REVIEW: Blackmail by Anna James Watson

I want to start by saying that Watson’s decision to relaunch this book and revamp the cover was a good one. I am afraid to say that I do judge books by their covers, and I wouldn’t have looked at this one twice with its original. I’m lucky to have been offered the opportunity to read this, because I very, very much enjoyed it.

Erotica at its finest, there are elements of romance and deeper comments about society, and the characters are surprisingly developed. The sex scenes were some of the most erotic I have ever read, their detail astonishing but never tipping into feeling overwritten. I felt like I really got into the nitty gritty, the little details and thoughts truly making them realistic and relatable. This is the highlight of Blackmail, and I am very interested in following Watson’s writing.

I also appreciated the originality of a plot and romance trope that is often overused: the menage theme, including mild ‘forbidden love’ and ‘enemies to lovers’ currents, in a college setting. And yet, somehow, the plot itself was novel, intrigue hinted at throughout and only truly coming to a head at the ending.

It wasn’t perfect, however. I found the opening felt somewhat forced (although it was a bit of a pleasant surprise to be suddenly thrust right into the action), this aspect never quite believable to me. Watson’s writing is also in places a little inefficient and clunky, and could do with a few more contractions and a few fewer unnecessary “that”s as conjunctions.

Overall, a strong debut for a promising writer, and one I’m excited to see more of. For those unsure, don’t let the opening put you off, as this really is a work to cherish.

In a nutshell
What I liked
-The sex scenes
-The originality

What I didn’t like
-The opening
-The clunkiness of the writing

Would I read the next one?
Hell to the yeah.

~Evelyn (4/5)

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Blackmail by Anna James Watson”

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