Friday, October 4, 2013

Book Tour for Mean Girls by Lucy Felthouse (Review)

Today I welcome back Lucy Felthouse with her sexy read Mean Girls, which brings together two very different people who fit together perfectly.  Keep reading to get my impressions of this book and visit the other blogs hosting this tour to learn even more about this book.

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
LF:  Yes, definitely. I’d have looked more closely at my early contracts instead of just excitedly signing them. 
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
LF:  I’m just back from holiday and scrabbling madly to catch up, so it’s actually a bit of a mess. But I know where everything is, which is the most important thing. There’s my laptop, to-do list, scrap paper, pens galore, a drink, my Kindle, etc, etc... As for inspirational items, I have photos of hot men on the wall in front of me.
TSP:  The majority of your books are erotic in nature, what draws you to that genre?
LF:  It’s where I started writing for publication. I’ve always said that I’ll write more mainstream stuff eventually when I run out of erotic ideas, but I can’t see that happening any time soon. Having said that, I’m working on a mainstream romance book with a friend just now, and we’re just seeing how it goes.
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Mean Girls?
LF:  That, despite its title, this isn’t a depressing book, or one about low self-esteem. The lead character, Adele, is a curvy girl, and she’s happy with her figure. It’s all about defeating bullies, this story. And, you know, hot sex with a gorgeous guy.
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
LF:  That’s easy. Stately Pleasures is my first novel, and I’m currently proof-reading it ready to send back to the publisher. It should hopefully be out in the next couple of months. It’s a ménage erotic romance, and the lead female in this is also a Rubenesque lady. Jeremy Renner and Jared Padalecki would play Jeremy and Ethan, the two leading men. I haven’t decided 100% who’d play Alice, but I think Melissa McCarthy would  be in the running.
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
LF:  Actually, Oliver from Mean Girls is pretty damn heroic. I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say he’s not happy about the way Adele is treated, and he makes his feelings known.
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?  Do you have an eReader yourself?
LF:  It means I sell a lot more. Every new eReader that someone gets is a potential new reader for me, so more power to the digital revolution. I’ve always kept on top of marketing trends anyway, so it hasn’t been an issue. I just make sure to keep an eye on what’s going on and learn to adapt promotions, keep doing what works, and ditch what doesn’t. Yes, I have an eReader, but I still read probably 50/50 paperbacks and digital.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
LF:  My laptop, my dog, my other half and Cadbury’s chocolate.

Adele Blackthorne is a big girl, a curvy chick. She knows it, and she’s been picked on all her life because of it. But she’s gotten to the stage where she doesn’t care. She may be Rubenesque, but she’s healthy, too. Much healthier than the mean girls at the leisure center that point and stare and say spiteful things about her. Adele rises above it all, and simply enjoys her secretive glances at the center’s hunky lifeguard, Oliver.
As the bullying of Adele becomes worse, Oliver finds it increasingly difficult not to intervene. He doesn’t want to get into trouble with work, but equally he can’t stand to see Adele treated in such a horrible way. Especially since he doesn’t agree that she’s fat and unattractive. He thinks she’s a seriously sexy woman, and would like to get to know her better. Much better.

As usual, Adele Blackthorne felt the weight of gazes on her as she walked from the changing room to the steps to get into the swimming pool. She was used to it by now, and had learned not to react, to just carry on as though she hadn’t noticed people staring and not-so-subtly pointing at her.
With a polite nod to Oliver, the lifeguard, as she passed him, Adele was grateful for his much more favorable reaction. If he thought she resembled a beached whale, he hid it much better than everyone else did. The warmth in his eyes as he nodded back even looked genuine. But she had no illusions, he probably slagged her off the moment he got into the staffroom, or home, talking about the fat woman who went swimming three times a week without fail. But for now, she’d pretend he didn’t. Pretend he thought she was sexy, and wanted to get lost in her abundant curves. God knows she’d like him to.
It was true, she was a big girl and she was most definitely aware of it. Ever since she’d gotten to the age where her excess weight could no longer be called puppy fat, she’d tried to do something about it. Every diet under the sun, ridiculous amounts of exercise… nothing worked. Adele had grown so depressed in her teens that she’d become bulimic. Naturally, she’d lost some weight that way, but she’d also made herself so ill that she’d had to be hospitalized. It had terrified the life out of her, and ever since, she’d resolved that she’d much rather be healthy than skinny.
Which was why she visited her local leisure center three times a week. She used the gym and sauna, and went swimming. And every single time she went, she’d catch someone gawping at her. But because of the years she’d spent—especially at school—being called all the names under the sun, she’d developed an incredibly thick skin. She was happy and healthy—so healthy in fact that she could probably beat all of those skinny bitches at a swimming race. Of course she never offered, never called anyone out on their rudeness and ignorance, but it made her feel better to know that she was fitter and much more polite than them.
Slipping into the fast lane, she settled her goggles carefully into position—she hated getting water in her eyes—then lifted her legs to rest the bottoms of her feet against the end of the pool. Looking at the clock on the wall that counted seconds, she waited until the hand reached the top, then pushed off from the side and launched herself into the lane. It was quiet, so she had this section of the pool to herself. Her arms cut through the water, her legs flapped wildly and she did ten laps without losing any speed. Emerging from the water, she checked the clock again and was pleased to note she’d beaten her previous time.
She was just about to start another ten laps, when she heard voices from the other side of the pool. Voices that clearly forgot how well they carried on water. It was as though they were right next to her.
“God, I’m surprised all the water doesn’t jump out of the pool when she gets in. And the way she swims—she’ll cause a tidal wave one of these days.”
The spiteful words were followed by a trio of sniggers, and Adele gritted her teeth. Part of her wished that she could create a bloody tidal wave, so it would sweep those bitches under water and drown them. The other part of her tsked at the thought. Ideas like that made her just as bad as them, just as unpleasant, just as cowardly.
Because they were cowardly—the way they spoke about her behind her back proved that. If they ever passed her somewhere in the leisure center or its car park, they never said anything, not one word. They’d just scurry away as fast as they could, then titter when they thought she was out of earshot. She hoped that just one time, someone would say something to her face, so she could retaliate, speak up for herself. There was no way she’d start anything—she didn’t want to add confrontational to the list of faults that the mean girls had obviously compiled about her.
Sucking in a deep breath, Adele launched into another ten laps, allowing the chilly water and the exertion of powering through it to burn away her irritation. Because that’s all it was—irritation. She wasn’t angry. Anger was too powerful an emotion, and one that was totally wasted on those ignorant women. She almost felt sorry for them, actually. If they had nothing better to do than to stare at her and slag her off all the time, then they clearly had very dull lives.
The thought cheered her considerably and when she completed her twentieth lap, she lay her forearms on the edge of the pool and hoiked herself up. Her back was pressed against the side, and from here she had a perfect view of the rest of the pool. Tugging her goggles down so they hung around her neck, she had a damn good look at everyone else. The small children and their guardians in the kids’ pool right at the other end of the enormous hall, the old people who swum so slowly as they chatted that she was surprised they stayed afloat, the relentless movement of the man in the medium-speed lane and, of course, the mean girls who were in the same sort of position she was, but at the side of the pool rather than the end. The side which faced the lifeguard station.
Adele narrowed her eyes and watched them—the two waif-like blondes and a brunette—as they chatted and giggled, and it seemed for a change, not about her. They’d clearly changed the subject since their previous spouting of vitriol. Their focus was very firmly on Oliver as he sat on his lofty perch, surveying the pools before him, ready to jump in should anyone get into trouble. She often toyed with the idea of faking a problem, just to get him into the pool and his strong arms around her. However, she knew that although he’d undoubtedly do his duty and help her, he’d never believe such a strong swimmer would need his assistance. Then he’d lose all respect for her, and probably stop hiding his disdain for her so effectively. And the polite nods and smiles she got from him were the only thing—aside from the center’s top-notch facilities—that made the place bearable. She was sure that if the three witches—a nickname she’d secretly come up with for the women—had their way, there would be a sign on the main doors to the building saying ‘No Fat People Allowed.’


Though much of Mean Girls plays like an after school special, the overall message that it portrays is one that pulled me in completely and had me rooting for Adele every step of the way.  Her whole life she's been curvy and has gotten used to the name calling as she has strong self-esteem.  The only time she feels uncertain is when it comes to the super sexy life guard Oliver.  She has the hots for him but doesn't think she can get a man like him.  Little does she know that he feels the same way about her.  It'll take an unexpected ally to bring them together and put the mean girls in their place.
Oliver is extremely handsome so women have always come to him.  He's not used to going after what he wants, and what he wants is Adele.  He loves everything about her, especially her curves, but doesn't know how to get her attention.  Luckily a new friend helps him get Adele's attention and from there he proves himself to be a knight in shining armor in defending her against the mean girls.
Oliver and Adele are delightful together.  Their early exchanges are quite sweet and reserved.  They both start off shy but their time together quickly becomes combustible which leads to some scorching sexual encounters.  Oliver is quite the romantic and says what every girl hopes to hear.  Adele becomes very assertive and I applauded her finally asking for what she wanted.
What brings this story down is the juvenile antics of a trio of skinny girls.  At every turn they talked poorly about Adele.  They relentlessly flirted with Oliver even when it was obvious how much he disliked them.  Even though these women were purported to be in their 30's they acted like children in their over-the-top scenes and the issues Adele experienced could've been conveyed in a more mature way which would've left a more powerful impact.
The flow of the story is pleasant showing a relationship evolve, albeit quickly, from friends to lovers.  The sexual encounters are scorching and Ms. Felthouse leaves readers with a warm feeling seeing two likable characters find their HEA in a story that is satisfying and the perfect afternoon delight.
My rating for this is a B-
*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over seventy publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include Best Bondage Erotica 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Best Women's Erotica 2013. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies. She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at Join her on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to her newsletter at:

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