Move over 50shades – great review by Roisin Peddle from The Daily Shift

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March 16, 2013 by aoifebrennan

Move over 50shades – great review by Roisin Peddle from The Daily Shift

It’s probably understandable that the market became flooded with erotic fiction after the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. The quality of the thousands of efforts on the Amazon e-book store varies wildly; there are straight up rip-offs of EL James’ tome and then there are novels that are vastly better than the instigator of the bonkbuster revival.

The Cougar Diairies, Part I, by Aoife Brennan is one of the latter. While Fifty Shades of Grey centred on the unlikely sexual adventures of two rather unpleasant sock-puppet characters, the situations in this novel are all too real.

In another post here on The Daily Shift, the author Aoife Brennan wrote about her reasons for writing her novel; and she has certainly succeeded in writing something that’s both raunchy and entertaining.

Aoife Brennan is forty-year-old single mother with two sons. She’s currently going through a nasty divorce with an ex-husband, who almost never sees their kids. He also thinks nothing of letting himself in while she’s out and helping himself to the belongings he thinks are his. Professionally, things aren’t much better; she works at a web-hosting company that looks set to become victim of the recession. Even her parents are having problems, with her father behaving very oddly.

On top of all this, Aoife decides that it’s time she got back in the saddle (oo-er). With the help of some online dating, and a sex god called Chris, she gets back on the horse and then some.

Her wry narrative captures the spirit of a woman who finds herself thrust back in the dating scene after almost twenty years. It also speaks to any woman who feels sometimes a little confused by what men want from women.

Contrast with Fifty Shades of Grey where the virginal Ana receives orgasms from Christian Grey merely gazing at her. Ana has parents, like most humans, but her only concern is how they benefit her; she hates her friend Katherine for looking pretty while dying with the flu. Ana also lacks any semblance of backbone and instead of a personality, she has a vintage car called Betty and a love for Thomas Hardy.

She is the opposite of the witty, self-deprecating Aoife Brennan. Some of the sex Aoife has is downright awful (there is the hilarious ‘strawberry’ incident for example) and she has no problem in extracting herself from a situation that makes her uncomfortable. Minor characters are well drawn; from Aoife’s wonderfully frank friend Trish, to her parents and sons, and the array of men she becomes better acquainted with. Aoife’s workplace also comes alive; and there’s a secret about one colleague we definitely didn’t see coming.

What about the sex? Well, as mentioned above, some of it is terrible, but more of it is red-hot. And it’s not repetitive and badly written; there are no “popsicle sticks”. Aoife explores her sexuality in a number of surprising ways, and it’s never boring.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted, sexy read for a dull day, you could do a lot worse than downloading The Cougar Diaries: Part I. 

The Cougar Diaries: Part I is available on Amazon for Kindle now. The prequel, containing some vignettes of Aoife’s life pre-The Cougar Diaries is also available.

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