By: Jasinda Wilder
Synopsis: So how did I get myself into this situation, you ask? Simple: desperation. When you're faced with being homeless and hungry or taking off your clothes for money, the choice is easier than you'd imagine. That doesn't make it easy, though. Oh no. I hate it, in fact. There's nothing I'd like more than to quit and never go into another bar again, never hear the techno beat pulsing in my ears again, never feel the lecherous gazes of horny men again.
Then, one day, I meet a man. He's in my club, front and center. He watches me do my routine, and his gaze is full of hunger. Not the kind of desire I'm used to though. It's something different. Something hotter, deeper, and more possessive. I know who he is; of course I do. Everyone knows who Dawson Kellor is. He's People Magazine's Sexiest Man alive. He's the hottest actor in Hollywood. He's the man hand-picked for the role of Rhett Butler in the long-awaited remake of Gone With the Wind.
He's the kind of man who can have any woman in the entire world with a mere crook of his finger. So what's he doing looking at me like he has to have me? And how do I resist him when he looks at me with those intoxicating, changeable, quicksilver eyes?
I'm a virgin, and he's an American icon of male sexuality. I'm a stripper, and he's a man used to getting anything and everything he wants. And he wants me. I know I should say no, I know he's the worst kind of player...but what my mind knows, my body and my heart may not.
And then things get complicated.
Review: Stripped is the story of Grey, a pastor's daughter from Macon, GA. Her whole life she has been raised to be a demur Christian girl. Always expected to be neither seen nor heard. For sixteen years she has put her own dreams on hold and plays the part, until one day she fell in love with dance. Dance became a secret passion, an outlet to be herself. A way to break free of the restraints that bound her.
Experiencing the freedom dance allows her, Grey was able to think clearly about what she wants in her life. She is able to explore new interests, which leads to her love of videography and the desire to go to college far from the watchful eye of her father. Sadly, her father believes the world of film and movies is filled with sin and is no place for his daughter. Forbidding her to leave, Grey must choose, a quiet Baptist life potentially married to a pastor, like her mother, or fleeing to Los Angeles to pursue the life she dreams of.
Standing up to her father wasn't easy, but when her life began to crumble around her and she was forced to make a decision, Grey follows her heart. With only a few hundred dollars in her pocket she sets out to live her life her way for the first time ever. Unfortunately, following your heart is never easy. Life will try you are every bend and turn. Grey's strength during this time was amazing, but it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Now obviously the title of the book is Stripped, which implies stripping. So how does a good southern girl end up in the gritty world of exotic dancing? That is the dark story the author tells. However, even in the darkest times there is always a glimmer of hope. For Grey that glimmer is Dawson.
Dawson grew up as a privileged L.A. brat. He has always had everything he could want. Lavish homes. Fast cars. Beautiful woman. The one thing that has always been missing is love. Lost in an emotionless world, Dawson turns to acting in a quest to feel something, anything. Pretending to be a character on set allows him a small taste of the emotional connection he craves. Dawson is drifting through his life until the night he meets Grey. Watching her sway her hips he is hypnotized. When he looks into her eyes he can see the innocence and knows she doesn't belong in that dingy place. He feels the need to pull her from Hell. He feels... His whole life he had been empty, but one look at Grey and he feels emotion bubble in his chest.
I really liked Dawson's character. He was more than a pretty face. Despite his upbringing he was still a guys guy. He enjoyed fast, loud, muscle cars and one too many beers on a Friday night. Dawson has an air of alpha to him, but it wasn't too overbearing. I enjoyed watching him breakdown the walls Grey had erected around her heart. Grey was also an amazing character. One would think that due to her upbringing she would be meek. That was very far from the truth. Beneath the ladylike exterior is a fighter.
This was my first Jasinda Wilder book. I liked her style and plot development. I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.