I wasn’t going to finish Slade by Victoria Ashley because I hated it, and the hero is cringe-worthy and so is the writing, but the other Smart Bitches were all like “Take one for the team, Elyse!” And I did. And now I’m sorry.
Slade is a love story about a male stripper and the girl he’d really like to fuck but who can’t stand him. Slade dances at a club called Walk of Shame with two other male strippers, Cale and Hemy. Seriously, Cale and Hemy. I was really hoping there would also be twin male strippers named Tater and Tot, but we can’t always get what we want. Anyway, Slade and Cale also live together.
If you read the summary of this book, you’ll see that Slade is a self-described “fucking sex addict.” I don’t know what the difference between a fucking sex addict and a regular sex addict is, but there you go. For the record, he’s not really an addict; he’s just promiscuous. He really enjoys putting his dick in things. And said dick takes center stage in this book. He refers to it constantly.
The book opens with Slade hooking up with a random woman:
The door opens right as I’m reaching for my pack of cigarettes and switching the light on. My dick is still standing at full alert, but I could care less. This shit head [Cale] interrupted my night. If he doesn’t like seeing my dick hard, then he should have known better than to come up to my room in the middle of the night.
Well, okay. Then when he tells Cale to get out and he doesn’t:
“Your three seconds were up.” I thrust my hips, gripping her hair in both my hands. “Mmm…fuck.” Damn that feels good. “I’ll be out in a minute.”
Like I said, he really likes sticking his dick in things, even if his roommate is in the room. Good for him.
Slade is of the belief that every single woman on earth wants his cock. He likes to ask women, “You were craving this cock, weren’t you?” And women seem to go for this. I’m not sure why. It’s like Slade’s peen is a unicorn horn poking out of his pubes, dusted with glitter and the tears of Justin Bieber. Women just go after him, like PUT IT IN ME NOW ANY ORIFICE WILL DO, which I found a little unsettling.
Also it’s always hard. Slade thinks he’s a stud, but I’m concerned he has a legitimate medical condition, like priapism, and at some point will just drop dead in his shiny thong.
So anyway, one night while he’s dancing, Slade sees Aspen Raines (seriously, that’s her name) and his peen gets EVEN HARDER if such a thing is possible. HE MUST HAVE HER. HIS PEEN TELLS HIM TO:
Letting my dick do the talking, I walk up to the dance floor, grab the drink out of her hand and set it on the table beside me.
What does his dick “talking” have to do with walking over to the dance floor and taking her drink? Does his dick do the walking? Does it grab the drink from her? Is it prehensile?
Aspen, who, it turns out, is a friend of Cale’s and is staying with them, wants nothing to do with Slade or his magic unicorn sparkle penis. Even after this stellar pick-up line:
“You know it’s against the rules, but I would let you touch it if you wanted to.”
I guess it’s okay to say shit like that in a strip club as opposed to, say, the bus stop, but still…
Slade is portrayed as being this dirty talking, hot smexing bad-boy. And he does talk dirty, so if that’s your thing, there you go. He also swears constantly which doesn’t bother me considering I have the mouth of a longshoreman, but the words “fuck” or “fucking” appear 517 times in this book. I was absolutely overwhelmed by them. It was almost like a tic Slade had.
So the basic plot is Slade wants to fuck Aspen, she doesn’t want to, but then the spell of the magic unicorn sparkle peen hits, and he goes down on her on his motorcycle in the rain (not while in motion, I should mention). And the rest of the book is hate-smexing and Slade having feels he doesn’t want to have, and terrible, terrible writing.
Honestly, the writing is so bad. This book is littered with errors; it desperately needs a red pen. I mean, I get it. I find errors in books all the time. I find them in my own writing constantly. The problem is Slade is just rife with them. It’s best that I just present you with some examples of the text.
It only takes her kissing me hard and pulling my hair before I find myself busting my nut deep inside her still throbbing pussy.
I like that it’s just the one nut, too. Probably Lefty. He’s always jumping the gun.
Shortly after that glorious description of Slade’s orgasm:
I yank the condom off my dick and toss it onto one of my old shirts.
Then they crawl into bed and go to sleep. Remember when romance heroes used to clean up and then tenderly wash the heroine with a warm cloth while she lazed in bed in a post-orgasmic haze? Yeah, I miss that.
Also when Slade finds out Aspen is living with them he thinks:
[…] the last thing I want to do is go and exist in the same house as her just to have her avoid me and act as if she doesn’t want it was much as I do.
First of all, “go and exist?” How about stay? Or live? Or even sleep? Is Aspen’s denial of the magical sparkle unicorn peen an existential problem for Slade? Will he literally wink out of existence if he cannot put the peen in something?
I feel like all pets as well as most appliances should be really nervous in Slade’s house. Like the dog is giving side-eye to the toaster because they know the potential for shit to get weird is high.
Also the last part of that is fairly rapey, in my humble opinion. Personally I’ve never been a fan of “you know you want it.” Ick.
The writing seems to get progressively worse as the book goes on. It felt like whole chapters went more or less unedited. Slade tells Aspen:
“I worked for my father’s Law Firm.”
I mean, come on. If I pay a dollar for a book, I’d like for it to at least know what a proper noun is.
Then, at the very end, things got really weird, or at least Slade did. He realizes that his peen has chosen for him. It has sniffed out his One True Love. That is why he no longer wants to stick it in things other than Aspen:
“Because I love it when you touch me. It makes me feel as if I’m breathing; makes me feel…alive.”
So…was he not breathing earlier? I TOLD YOU HE HAD A MEDICAL CONDITION.
My new working theory is that Slade is a vampire with priapism. His dick has its own thrall. It can never be flaccid because he was cursed by gypsies.
Also, semicolon rage. I’m like that lady in the phone commercial, “That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!”
It gets better though:
“I may not be perfect all the fucking time. I’m far from it, but you make me want to be as close to it as I can be. Give me the chance to make you feel good; feel wanted. I want you to be mine. I want to be the one you snuggle with and watch a movie with at night. I want to be the one you stay home with because you don’t like to go out. I don’t like fucking cats, but I’ll love them because you love them.”
I DON’T LIKE FUCKING CATS. WELL I HOPE NOT.
See, this is why word order is important. I assume that Slade means he doesn’t fucking like cats, not that he doesn’t like fucking cats. I would imagine the latter would lead to stitches, quite frankly.
Back when I used to tutor in college, I explained the importance of editing to my students by writing down two sentences:
I helped my brother, Jack, off a horse.
I helped my brother jack off a horse.
Same words, totally different meaning, kids.
So if you want a book with a lot of fucks and fucking, as well as dubious punctuation, here you go. I’m going to be in the corner with the cat, recovering.