Then, one day, I meet a man. He's in my club, front and center. He watches me do my routine, and his gaze is full of hunger. Not the kind of desire I'm used to though. It's something different. Something hotter, deeper, and more possessive. I know who he is; of course I do. Everyone knows who Dawson Kellor is. He's People Magazine's Sexiest Man alive. He's the hottest actor in Hollywood. He's the man hand-picked for the role of Rhett Butler in the long-awaited remake of Gone With the Wind.
He's the kind of man who can have any woman in the entire world with a mere crook of his finger. So what's he doing looking at me like he has to have me? And how do I resist him when he looks at me with those intoxicating, changeable, quicksilver eyes?
I'm a virgin, and he's an American icon of male sexuality. I'm a stripper, and he's a man used to getting anything and everything he wants. And he wants me. I know I should say no, I know he's the worst kind of player…but what my mind knows, my body and my heart may not.
And then things get complicated.
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published August 16th 2013
Where to find Stripped:
Where to find Jasinda Wilder:
Over the last few months I've heard so many great things about Jasinda Wilder's books that I decided to download a few to see what they were all about. Today I decided to take the plunge and I am thrilled to say that I am now a fan. I cannot wait to read her other released books and I will DEFINITELY buy her upcoming releases.
Yep...her texts with such love for this book made me drop everything and buy it. I made a questionable decision to start it at 11:00 pm one night, and of course one chaptered myself into a finished book at 3:30 am. Thank goodness I didn't have anything going on the next day but...even if...it was sooo worth it!
The story starts off with Grey--a sweet southern girl, the sheltered daughter of a pastor, and beloved by her mom. These first chapters show us the constraints of living with her pastor father and the lengths her mom would go to to create a smooth family life for all of them. I'll note, here, that some reviewers seemed less than pleased with the pacing of the story but I thought this part of the story was absolutely necessary to help develop the character of Grey. Without the beginning, I would've felt cheated. This beginning part establishes her naivety and innocence and strength and willpower.
Yeah...I would not have been able to believe the rest of the story..at all..if we had not spent some time with her while she was in high school. We couldn't have bought the sweet innocent southern girl who is grieving the loss of her mom and is at her wits end when she starts making desperate decisions in California...so completely necessary!
When Grey ends up in LA for film school without a soul to support her, you feel the aching loneliness, the grit of determination to succeed and the desire to make her dreams come true...even if it means taking on the impossible...becoming a stripper. This part was hard to read; Jasinda Wilder didn't hold back and her poor Grey suffered. I felt her revulsion, her hungry belly, and her shame. I just wanted to fold Grey up in my arms and protect her from the awfulness. It's through this hideous job, though, that she first comes in to contact with Dawson. Wonderful, hot, delicious, sweet, world famous actor, Dawson. The dance and connection she finds with him when asked to dance in his VIP room was tantalizing. And then done. Hmmm.
This take on a stripper story was a little bit different than the Rock Chick's embracing of it, huh Shel. That might be why it was a little bit weird to me how revolted she was by the whole thing...because it was the opposite spectrum where the dancers are not treated well. I think it was so extreme for her with how she was raised and told to think of embracing your sexuality and self as a woman to be somewhat vile and dirty so she couldn't handle it at all. Thank goodness we see her open herself up a bit as the story goes on, because she needed to not hate herself. I hated that.
24 hours later, Grey discovers that she's assigned to be Dawson's assistant through her film internship and their lives get extremely complicated and our lives (as readers) filled with angst. As they begin the push and pull to find their footing as employee/employer, friends, lovers I found myself having to take some deep breaths and will myself to hang in there. I soooo wanted things to work out and yet I could understand Grey's reticence and fear. I was fearful for her. Luckily Dawson is exactly as good as I wanted him to be (read: he's nearly the most imperfect PERFECT, swoonworthy book boyfriend a girl could ask for). He has the patience of a saint and never fails to communicate his thoughts, intentions, and feelings to her. I absolutely LOVED this about him...he was such a great communicator even when Grey couldn't always reciprocate as quickly or deeply as he would've liked.
Dawson is freaking great! I really, really liked him and his desire to help her out even before they got to know each other. He recognized a kinship between the two of them, and luckily for him he was right. The journey to them being together was paced exactly as it should be. I was really worried about her too, and how a young girl alone working at a seedy strip joint could possibly be taken advantage of anywhere..let alone in the not so nice parts of Los Angeles. He did communicate enough of what his intentions were trying not to make her run from him, but he knew when to back down. He was frustrated but never made her feel like she owed him something or feel bad about herself for that. He was so dang awesome! *sigh. Need more like him, please.
While there were a few scary, angsty moments, what I loved best about this novel was the last 15%. Jasinda wrote an ending that was very satisfactory and fulfilling. I wasn't left to wonder and worry about Grey and Dawson; I just felt happy. So thank you for that, Jasinda. I loved this modern day fairy tale and I cannot wait to dig in to all of her other books.
Me too! I was on the verge of a freakout, but it ended so well. There is something to say for stand-a-lones and this one is freaking perfect! I think we each have another series already downloaded..and can't wait to devour those! Eeep!
Shelley: 5 Stars
Courtney: 5 Stars