I received an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
I’d like to begin this review with a public service announcement. This message is for all men, fictional or not, young or old, single or taken: Never, and I mean never, use the word “hella” in a sentence. I know what you’re thinking, “But Erin, sometimes it just works with the point I’m trying to ma-“. No. It does not. You are mistaken. I know that this may seem a bit random, but there is a reason I’ve started my review with this message—I almost put this book down when not even 15% in, during a sex scene, when the male lead used the word “hella” to describe how intense the foreplay with the female lead was. To be entirely honest, I did put the book down for a few hours. I put it in the equivalent of book time out.
Nothing puts a damper on a sex scene more than out-dated, unnecessary slang.
The above rant aside, I did enjoy “The List.” Cassie, a dirt scientist, makes up an elaborate list of sexual acts to impress her sisters. Cassie is forced to take her computer to a repair shop when her computer freezes on the word document containing 10 of the most salacious sex acts Cassie’s mind could come up with. Naturally, the man who assists her in her desperate time of need is not only the owner of the chain of computer retail stores, he is the hottest man Cassie has ever seen. After reading the list on Cassie’s laptop, Simon does what any ballsy, red-blooded male would do: He offers to help her check off every item on what has become her sexual bucket list.
With a premise like that, you really can’t go wrong (unless the male lead utters the word “hella” on more than one occasion, which fortunately Simon did not). The book was filled to the brim with sexy-as-sin, adventurous sex scenes, and the author did a great job of tying the list into the romance. While Cassie and Simon could have easily worked their way through the list and moved on, each item required planning and time spent together outside the bedroom. This gave the couple time to develop more than a sexual relationship.
Although it did get a bit taxing reading about Simon’s wealth and reasons for hiding said wealth from Cassie, I understood its tie in to the plot. I do, however, wish that his sister, Junie, had gotten more screen time. Simon’s love and devotion for his down-syndrome sister was absolutely touching—it made him a relatable character. An impressive feat for a character who can’t seem to stop mentioning his bank account balance.
“Sweet” is the first word that comes to mind when describing Cassie. She never really gets up the courage to tell Simon how she feels about him. While she certainly knows what she wants out of her sex life, she doesn’t seem to put herself out there in any other way. My favorite part of the book was the moment when she finally stood up to her sisters and told them how she felt about her relationship with them. It was the first time in 178 pages that she showed some backbone.
What I’m trying to say here is this: I liked “The List,” a lot. In fact, book time out notwithstanding, I finished it in one day. There were a few things that could transform this book from a 3.5 star story into a 5 star one. A bit more character development would have gone a long way toward making it an incredible read. As it stands, the novel had a fun premise, steamy sex scenes and a sweet, happy ending. I’m glad Fenske hinted at a follow up book in the epilogue, I will never say no to a light and fluffy book to curl up with.