Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Stripped by Zoey Castile

Stripped by Zoey Castile
Release Date - August 28, 2018
Publisher Website - Kensington Books
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  304 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Skilled, sculpted, and sexy, the men of adult entertainment are the kind of guys a woman reserves for her fantasies, not her reality. But is there more to these professional hotties than meets the eye?…

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fianc√© and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag—Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life?

There’s just one problem: Zac Fallon is not the love of Robyn’s life. Zac knows, despite the all-too-intimate dinner they share, he doesn’t have a shot at her. Because the next time Zac sees Robyn, he’s front and center of the male revue headlining her best friend’s bachelorette party. So much for wooing the pretty schoolteacher, much less impressing her old-fashioned family, with his upstanding lifestyle. Now he’s only got one way to win his dream girl. It’s gonna be the steamiest, most irresistible seduction she’s ever seen. And this time it will be no act… 
After reading the deal announcement for this series I was immediately intrigued. A fifth grade teacher and a male stripper? Sign me up. I hoped it would be a a fun, sexy summer read and was not disappointed. It had me rushing to watch both Magic Mike movies after finishing the last page and eagerly anticipating when I can return to this world that has been created.

Robyn's life is a bit of a mess and quickly spiraling even more out of control. Part of her story arc is learning exactly what she wants for herself. She has made decisions based on what she thinks she should do instead of what she actually wants to do and that fact is catching up with her.  She's easily relatable because she's someone who doesn't have it all together. She doesn't have it all figured out but is trying. I liked this part of her story arc. It was separate from her relationship with Fallon even though the relationship did make her things in a new light.

Fallon is your standard romance novel love interest. He's sexy, charming, has a little bit of an edge to him, and a good heart. He even comes complete with an adorable puppy. He's instantly loveable. I found the backstory elements that make up his character are what ultimately set up apart. He's not embarrassed about his job but does feel judged for it sometimes. He also feels unworthy of certain things because of how he sees himself. Getting to know his character was a nice change from some of the romance novels I've read and it just the connection between him and Robyn all the sweeter.

The group of guys that Fallon works with can really be described as more of a family than co-workers. Anyone who has seen Magic Mike, particularly the second one, will instantly know what I mean. Zoey Castile has captured that same bond and camaraderie that made that movie so enjoyable within the pages and put her own spin on it. The guys are there for each other and all of their interactions ran true as result. The rest of the guys are so charming that I am excited to continue reading about them as the companion novels are released. I would have loved to have had even more time spent with them while I was reading. They added a little something extra to the story.

Going off nothing other than the Magic Mike movies there is something unique about male revues. They aim to create an environment that is a safe space for women to express their sexuality. They set out to make very woman in attendance feel like a goddess (even if only for the night) and because of that something magical happens. Zoey Castile has captured a little bit of that magic within this novel. She showcases exactly what it is about male revues that women love. The ability they have to tell woman to embrace their fantasies and to not be ashamed of them is a wonderful thing. I loved the dance scenes because that element was woven in so perfectly. These scenes sizzle with an electricity that is felt by the reader. They truly come to life on the page and I dare say that writing these scenes is a particular talent this author possess.

A little aside to end this review on - the author gets bonus points for using song titles as the chapter names. You'll want to create a playlist after you finish reading this. We can only hope that Pony makes the list for one of the companion novels.

Romance readers who loved the Magic Mike movies will definitely want to check this one out. It combines the fun of a girls night out with a sweet and sexy romance which ends up being a winning combination. Pair it with a glass of your favourite wine and a face mask for a perfect way to spend an evening. 

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