Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blog Tour: GAMING THE SYSTEM by Laura K. Curtis

Gaming the System
Laura K. Curtis

As the punk-goth manager of Las Vegas’s premiere adult toy store, Kai Tyler changes her hair color, nail color, and eye color the way some people change socks. In fact, she’s even changed her name. She owes no one, depends on no one, and stopped believing in happily ever after before she reached the age of ten. All she really wants out of life is a few good gadgets and the occasional day of pampering once in a while.

Luke Clarke loves his family, but he has no desire to fulfill his parents’ dream by getting married and going into politics. So when he’s invited to his sister’s week-long wedding gala, he asks Kai along as a decoy. Having a date will squelch his mother’s matchmaking attempts and Kai’s outrageous appearance might—just might—convince his family once and for all that he’ll never have a career in politics.

But as stress, desire, and close quarters eat away at the masks both Luke and Kai wear, their easy arrangement begins to transform into something neither expected. Will they cling to the stable roles of the past, or bet on an uncertain future together?

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle | B&N Nook

This book has Laura K. Curtis' signature heart, but I found the overall story a little uneven.  What I like most is Kai's unexpected secret which I thought was interesting and nuanced and handled by the author with great sensitivity.  Luke's response to Kai's issue is also respectful and made me like this character very much.  

Interestingly enough, the part that I struggle most with is the actual relationship itself. Near a quarter of the way into the story, Luke is totally awed by Kai: "she was damn near perfect and he wanted her with a ferocity he couldn't remember feeling int he past." I didn't really see the basis for this type of admiration.  Yes, Kai is very interesting.  She's got an edgy vibe about her, she wears custom made clothes, she seems worldly and caring, but his enthusiasm seems disproportionate to how much he really knows about her at this point.  The beginning portion of this book is also a little slow and we really don't learn a lot about Luke, which gives a very little context for his enthusiasm.  

However, the book picks up speed very quickly after Kai reveals her secret. I couldn't put the book down because I really wanted to know how Ms. Curtis would resolve this issue.  I balance of the book is entertaining and I did not regret reading this book. 

If you find yourself a little stalled in the beginning of this book, have a little patience.  The final story is worth the wait. 

Laura K. Curtis does everything backwards. As a child, she was extremely serious, so now that she’s chronologically an adult, she feels perfectly justified in acting the fool. She started teaching at age fifteen, then decided to go back to school herself at thirty.
Laura has taught middle school social studies, high school literature, and college-level rhetoric, all with relative success. She’s also a full-on Mac geek who spent years as a consultant and running an academic computing lab. The only thing she completely failed at in the field of education was attempting to teach obedience to her pack of Irish Terriers. Currently, she lives in Westchester, NY, with her husband and two insane Irish Terriers who have taught her how easily love can coincide with the desire to kill.

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