Title: St. Barts
Author: Emma Cross
Publisher/Year: AuthorHouse 11/7/12
Length: 456 Pages
Have your ever wanted to escape the humdrum? Find yourself in paradise? That is where Sunny O’Hara has landed. She’s in St. Bart’s, a slice of Southern France in the Caribbean. But this is no vacation. After the death of her father, she decides to build rental villas for high-end tourists. But her idea of putting down roots is set aside when she meets a famous actor. After putting her personal life on hold for years, she decides to indulge in herself and convinces him to act as her sexual mentor. Sven Larson may be jaded, but he’s not stupid. Sunny is the best thing that ever happened to him. But can their love affair transcend geography? And someone who wants him-desperately- refuses to let him go. This is a story about a curious love affair between a virgin and a movie star and the challenges they face trying tor turn fiction into fact
Based on the excerpt that i read on this book, i was really looking forward to the story that would unravel. I love it when we have an established male lead, which is exactly what we get with Sven – he’s basically names the ‘Sexiest Man on the Planet’ and he’s coming into his own in Hollywood, becoming more of a mainstream actor. The other piece is that we have a VERY innocent female lead in Sunny – and while she’s been really sheltered her entire life, she’s traveled and has had life experiences, none of which count when you want to make the transition into womanhood. (cliche right?)
Anyhow, this story picks up when Sunny’s on her way home to St. Barts – a place that she hasn’t been since she was roughly 7 years old, so that she can return her father’s remains to be beside her mothers, and to reclaim the home on the island that her father left her. Sunny has made it her goal to try to reinvent herself on the island, and to find some peace and happiness. In doing this, she also decides that part of her future is to take the land next to hers and make it into something that can provide a future and an income to her, by creating a villa destination for the wealthy.
Sven and Sunny’s paths cross when Sven is on the island to film a movie, which just happens to be produced by Sunny’s father’s old boss, someone that Sunny knows typically has ulterior motives for, and is weary of because she learns that he wants her land. All that aside, this story really takes the focus away from that stuff and more towards Sunny growing up and asking for Sven’s help to do that.
Throughout this story, we see a teacher/student relationship build between Sven so that he can teach her all things sensual and physical, all the while, trying to keep emotions at bay. In the background of course is Sven’s best friend Clyde who seems quite jealous that Sunny is taking his best friend away from him as a wingman. There’s also Eden who’s an actress and a social climber who’s trying to use Sven’s celebrity to further her career.
While there’s really at best some lukewarm scenening between the 2, meaning that their encounters are quite tepid in my opinion, we get the expected tension and anxiety when Sunny and Sven part ways because the movie wraps and on that same night, Sunny is attacked. What’s a story in this genre without that right?
It took me until the last 100 pages or so to start to get into it and really begin reading at a faster clip. I feel like it took a while to build up and i kept waiting for things to heat up and i feel like they never really did. There were moments perhaps when we were righto n the edge of something steamy, but i guess my expectations are a little higher since i’ve read quite a few books in the genre – so i was left wanting a little bit.
All in all though, what we get here is an average book, that has an interesting story that would have been better if it were taken just a bit further. The bones are there, just not elaborated on quite enough. Some of the flowery writing detracted from it a bit as well, trying to paint a picture of surroundings and things a bit more than were necessary. At least i can say that it wasn’t so bad that i had to put it down. I just didn’t love it. I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts though.