and standing in a real-world environment, the handwritten font is fun and I like the addition of the feather on the cover. I did this on audio and narrator Erin Mallon is fantastic. I enjoyed her delivery, she really goes all-in on her characters.

Unfortunately, absolutely nothing else in this book worked for me. I could spend paragraphs complaining about it but I won't. Every scene in this book felt like it went on for way too long, the  entire plot is nonsensical, Mallory is oblivious about things for longer than seems realistic, and the hero--Mallory’s high school crush who sweeps into shut down the unsanctioned porn shoot-- has the personality of a piece of white bread in a suit.

And then there are my nitpicks. I think it was extremely tone deaf for Kent to make all of the characters of color either service workers (one who even has gang tattoos because of course) or pornstar grotesques. The book goes out of its way to remind us twice that Mallory was scarred by seeing Saw 3 when she was six. BUT THIS BOOK EXPLICITLY TAKES PLACE IN 2019 AND SHE IS EXPLICITLY 28 SO SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN 15 in 2006 when Saw III came out!!! How did Kent not fact check that ?

A lot of the extended scenes in this book involve Mallory and her friends giggling and asking random people if they know what a fluffer is and I'll admit I didn't actually know the term until I saw that episode of New Girl.

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