Book Review

Review: Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz

B+

Title: Misbehaving
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publication Info: Harlequin February 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Misbehaving - a close up of a woman in lace panties with her hands tied behind her back with black ribbon Misbehaving  by Tiffany Reisz is an erotic-comedy novella loosely based off of Much Ado About Nothing. I really enjoyed it for what it was, short and sweet with a little bite. It's the literary equivalent of affogato. As much as I enjoyed it, I didn't quite buy the Much Ado About Nothing theme.

The book opens with Beatriz, a part-time sex blogger, on her way to her sister Claudia's wedding. Problem: Beatriz owes her editor a thousand word review of a sex position manual and she's going stag to the wedding. You can't review a book on positions intended for two when you're flying solo.

Other problem: Beatriz's college crush, Ben, is also at the wedding. Beatriz once propositioned Ben by surprising him while wearing nothing but a robe. Then she dropped the robe. When Ben turned her down? Such humiliation. Very embarrassment.  Anyway, we find out that Ben had his reasons for turning Beatriz down (not very good ones) and he's pined for her for all these years. His last girlfriend actually broke up with him when she caught him pleasuring himself to Bea's blog. He's more or less obsessed with her.

So Ben and Beatriz let bygones be bygones and agree to a weekend of just sex for the sake of the review. Which works in romance novels never.

Much Ado About Nothing - Branagh dvd version

Of course they start to have feelings for each other, and then conflict arises, and you get the picture. Since this is a novella, the conflict was pretty light and because it's an erotic novella, it involves butt fucking. It reminded me a little of the sort of misunderstanding you'd get on an episode of Friends, if Friends discussed butt fucking, which it did not.

I found the book to be genuinely humorous and also quite sexy. The descriptions of the positions listed in Bea's manual were detailed enough that you could file them away for reference later. Yay for sneaky educational material! 

What I didn't really agree with were the Much Ado About Nothing references. I love Much Ado and am not so secretly in love with Benedick. I also have a major lady crush on Emma Thompson and have watched the Kenneth Branagh version of the play like a million times, despite the fact that it involves Kenneth Branagh. If there is a form of polyamory that lets me be married to my husband and Emma Thompson, I am so signing up for that shit. 

Anyway, Ben and Bea were missing the biting, slicing, painfully UST-y dialogue that Benedick and Beatrice have in the play. They didn't have that love-hate relationship. To be fair, saying “Well, this book was good but not quite as good as Shakespeare” is a super douchey thing to do, but if you're gonna make Much Ado references, I want the Much Ado funny-angst.

If you like really spicy books and are looking for a short read, definitely try Misbehaving. It's my first introduction to Tiffany Reisz and I've already downloaded The Siren for my vacation next month. 


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

And if you're thinking you must watch the Kenneth Branagh Much Ado About Nothing RIGHT NOW, it's available on DVD at Amazon, BN, and other retailers near you. It's also available for digital streaming from Amazon. Plus there's the Joss Whedon version, which Carrie loved a lot.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    ms. anonym says:

    Another nice version of Much Ado About Nothing: http://www.digitaltheatre.com/production/details/much-ado-about-nothing-tennant-tate/play

    One of my favorite plays. I should check out the Joss Whedon film.

  2. 2
    Bonnie says:

    So Ben and Beatriz let bygones be bygones and agree to a weekend of just sex for the sake of the review. Which works in romance novels never.

    Once again, you had me cracking up at my desk.  So glad my boss didn’t catch me this time because really.. explaining that one would just be awkward.

    Thanks for the review!

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    I read a Tiffany Reisz short story a few years ago – one of her earlier ones, I think, if not her first published story. It’s called The Gift now, but then it was Seven Day Loan. Anyway, I really struggled with it – not because of the subject matter per se, but because the writing was so, SO imaginative and eloquent and beautiful. There’s a scene where Reisz is describing snow and it’s some elegant writing.

    But I don’t like the subject matter. I’m not into reading BDSM or erotica as much, so while I love the writing, I didn’t like what the writing was about. It’s a weird place to be in. Reisz is very, very talented, but she writes what I don’t enjoy reading as much. Too bad for me.

  4. 4
    maybeimamazed02 says:

    This sounds interesting! I, too, am a sucker for Much Ado – Beatrice is my spirit animal, Benedick is a doll in smartass clothing (the best kind of dude), and the Branagh/Thompson film – I’ve been obsessed with it ever since I saw it freshman year of college umpteen years ago. I agree, crackling dialogue is a must for Benedick/Beatrice, but I like erotica so I’ll give this one a try.

  5. 5
    Algae says:

    First, I highly second ms. anonym’s recommendation of the Tennant/Tate version of Much Ado About Nothing. Benedick’s soliloquy is my favorite in that version.  I liked it better than Whedon’s version (although his Don John and Dogberry were better); I felt there was more joyous humor in Tennant/Tate. I can’t really describe it.

    This actually does sound interesting – I’m not usually too much for erotica, but I’m willing to try.

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