It took me a few chapters to become interested in Calculated Exposure by Holly Trent, but once I did I sped through it in record time. The characters are sassy and the situations they get into are very realistic, in fact I have friends who could easily be Curt or Erica. It was entertaining and I do recommend it, but sadly it fits into the I don’t hate it but I don’t love it category.
She went to Ireland looking for a muse, but found a mathematician instead.
Photojournalist Erica Desoto has spent five weeks in Western Europe hoping for inspiration, with just one decent photo to show for her effort. And that shot was accidental. As her sabbatical comes to a close, she’s ready to give up on her portfolio altogether.
Serial dater Curt Ryan isn’t looking for love…or even a distraction. With a PhD to finish and his family under intense scrutiny by the Irish press, he already has too much on his plate. But when his godchildren barrel into a pretty American who just happens to live a few hours from where he studies in North Carolina, a new distraction is exactly what he gets.
Back in the States, Erica and Curt initiate an incendiary no-strings-attached affair that inevitably has both questioning what they want…and what they’re willing to do to get it. Mathematician Curt risks emotion clouding his logic. For Erica, keeping her muse close may mean embracing the exact things she ran from as a young woman. Is exposing their hearts a calculated risk both are willing to take?
Calculated Exposure is a good read and did it’s job of entertaining me but it didn’t knock my socks off. For starters, it took a good four chapters before I became fully interested. I didn’t hate it at that point, but nothing major had caught my attention. I don’t know if it was just that slow in the beginning or if it took me that long to adjust to Trent’s writing style. She’s not very descriptive, which isn’t a big problem per say. It’s a nice reprieve honestly because many authors will overload the story with too many details. I actually like being able to picture things my way instead of having images rubbed into my eyeballs. But there is such a thing as not enough details and I’m afraid this novel falls into that category. It even caused the ending to feel abrupt and in a weird spot, even though technically it isn’t.
It may not be as descriptive or as indepth as I’d prefer, but Calculated Exposure makes up for it by being realistic and not full of stereotypical situations. I really liked that! There are a few corny things, but you expect a couple in every novel anyway. Like the fact that Curt is Irish, Erica is Cuban, they meet in Ireland yet somehow they live near each other in the States. I’m not a fan of that much irony. For the most part though, every situation is completely plausible which is refreshing. Even the characters were more lifelike by being less dramatic with more real life characteristics. You see it especially with Curt and Erica’s relationship. Both only wanted sex, so it made total sense that they get nasty in no time. When their relationship continues, when neither of them planned on it to, they take it in stride. There aren’t any ‘does he or does he not like me’, or ‘I’m freaking out about my feelings so I’m going to be an ass’ moments. The two of them figure it out in a realistic and mostly mature way. Which I actually prefer. A realistic union vs an exaggerated fictitious one is a lot easier to connect to. So, major high five to you Miss Trent, you did a splendid job portraying this relationship!
If you are wanting a good ‘ol romance without a lot of fuss, Calculated Exposure is the book for you. It’s not clogged with the usual stereotypes that can kill a romance. Nor do you have to put up with whiney characters and unbelievable situations. It’s real, yet it’s basic so we can fill in gaps with our own imagination. It may be a bit too basic for my taste but it is still a sweet romance, nonetheless.