by Lisabet Sarai, contemporary (2007)
Total-e-bound, £3.49, ISBN 978-1-906328-22-1
Raw Silk was previously published by Blue Moon Books back in 2002 but has been revised for this current edition.
American Kate O'Neill arrives in Bangkok to take up a new job. She doesn't have a clear idea as to why she wants to leave her Boston home and her job as a senior engineer for this technical manager post with DigiThai that sees her settling down so far from home and her boyfriend David, but she clearly isn't unhappy when she's making whoopee with the aristocratic DigiTech partner and Thai prince Mom Rajawongse Somtow Rajchitraprasong and a client of DigiTech named Gregory Marshall. It is when David shows up later that things become somewhat uncomfortable for all parties involved.
You know how I know at once that this story is fantasy? No, it's not that Kate gets to play with herself while she's in a chauffeured vehicle from the airport, it's the fact that she hits the road and arrives at her destination smoothly, without getting caught in Bangkok's infamous traffic nightmares.
At any rate, Kate is the easiest women I've come across in a long time. She has only met Khun Somtow a few hours ago when she's already spreading her legs for him even before they have taken a single bite from their dinner on their date. At least wait until he's taken you shopping for designer goods first, girlfriend! The use of pepper juice and wine on sensitive body parts is quite intriguing though. Likewise, when Gregory, who owns a sex club called The Grotto, sends Kate some silly emails telling her not to deny him, her "Master", she's all quivering inside instead of telling him to stop reading so many bad erotica.
Raw Silk improves tremendously as the story progresses. The first half of the story is awkward, with the characters often reciting corny and cheesy lines that have me cringing. It is those naughty scenes that keep me interested in the story. However, by the later half of the story things have picked up tremendously. Some of the dialogs, especially everything that comes out of Gregory's mouth, can be still embarrassingly cheesy, but Ms Sarai manages to insert some moments of levity among the rampant naughtiness going on in the story. The pacing becomes more balanced and there is even an amusing side plot involving Kate's boss. I personally think Somtow makes a much better partner for Kate than Gregory who oozes cheese from every pore on his hirsute body.
Throughout it all, the naughty scenes can be more interesting indeed as they evoke various aspects of Thai cuisine that make me most hungry at the end of the day. Despite its awkward start, Raw Silk turns out to be a pretty enjoyable naughty little romp of a tale even if I think Kate wimps out at the end and chooses the most boring fellow out of the guys in her harem to settle down with.
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