Willing Victim

Willing Victim - Cara McKenna 3.5 starsThis book was hard for me to rate. It was hard for me to read, too, but we'll get to that in a minute.I'll admit that before even reading this, I was skeptical. Rape fantasies are not my thing. But I'd seen so many of my GR friends reading (and loving) this that I figured I'd give it a try. It also didn't hurt that I'd already read a little something called Dirty Thirty by her and drooled all over myself while doing so. To say I'm a fan is an understatement.So, even with trepidation, I started this. The first 30% of this book was tough. Super tough. While I liked Laurel's character from the get-go, I didn't like Flynn right away. In fact, I was put off by his brusqueness and dismissal of her. Once we got further into the story, I understood why he acted the way he did, but that doesn't mean I like it any better. ;) Besides being put-off by his attitude, we're thrown right into voyeur sex. That did all sorts of fucked up shit to my stomach. Granted, this was at the very beginning, and they weren't even a couple yet... Didn't matter. My heart, it hurt.Even still, I pushed on. I was intrigued by Flynn's character and was interested to see where Cara would go with this story. So, the thing is, when you know that rape fantasy isn't your bag, it doesn't magically change. The "forced" sex scenes in this book were super tough for me to get through. For me, it was 80% cringe/squinty eyes/dislike and 20% hot sex. The author did a great job in making sure to reiterate that this was consensual sex, and I really thought everything about it was well thought out (from their practically clinical talk, to the "safeword", to her testing him) and appreciated that she did that.With that said, I still couldn't get behind it. Name calling isn't my thing, and it was done excessively, as was the use of my least favorite erotica term. Now, if I could just edit those things out, I think my reaction may have been different.Now that I've bombarded you with the parts of this book I had a hard time with, let me tell you what kept me reading. I loved Flynn. I really did. He was a complex and deep character, something you don't get to see very much in novellas. I really loved his and Laurel's interaction (both sexual and not) when they weren't doing the hard lovin' thing. There were entire passages that I wanted to copy and save for later, just because I loved how they were together. So now you see my dilemma, right? How do I rate a book that I half-loved, half-hated?I'll say this: if you think you can handle the fantasy part of this book, then read it, without a doubt. If you're on the fence about it, still read it. If you're in my shoes and don't like the things I mentioned...well, it's up to you. If name calling and see you next tuesday doesn't bother you, I say you're in the clear and you can go forth and get yourself some hot Flynn. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to bookmark the swoony/steamy parts of this book I loved...