Harlow is a broke college student. When her tuition assistance is taken away, she is faced with a choice: admit to her mother she couldn't hack it on her own or make a lot of money fast.
So she gets a good-paying job.
As a stripper.
She thought it would be easy, but it turn out being sexy is a lot harder than she thought. When a few mishaps work in her favor, she manages to hang on to her job and catch the eye of the Mad Hatter's best-looking bartender, Cam.
She's also caught the eye of someone who wants to do more than look, someone who's decided she's nothing but a tease.
As the clothes come off, Harlow finds herself caught between list and murder, The only thing she knows for sure is that her new risqué job is a lot more than she bargained for.
After reading Jasinda Wilder's Stripped I was really looking forward to a more 'adult' point of view regarding the stripper profession. I didn't want a heroine who was going to cry or vomit every time she had to take her clothes off. I don't know why I find that attitude so repulsive. Perhaps it's my own warring duality on women's sexuality: respect your body vs owning sexual nature. Either way, I was curious to see how this book would reflect that quandary and the cover is amazing, so I figured why not?
The beginning of the story was a strong start (aside from a few things), for me at least. We are introduced to Harlow as she's faced with destitution or stripping. She chooses stripping. For reasons that aren't explained at all (found this to be a big plot hole for me) she cannot ask her parents for help. Maybe pride? Though it didn't go into detail and that bothered me.
She interviews with Adam, the owner of the Mad Hatter's Gentleman's Club.
“So, Harlow. Why do you want to be a stripper?”
“Well, it’s my lifelong dream,” I said, pressing a hand to my chest and batting my eyes.
“Uh-huh,” he said as the bartender set a drink in front of him. He picked it up and took a sip, studying me over the rim of the glass.
I sighed. “I need the money.”
He nodded. “Do you have experience?”
“Well, no. But I undress myself every day, and that seems to be the most important thing I need to know.”
He laughed again. “I like you.”
That probably wasn’t a good thing.
Her initiation into stripping was funny. She's awkward and has no clue what to do, but it works for her. She decides her 'thing' will be to tease. That way she doesn't have to compromise her morals too much and gets to keep some clothes on. Fortunately, the boss agrees and she's able to keep her job, even after some clutzy mistakes.
Thankfully, there's a sexy piece of eyecandy a.k.a a bartender that she can lock eyes with whenever she is feeling self conscious or icky about her new profession.
Unfortunately, there's a creepy stalker guy that steals things and harasses her new roommate.
Now, though Tease is admittedly better than the first book in this series, Torch, it's not by much. Harlow was a bit more colorful as a character, which allowed for more of a connection with her. The introduction and roughly the first 30% was interesting. I adored how awkward she was which led for some pretty cringe-worthy moments in her stripping career. Cam was extremely hot and sweet and that was interesting.
Once again, however, Hebert falls short on the suspense part of the novel. She really needs to rethink the way that she constructs the suspense plot because the reason this guy goes completely nuts is paper thin and completely unbelievable. I literally rolled my eyes and skimmed through that big reveal. I was like 'yeah, right. whatever.' The suspense needs to be more gripping and I could literally see through the entire thing throughout the whole novel. You have to make the reader care, and I just didn't. I knew she would be safe the entire time and really, what's the point in reading if I know that?
And again the romantic plot is so full of fluff that I couldn't breath from it invading my lungs. There's no reason for them to click other than the fact that I'm being told they do. It's too easy and I really don't care! It was hot, I'll give it that. Aside from her clinical use of the word 'vagina'. I can't help it, whenever I read 'vagina' during a sex scene I'm immediately transferred to Anatomy II and no one wants to be reminded of cadavers at that time.
Giving it an extra star because it made me laugh and I liked it more than Torch. So there's that. Read if you want something to fill the time, but don't really expect to be blown away.