Verdict: GODDESS OF IVY is a bold exhibition of eroticism within the scope of romance and the psy-chology of love versus lust.
A naïve teenager grows into a woman, emotionally and sexually, in this poignant coming-of-age erotic trilogy.
Serena, daughter of an alcoholic mother and a father she has never known, has never had much to anchor her besides her childhood boyfriend, Sam. When Sam and Serena give each other their virginity and he inexplicably dumps her later, she is devastated by his rebuff and her quest for love and acceptance in the arms of a parade of new lovers begins. At the end of high school, Sam proposes a financial arrangement that will help him cover his costs at Cornell University and ensure she is financially taken care of the rest of her life, and Serena accepts. As a high-priced call girl for six wealthy frat boys Sam has lined up for Serena, she begins a lucrative career exchanging sex for money. Her “boys” are a diverse group, and keeping up with their physical needs becomes as challenging as helping them grow socially and emotionally. In the background Sam stands by to oversee Serena’s business dealings, but Sam is always in her periphery, just out of reach, and his wrestler’s body and gallant heart are the only two things she can’t seem to touch, no matter how easily she satisfies the needs of her clients.
GODDESS OF IVY is a sensual, coming of age chronicle and a contemporary erotic romance that discusses an exquisitely wide array of sexual encounters in unflinching detail. Told in equally explicit detail, Serena’s story of metamorphosis is engaging. Observing her growth from a gangly teenager to a confident, self-actualized new adult is deeply satisfying and provides a wonderful balance to a highly-sexual, companion storyline.
GODDESS OF IVY is an attention-grabbing trilogy and excels in intertwining explicit content with deeply beautiful delivery. It is a juicy, heart-pounding celebration of the freedom found in no-holds-barred physical and emotional intimacy. Its primary strength lies in the diversity portrayed in the characters and their issues as well as how they express themselves sexually; there is nothing cliché about Serena, her lovers, or their interactions with one another. The story itself is told from Serena’s point of view, and it reads like a diary more than a narrative in many places. While this gives an added layer of insight into the psychology of the main character, it can at times be tedious to read so much detail about minimally important events, such as what Serena is eating for breakfast. Also, while GODDESS is unequivocally a work of adult erotic romantic fiction, Serena’s and Sam’s perspectives on life and the events they navigate are juvenile, such as choosing college courses and learning how to negotiate a lease or a job offer, which leads to discord for readers who may wonder if they are reading a young adult story interspersed with erotic, adult episodes. This disparity is mostly made up for by the insightfulness and charm of Serena’s character and the interesting premise of a contemporary romance blooming amidst the backdrop of one of culture’s most longstanding traditions – prostitution.
GODDESS OF IVY is a bold exhibition of eroticism within the scope of romance and the psychology of love versus lust.