There are so many reasons to recommend this book; it’s clever, funny, sexy, sweet, chock-full of Hot Sex, makes spying/being spied on by your neighbour seem kind of hot and not at all creepy, has diverse characters, and did I mention the sex? Alisha Rai is becoming one of my favourite contemporary romance authors and this book shows why.
While Serving Pleasure can stand alone, it’s the second book in Alisha Rai’s Pleasure Series, which follows the three Malik sisters, a trio of Indian-American women who run a family restaurant together.
In this particular book, Rana Malik, the eldest sister, is brash and bold. She crosses lines and pushes boundaries, all with the intent of protecting the people she cares about. She’s also on a mission of self-improvement. She’s determined to turn herself from the family’s black sheep into the daughter of her conservative mother’s dreams. Which essentially boils down to Rana ditching her casual hook-ups, and falling in love with Mr. Right With A Law Or Medical Degree. The only problem? She just can’t seem to stop perving on The Hottie next door.
The Hottie is Micah Hale, a brooding artist, who fled London after surviving a brutal attack. Micah is struggling to conceal his scars while he attempts to get his life and career back on track. And, unbeknownst to Rana, is actually very aware of her Peeping Tom habits.
While both Rana and Micah are shouldering the burden of disappointing their parents, in many ways Micah is a foil to Rana. Where she is an extrovert, he is introverted; where she acts on impulse, he carefully plots. Yet there’s one thing they both agree on — despite a deep fascination, they really aren’t right for each other. But when Micah takes their voyeuristic game to a whole new level and masturbates in front of his window, all bets are off. So rather than fight their attraction they agree to indulge it, while maintaining very strict rules. You know, so they don’t do anything stupid like fall in love.
Like all good voyeur romances (yes, I am declaring voyeurism a sub-genre!) Serving Pleasure blends emotion and sensuality to create a sizzling chemistry between Rana and Micah. The fact that they’ve both abstained from sex for a while means when they do finally come together they essentially gorge themselves. In fact, due to a lack of condoms the first couple of sexual encounters they have together are … oral in nature. Not that I’m complaining. At all.
Rana and Micah are both imperfect but they’re also incredibly compelling and relatable in their imperfection. It’s easy to understand why they react to each other and to their families the way they do. They’re intensely vulnerable to the people they love, and need to learn how to trust the idea that they are actually good enough. And they’ll have you cheering for them as they do it.
Yay or nay?
God, yes! Honestly, there are so many reasons to recommend this book; it’s clever, funny, sexy, sweet, chock-full of Hot Sex, makes spying/being spied on by your neighbour seem kind of hot and not at all creepy, has diverse characters, and did I mention the sex? Alisha Rai is becoming one of my favourite contemporary romance authors and this book shows why.
Content advisory: Super explicit, with voyeuristic themes, a hero who loves giving oral sex, and a heroine you will want to get drunk with