Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee

Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee
Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)
Photo Opportunity by Jess Dee (Tanner Siblings, Book 1)

A friends to lovers story that doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights—or depths—that I prefer in my romances.

I love me a good friends-to-lovers story—it’s one of my favourite pairings. In theory, Jess Dee’s story in which the hero, Daniel, decides he’s had enough of being platonic friends with childhood friend, Amy, and executes a plan to change their relationship status…well, in theory it ticks the right boxes for me. Bonus for being an erotic romance, even though, as I may have mentioned a few times before, I’m so very picky with erotica.

Well…it kind of work and it didn’t. The fact that I’m a sucker for friends to lovers probably kept my interest longer than the book should have. Unfortunately, it just didn’t have enough emotional depth for me to care much about the characters.

Part of the problem was that too much of the characters are revealed in their POVs. There’s a lot of talking and explaining and reflection and…there’s no mystery. The characters have a genuine sweetness about them—and sometimes it works to the story’s detriment. The conflicts are flimsy and the characters don’t have to put very much on the line.

As an erotic romance, the sex is explicit but not acrobatic. And thank goodness for that! In fact, this book breaks the number one rule* for erotic romance because there’s no buttsecks to be found. (Unless I skimmed past it—but really, how would that even be possible?) For that alone, I’m glad I picked this book up. Yet in the absence of any real emotional resonance, the sex scenes at times felt disconnected from the story.

* This is a tongue in cheek rule, not an actual rule. Just so there are no misunderstandings…

Yay or nay?

This is a friends to lovers story that doesn’t quite reach the emotional heights—or depths—that I prefer in my romances. A tighter plot and a clearer sense of what’s at stake for the characters would have made all the difference.

This review is based on a print edition of this book.

Title: Photo Opportunity (excerpt)
Series: Tanner Siblings (Book 1)
Author: Jess Dee
Publisher: Samhain
C format: 9781605041513 (2009)
Ebook: 9781599989303 (2/5/2008)

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  1. Anna Cowan says:

    super hot cover, though ;-)

    I found this a bit with the e-books I won in your “quickie” contest. The sex was hot, but the emotional world felt a little bit too tacked on.

  2. Kat says:

    Which ones did you get? I was thinking of trying one of her threesome books, but I need great emotional and psychological development in threesome stories.

  3. Anna Cowan says:

    it was actually her two threesome stories that I ended up getting (Full House and Going All In – I think the third in the poker trilogy is a threesome, but without any emotional tie between the men other than sharing the same woman). 

    Probably still totally worth reading yourself and seeing what you think, but for me the emotional stuff turned me off more than anything else. I think threesomes are tricky to get right emotionally, and in only 8 chapters she went for quite a lot of backstory and internal angst.

    Going All In worked as a relationship (but for me stretching it, emotionally), but even though Full House was the more engaging book I couldn’t finish it. She writes this amazing, emotionally intense, really exposing scene between the two men which made it impossible for me to accept the woman into their relationship.

    Anyway, like I said, probably worth forming your own opinion – her writing is very engaging.

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