Casting Couch (The Slave to Beauty Series)
5 STAR REVIEW
Top review from the United States
|LAS Book Reviews
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2020
The third and final volume in the Slave to Beauty trilogy, Casting Couch, completes the development of Bryony and Andrew with another new and (most) unusual storyline. Relating how and to what extent the character development of lead characters Bryony and Andrew evolves and concludes would be difficult without leaving some spoiler hints—for me, breaking a cardinal rule in writing reviews.
So, instead, allow me to relate the attributes of Mr. Bartholomew that make this trilogy a must read for fans of eroticism, British humor, stories that don’t belittle or demonize the myriad sexual relationships of humans, and more than enough thrills and mystery to keep the reader turning the pages. Bartholomew is adept in character development; no easy feat when that development extents over three novels, each of which is easily readable as a stand-alone. The author also has the oft-times overlooked talent of making the ridiculous, the atrocious, the impossible or implausible scenes appear realistic and true to the characters. It’s called verisimilitude and should prevail in all aspects of fiction writing. In the case of Tim Bartholomew and the Slave to Beauty series, this appearance of reality pervades every facet of the story. As mentioned, each of the three novels, from Body Language to Love Knot and the conclusion Casting Couch are stand-alone stories; but to get the full impact of the character development, the entire plot line, I highly recommend reading all three. You’ll be glad you did!
The Prince and the porn-star: temptations of a quiet man
When artless Cambridge academic Andrew Billingham is beguiled into playing the handsome prince in a Russian TV commercial, he and gorgeous wife Bryony decide it’s too good an opportunity to miss.
Filming in the stifling heat of a Moscow summer, however, irresistible Andrew is accosted by studio folk—men and women alike—who jostle for his sexual favors. The evident adoration of Emilia he would reciprocate, were he single; director Jonny’s advances he would find not unappealing, were he gay; even though Bryony did allow her husband carte blanche, should he find himself desiring another?
Conflicted between keeping his conscience clear and his urges to cave in to the many erotic possibilities presented, it’s only when Andrew’s private anxieties take on a more public dimension that he begins to wonder whether alluring make-up artist Emilia is all she pretends to be. There is, after all, political unrest in Russia—and Emilia seems closer to it than Andrew ever expected.
The tumultuous final instalment of the Slave to Beauty series where a good man does battle with the twin demons of disloyalty and temptation.
Published DEEP DESIRES PRESS 19th September 2019