Guest Review: By Appointment Only by Janice Maynard

Posted August 31, 2008 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Brie‘s review of By Appointment Only by Janice Maynard.(Holly: her website is pretty)

It was love (or at least lust) at first sight for Hannah and Morgan. After a whirlwind romance, Morgan’s more than eager for marriage—but Hannah has a few hang-ups and is terrified of that commitment. She suggests a couples’ premarital ‘sex therapy’ she’s heard of, hoping he’ll call her bluff, but he’s so determined to win her hand that he agrees. Suddenly they find themselves in a session with two other couples, talking to a married pair of doctors whose business is planning sex ‘scenarios’ to help couples make sure they’re compatible.

By Appointment Only follows Hannah and Morgan as they navigate their way to sexual fulfillment as a couple. Morgan has just proposed marriage to Hannah and she’s accepted. But Hannah is having second thoughts. She loves Morgan with all her heart but is convinced that all marriages fail and if she and that Morgan get married, they will fail as well. Hanna thinks that she and Morgan are fine the way they are. Morgan senses Hannah’s reluctance to tie the knot, and after she jokingly brings up sexual therapy, he decides that might be just what they need. The couple embarks on their sexual therapy journey hesitantly, but through their hot and heavy sessions they learn more and more about each other. But will it be enough to assure Hannah that marriage is the right step for her and Morgan?

There are two secondary couples that the story also follows. Shaun and Danita; a couple twenty years married and Timmy and Rachelle; newlyweds with a four month old daughter. Both couples stories were an interesting contrast to Hannah and Morgan. Shaun and Danita are attempting to revive their sexual relationship while Timmy and Rachelle, at her mother’s insistence, are trying to keep theirs from crumbling.

I wish I could say that I really enjoyed By Appointment Only. I liked the concept, but it never really pulled me in. One big problem I had was that the main couple’s beginning relationship is completely absent from the book. Their first meeting is written as the intro, but after that the story skips ahead to a time after they are already engaged. All of Hannah and Morgan’s dating and getting to know each other time period is quickly summed up in a paragraph, leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. This type of story telling is fine for the secondary characters, but for the main couple I would have liked to see them fall in love. Also, I never fully understood why Morgan thought that a week of sexual therapy would convince Hannah that they should be married. Couple’s therapy, maybe, but sexual therapy?

My final gripe is a small one, and it is that “my love” is an endearment used not only by Morgan to Hannah but by Shaun to Danita. I know it sounds silly that I’m bothered by that, but it niggled at me that both men used it. An endearment like that seems like it should be exclusive to one couple in a book, not two.

Overall,By Appointment Only was an interesting story. Reading about three couples that are already committed to their partners and working on staying that way was a different approach to erotica, but for me the book was not as satisfying as I would have liked.

3 out of 5

This book is available from NAL Trade. You can by it here or here in e-format.

Read more from Brie at Cupid’s Chokehold.

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