TAKING IT OFF
Released November 24, 2015
Can’t get enough Magic Mike? Let bestselling author Claire Kent introduce you to Matt Stokes, the sexy-as-sin male stripper and club owner who knows what it really means to bare everything.
Preschool teacher Elizabeth Marks isn’t exactly thrilled to be attending a college friend’s bachelorette party at a male strip joint. The sights—screaming women, half-naked hunks—are just as sleazy as she expected, with one exception: the man standing at the back, radiating sensual heat despite being fully clothed. When Elizabeth takes refuge outside, he chases her down and dares her to stay. It turns out that her mystery man is the owner—and, as tonight’s headliner, the one guy Elizabeth wouldn’t mind seeing naked.
Matt Stokes lives his life one day, one dance at a time. But as he challenges Elizabeth to get in touch with the passionate, impulsive woman behind her prim façade, she brings out another side of him as well. This girl isn’t just another pretty face—or paying customer—and Matt can’t help wanting more. Onstage, he’s used to exposing his body. Now Matt will have to expose his heart. Because when it comes to real love, that’s the one striptease that matters.
♥ ♥ ♥ 3.5 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥
I’m not going to lie, that cover and that blurb totally got me that I just had to read this one. While in the end I did like the book, I unfortunately did not love it as I had hoped that I would.
Elizabeth is a preschool teacher that comes from a wealthy family. She is quite the introvert and uptight. She dreams of finding the man of her dreams and settling down to start a family. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened for her yet. In the beginning of the book, she goes to a strip club where her friend is having her bachelorette party. Right of the back she lets you know how much she hates being there. She doesn’t find anything remotely sexy about scantily clad men grinding around and on women. She can not wait to get out of there. And that right there, was what put me off of Elizabeth. I thought she was too prudish for my taste which is why I just couldn’t connect with her.
Then she sees Matt across the room, and she is instantly consumed by lust for him. There is something different and mysterious about him that lures her in. She resists, however, and tries to ignore what she feels. Matt notices her as well, and ends up challenging her to give the club a second try. She is to come to his club Bare Assets twice a week for a whole month so she can watch all the shows from start to finish. Elizabeth doesn’t like backing down from a challenge so she agrees. Each moment she is in his club, the attraction between them seems to grow in intensity until they can’t hold back. Matt isn’t her dream man, but she will allow herself to loosen up a bit and enjoy him. Meanwhile, Matt knows he will never be good enough for someone like Elizabeth, but he too will let himself have her, even if their time is limited.
I’d say this was a good easy read. There wasn’t an over abundance of drama, but there were a few scenes. I never really got to connect to Elizabeth, but I was pretty happy with her growth, and how she began to accept herself as she was without always thinking what others would think. Matt I was able to connect more with through his POV. I felt bad for his upbringing and hated how he viewed himself. He was a pretty great guy and had done well for himself considering. He was also really freaking sexy, not point denying it. I had a bit of trouble feeling a real chemistry between these two that was beyond lust, though. When they got together, it was explosive. They were going at it like bunnies. There was just so much sex, and it was hot don’t get me wrong, but I wanted more focus on their relationship. It almost seemed like every chapter had to have sex in it which I think is why it sometimes felt like the book was dragging on a bit. I didn’t care for any of the secondary characters, well except for Robbie, he was awesome. I hated Elizabeth’s friend Melissa the most and I felt like her story line was pretty unnecessary. The last part of the book was definitely a lot better for me. This is where I began to enjoy it. Overall, it was a good read and worth reading to meet Matt and Robbie. They were the best part of the book for me.
Claire Kent has been writing romance novels since she was twelve years old. She has a PhD in British literature and, when she’s not writing, teaches English at the university level. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Noelle Adams.