cover image Off the Clock

Off the Clock

Roni Loren. Berkley, $16 trade paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-425-27854-3

Marin Rush first meets Ph.D. candidate Donovan West when she’s a young college student. For one intense week she helps him write erotic audio scripts as part of his sex therapy research, and they share a single passionate encounter. Their lives go in separate directions until Marin moves to New Orleans to become a sex therapist under the mentorship of Dr. West. Surprised that Marin’s sexual experience is limited to their one assignation, Donovan offers to tutor Marin after hours in order to round out her education and make her a better therapist. Apprehensive but curious, Marin commits to their relationship provided that neither of them gets attached, as any hint of impropriety could cost Marin her much-needed job. Loren (Break Me Down) explores how consensual role playing and fantasy add to sexual pleasure. Her characters are flawed, particularly Donovan, and this brings dimension to a setup that might otherwise be contrived. Agent: Sara Megibow, KT Literary Agency. (Jan.)