Sex, sex and more sex. And yet, boring.
I was tasked to read two novels of erotic romance for the ARRT Reading Roundtable discussion and this was my choice for my more heavy erotic title. This book is exactly what you think it is from reading the description. A relatively naive college student is brokenhearted after a one night stand. What else is a girl to do but be tricked into go to sex camp by her roommate?
Listen if you’re looking for a strongly feminist, independent woman style book, walk away now. This book is a goddamn mess, but I didn’t hate it. It says straight up what it is and what to expect (for the most part). Aria, our protagonist, ends up at a sex sleep-away camp her BFF signed her up for. Her teacher is her BFFs boyfriend, who she OF COURSE fools around with. She falls in love with Avery, the rich, emotionally unavailable man who owns the camp and all the grounds because every dude in these books has to be indefeasibly rich rather than have any personality traits.
Honestly, the sexual content in this book didn’t bother me. I actually thought the sex scenes were quite hot and relatively well done. My issue is literally everything else. All the women are refereed to as kittens. They mention there’s a lot of men at this camp, but man it seems like the author thinks only women should have a role in sex because they’re constantly learning and doing all the work sexually in this book. The author makes a huuuge point early on about how important it is not to over-drink and it’s a huge issue for Avery, the love interest and owner, but every damn day Aria is drunk. She’s also underage which isn’t a huge thing but c’mon man, you’re gonna get your liquor licence taken away! Aria is constantly talking about how she needs to grow up but she’s tipsy/drunk for a solid quarter of the book. Get it together girl.
Avery as a love interest is a bore fest. There’s no reason why Aria is infatuated with him and vice versa. It’s very 50 Shades in that Aria is COMPLETELY inexperienced but kinda cute and suddenly is the best pole dancer at St. Bernadette’s. Their relationship means nothing and I never got the feeling they actually had serious feelings for one another. This book would be 100 times better if she and her roommate realized they were in love because they had more chemistry than Aria and any male in this book.
There’s also a weird couple as background characters in this book and it is CLEAR the woman is being abused, at least emotionally. Her husband is constantly cutting her down and speaking down to her and I thought her growth might be an interesting secondary plot but nope, she learns a sex thing and suddenly he likes her again and it’s all fine. Again, women’s sexual abilities are the only ones presented as important.
This book wasn’t offensively terrible, it was just repetitive and badly edited. It’s roughly 450 pages which is INSANELY long for an erotic novel. It’s the same scenes over and over again. If this had an editor who could fix all the grammatical and punctuation errors as well as cut it down to around 300 pages, it might have some solid potential.
Note: There is a scene in which Aria is close to being sexually assaulted and our love interest, who has been cold and rude to her up to this point, saves her and it suddenly saves a lot of their relationship. I think using sexual assault as a way to push a love story is frankly gross and I am tired of it being in “romance” novels.
Title: Camp Jameson
Author: Wendy Lea Thomas
Three Descriptors: Steamy, formulaic, long-winded