Book: Trompe l'oeil
Author: Russell Bittner
Review: 'Trompe l'oeil' is the story of Kit and Daneka. The story begins when they meet one afternoon in NYC and have a brief interlude. They meet up again ten plus years later when they get in a brief car accident and Daneka (a successful Danish editor in her 40s) decides to hire Kit (a photographer in his 30s) for a special project. They quickly commence an affair and travel from NY, Paris, Portugal, Italy, Denmark and finally back to NY. During their trip, Kit tries to figure out the layered personality of Daneka and determines if his love for her is enough to keep them together.
After reading the Fifty Shades Trilogy and Bared To You, I read message forums to see what other readers recommended. Many people who detested the 'Fifty' books lauded 'Trompe l'oeil' as erotica for an intelligent person, with an amazing story and layered characters. Well, as readers of this blog know, I'll read just about anything so I downloaded this (luckily a free download from amazon) and jumped in hoping to find a juicy read. This book is well written and it was unique to read a romance written mostly from the male's perspective. What I found challenging was that the book was incredibly boring. So boring that I had to force myself to read and finish it. While the main characters travel throughout Europe, there is a lot of commentary written in foreign languages. I didn't take the time to translate everything (I started to, but it was way too time consuming) and I was able to understand the gist of everything but it was annoying. However, I think the biggest flaw with this book was Daneka herself. She is initially introduced as a successful woman in her mid-40s who knows what she wants in life and goes for it. She is seemingly put together. As the novel progresses, we realize that is anything but the case. However, unlike Christian Grey and Gideon, she had no redeeming qualities that I could ascertain except that was she beautiful and good in bed. She treated Kit horribly almost immediately and it was shocking that he put up with her behavior for as long as he did. Although maybe that is one of the points of the book, that love is blind and we don't choose the people we love? Who knows, but I do know that I despised Daneka by the end of the novel and when we (and Kit) discover her background that lead her to behave as she did, I didn't even care. *spoiler alert* I was so annoyed with her that her committing suicide didn't register for me as a tragic event.
I am shocked at the high reviews on Amazon for this book. Yes, it's well written (I'm giving it a C/3 stars for that purpose and it had it's moments). But I prefer a trashy romance that keeps my interest any day of the week! Okay to skip this one.