Thursday, February 18, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: "Yellow Dog Blues (Parts One & Two)" by Ren Monterrey

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They both joined The Club and made an arrangement. She got the money to pay her overdue bills and he got access to her body, whenever and however he wanted it...


After being dumped by her boyfriend of six years, Lyric Johnson has no way to pay her bills. She’s been trying to find a job for months, but no one seems interested in hiring a recent graduate of a creative writing program. When Lyric’s neighbor tells her about THE CLUB, selling her body seems to be her only option.

Seven years ago recording artist, Maverick, had one of the biggest-selling singles of all time. When his second album failed to gain any traction and his personal life fell apart he disappeared into obscurity.

Now on the advice of his manager Maverick has joined THE CLUB and he’s chosen Lyric for an arrangement.  

YELLOW DOG BLUES is a SERIAL NOVEL, which unfolds in TWO PARTS (approximately 90 pages each).

Each novel in Ren Monterrey's The Club series can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series.

Excerpt:

My hand shakes as I open the front door to The Club. 

I have no idea what I’m doing here. Am I really contemplating selling my body for money?

I consider turning around and trying to figure something else out, but I’ve exhausted nearly every option I can imagine.

My next door neighbor, Cali, referred me to The Club when she found me locked out of my apartment with an eviction notice plastered across my door.

Chad, my boyfriend of six years, decided to join the Peace Corps without telling me. He finally admitted he was leaving when I found him packing for his flight to Africa. He left me with an apartment I had no way to pay for and several months of utility bills that were past due.

Despite all of my best efforts to secure gainful employment I haven’t been able to find a job. Not even a nibble. Not even after a nationwide search.

I guess earning a Master’s degree in Creative Writing was much less marketable than I ever imagined it would be.

Out of complete and utter desperation I dialed the number on the black business card Cali gave me. The gruff woman who answered the phone asked me only two questions: how old I was and if I was a blond. Then she told me to meet her at three pm, quickly spit out the address and hung up on me.

So here I am at five minutes until three, my heart practically pounding out of my chest, trying to convince myself to go inside.

You have no job and nowhere to live, I remind myself. Not to mention a six figure student loan that’s about to come due in a few months. How I’ll ever be able to afford those monthly payments is something I can’t even contemplate at the moment.

I take in a deep breath and force myself to go inside.

As nondescript as the exterior of the building is, the interior is in sharp contrast. It’s rich looking with dark wood everywhere. The d├ęcor reminds me one of those men’s clubs from the movies. One of those places that only admits rich old men and exudes an atmosphere of excessive wealth and old money.

The Club has a similar vibe.

There’s a young woman standing behind a large mahogany desk. I expect her to give me some type of greeting, but she just stares at me with her big doe eyes.

As I get closer I realize just how tall she is. She towers over all five foot four of me. It would surprise me if she wasn’t some kind of model. She’s rail thin and has that emaciated look about her.

“I have an appointment with Claudia.”

I’m surprised that she doesn’t check an appointment book, or even an electronic calendar, until I realize there is absolutely nothing to check. The desk is completely bare.

“Follow me,” she says.

She doesn’t give me any time to reply. She takes off down a long hallway at a pace so brisk I practically have to run to keep up with her.

When we get to the door at the end of the hallway she turns to me and says, “Go inside. Claudia is waiting for you.”

Before I have a chance to reply she takes off back down the hallway leaving me alone with the drumbeat of my pounding heart.

It takes several impossibly long moments for me to gather enough courage to open the door to Claudia’s office.

Bio:

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Ren Monterry lives in a small town outside Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and their bloodhounds. She writes New Adult and Contemporary romance under a number of different pen names including Sierra Avalon, Savannah Young and Dakota Madison.

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MY REVIEW:

Yellow Dog Blues is a two-part serial featuring two emotionally damaged characters, both with careers they don't want and meeting in an unlikely way.
Lyric is a relatable woman, and her story is one you hear often: in this economy, she can't make ends meet, so she uses her only viable commodity, which is her body. She's not a typical sex worker in any way, and you immediately like her. She could be your sister or neighbor. While I hate the idea of her needing men's money (be it her ex or the men who buy her time at THE CLUB) as a plot line and viable lifestyle for women, it's a common occurrence in real life and I think the author described it well.
Maverick is an extremely sexy character, but then again, I do love musicians! He also has a deplorable way with women, but again, his personality is very realistic.
There are no extreme, unusual sexual expectations left from this novel. They are normal characters, and nothing is overdone like many erotica novels are. My only issues are that Lyric is, for all intents and purposes, a weak woman, and that this book was a serial. It did not need to be bought in two installments at all, and I think it would have made reading it easier on me to not have had to switch books in the middle of the story.

3/5--it had some really excellent elements.

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