This is a book review for Public Relations by Tibby Armstrong, available here:
You know how rarely I give out five stars, especially for erotica, so sit up and take note, people.
On the surface, this book is a classic romance – uber rich playboy, homely but beautiful woman, the big misunderstanding and the faithful sidekick – but if that’s all you read of it, you’re missing out.
Georgia Whitcomb is a child of the British aristocracy, but she hates it with all that she is and chooses to hide in New York, writing a column at a struggling paper. Peter Wells is the quintessential millionaire, emotionally distant and focused on money. After he snubs her alter ego “Gigi Montrose” at a benefit, she uses a chance sighting of him with a courtesan to anonymously ruin him publicly. When he buys the paper she works at in order to uncover the culprit that wrote the column, sparks fly and things, perhaps predictably, spiral out of control.
What sets this book apart from so many others with similar storylines is the characters. They’re well rounded, complex and emotional. Both have hidden back stories that surface throughout the course of the book, explaining their quirks and their reservations. They make you care about them. Even though at first you think that Peter is cruel and materialistic and Georgia is vengeful and antagonistic, the author skilfully allows you into their thoughts, into the human struggle underneath that lets you see their vulnerable side. It’s what transforms Peter from being one of the dime a dozen A-hole “alphas” into something truly spectacular. You get his struggle. You get why he is the way he is and you forgive him for his controlling nature. I think as well that it makes a difference that he’s prepared to cede control every now and then. He’s not a two-dimensional, my way or the highway kind of guy. He’s a fully fledged three-dimensional alpha that pursues what he wants with focus and intent and will make the sacrifices he needs to in order to get there. His small attacks of conscience every now and then endear him to the reader.
Even the sidekicks are great. Sid, Georgia’s best friend and partner in crime, has flashes of humour that made me chuckle out loud. And Carl, Peter’s right hand man, has depths that you never expect until everything implodes spectacularly and you have to assess his behaviour all over again in a new light.
The sex scenes are steamier than a Swiss sauna at a nudist colony, written with a gritty, no holds-barred style that makes no apology for being raw and breathlessly erotic. In a literary world of mediocre sex, this was refreshing and new and very enjoyable.
The author also does a great job of separating out the differences in British and American English. It’s subtle but the nuances are there and well done. She’s obviously done her research and it shows.
So yes, all in all a five star read!! A pleasant way to spend an afternoon or two indeed…