Provocative Territory
by AlTonya Washington, contemporary (2013)
Kimani, $6.25, ISBN 978-0-373-86294-8


Will a non-profit charity organization openly honor the owner of a strip club for her contributions? A woman that has a reputation for sleeping with married men? Normally, such charity bodies can be notoriously shy about courting controversy, so I do wonder. And AlTonya Washington's Provocative Territory is in trouble if this is the most interesting thing I can remember about it.

Elias Joss's father had a very public thing with Clarissa David's aunt Jazmina Beaumont - the woman I've mentioned above. Therefore, when his construction company is hired to renovate the woman's strip club Jazzy B, he's not exactly jumping in joy. The money is very good, though, and his two partners/sequel baits/clones are happy to accept the gig. Unfortunately, Jazmina croaks shortly into this story, leaving her niece Clarissa in charge of the club. Elias and Clarissa are into each other, of course.

The plot - or what passes for it - is barely present. It's all talking and dating and engaging in silly out-of-character little spats when the author is rightfully worried that I am slowly falling asleep. Spats come up when the characters behave in bizarre ways barely related to reality. Then again, the characters here don't behave like normal people. When they first meet, for example, Elias practically accuses Clarissa of being a whore just because she is Jaz's niece, but within the next few lines, Clarissa is laughing and thinking how hot he is.

The people in this story laugh out loud to things that I don't find funny at all, and they all seem to believe that the hero and the heroine are profound when I don't see that all. It's as if the author see this story from a completely different reality altogether. She sees two characters so awesome that they make the world a better place just by existing, I see two cardboard characters with barely any character development.

With no interesting plot or characters, Provocative Territory completely misses the point - if it knows what the point is, that is.

Rating: 47


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