“I received another picture and then she said she would send better pictures when her kids were in school momentarily.”
– Off The Rebound (Location 162)
From Amazon: After weeks of confusion and uncertainty a sticky situation between two lovers ends. That same weekend a new situation begins. Jay is on the rebound and catches what basically lands in his lap. Jay is intrigued by the new lady and her approach. A new journey begins with a woman who is determined to have Jay in her clutches before the week is out.
This first person narrative sees the protagonist, Jay, recounting a sexual liaison. Considering that this is a recollection, I found it difficult to read as the narrative often switched between past and present tense. In addition to this, the language was highly colloquial and informal. There were a number of grammatical errors, missing words, and incorrect formations of phrases and idioms.
“The guy sitting to my left had definitely saw it as well…” (Location 176)
“I knew there was a chance that it would throw her aloof and end this pleasure session.”(Locations 487-488)
“I was reminded of an almost identical lobby where a woman I dealt with in 2012 lived.” (Location 270).
What does “dealt with” mean? I know what the author means but this is a strange way to say it. We’re all adults here, so why not use “slept with” or “fucked” or “dated”, which ever is more appropriate. These are some of the errors or literary choices that made the narrative difficult to read. There were also moments of odd word choice, as illustrated below. The use of “optical observers” is entirely out of place within the context, tone and style of the rest of the story.
“I peered around the dim apartment my optical observers took note of an entrance to another room on the other side of the mattress.” (Locations 285-286)
There was a fair amount of internal dialogue, which was often indistinguishable from the rest of the narrative. I think that if the narrative had been written in the past tense, as is usual for this sort of story, the internal dialogue would have been less jarring, out of place and awkward to read. As you can see from the excerpt below, there is a blend of past and present tense, that simply do not gel well.
“I continued to laugh at her messages and didn’t believe her. She’s just saying anything to keep me interested and get me to her apartment, I thought to myself.” (Locations 188-189)
Overall, I cannot say that this was a particularly well-written piece but I think that a change in tense and a fair amount of solid editing would go a long way.
I struggled to see the “sexy” aspect of the story as the women in the story came across and juvenile, especially when you consider that the recounted liaison happens with a 34 years old with kids. India takes time out between blowing Jay to bath her kid. She has the strangest way of drinking vodka and soda, which is mentioned more than once but never explained or broached by the protagonist. He, himself, wonders why she drinks it this way but never asks. So the inclusion of this quirk seems to just dangle in the narrative.
“She sat on the edge of the bed, took a few swigs of the vodka and then the soda…” (Locations 470-471)
I think that it was meant to alert the reader to how strange this woman was, even though she was outwardly or seemingly “normal”, but this should have been added to the narrative towards the end. This could have been done by adding a line like “I should have known that something was off by the way she drank her vodka”. This would have tied the story together nicely.
Jay wasn’t much better, in terms of characterisation, in that he came across as belligerent and childish. I think the author was going for a display of masculinity through stoicism but it presented as a douche. And no amount of self-reflection or admitting it to himself will change the way the character is read.
The sex, in this case the blow job, wasn’t really that exciting. I found the erotic nature of the act and the woman’s eagerness were dulled by the mediocre writing. I simply couldn’t get into it. Between cooking, bathing her kids, sucking Jay’s dick and one of her kids coming into the bedroom (after head had been given), I just could not see the “sexy” element. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t care that India has kids. Single mom’s need pleasure too. It’s just that this story was written in a very blasé manner, when it came to how those kids were handled in this situation.
Ultimately, most of the narrative is superfluous here. The author should have left out the lengthy build-up, which didn’t add tension or anticipation, and focused the bulk of the story on the actual act. He should consider fleshing out the aspects of domination alluded to by the protagonist. Jays’ previous flavour of the month, Venus, was entirely unimportant to the reader and held no sway over the direction of the narrative, because you can’t really “rebound” from a fuck buddy gig, but took up a large portion of the story initially.
I would have liked to have seen a brief build-up between our two main character, the sexting and establishment is important, then the sexual (hopefully erotic) act, followed by the weird overly familiar, attached, clingy behaviour that comes from India after the sexual encounter. And all of this could have been written as if Jay were telling the story to a friend, who would be eager to hear the tale because this story speaks a universal truth to everyone out there, especially those who enjoy casual hook-ups and one night stands: don’t stick your dick in crazy.
My rating: 1½/5
This review was requested by the author.
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