Strange Attractions [NOOK Book]


From "one of the best writers of erotic fiction around" (Susan Johnson) comes the hot novel of a young woman's sensual education at the hands of a reclusive professor who's adept at erotic mind games.
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Strange Attractions

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From "one of the best writers of erotic fiction around" (Susan Johnson) comes the hot novel of a young woman's sensual education at the hands of a reclusive professor who's adept at erotic mind games.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Readers who like their romances steamy and a little on the kinky side will enjoy this erotic concoction by Emma Holly. The author of Personal Assets uses the world of quantum physics as backdrop for the quirky tale of Charity Wills, a high school dropout who jumps at an unusual offer to attend college for free. In this case, the price is living at the estate of a reclusive quantum physicist who has more than a clinical interest in the way denial whets longing, especially in people with well-developed erotic imaginations. Charity is determined to meet the sexual challenges from her sexy minder, but in this strange atmosphere of hidden cameras, oiled chauffeurs, and heated threesomes, she will discover unexpected challenges to her life and to her heart. Ginger Curwen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101205143
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/2004
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 87,790
  • File size: 342 KB

Meet the Author

Emma Holly lives in Minnesota where the winters are long and people will use any excuse to warm up. According to Emma, humanity’s best inventions are hot showers, the printing press, coffee, chocolate, and bicycle shorts for men.

She is the bestselling author of Menage, Velvet Glove, In the Flesh and Cooking Up A Storm, all available from Black Lace.

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Read an Excerpt


"Come closer,” B.G. Grantham said to his employee.

Though Eric Berne was dressed, his boss was not. The notoriously reclusive physicist lay face down on a black leather massage table—his long, lean body gleaming with oil. Eric knew it didn’t bother B.G. to be naked. His employer’s reserve had never been physical. It didn’t need to be. From his broad, straight shoulders to his narrow feet, his every sinew was perfectly conformed. Had B.G. wished, his image could have been used to hawk men’s cologne.

He’s the Greek ideal, Eric thought, flashing back to his days at U.C. Berkeley—mind and muscle both at their peak.

Because he was an avid swimmer, B.G. had taken to removing his body hair. As Sylvia, the pretty blonde masseuse, pushed her hands slowly down his spine, nothing spoiled his sleek, athletic lines.

Eric fought an urge to lick his lips.

“Yes?” he said, shaking himself from his fugue and stepping within arm’s reach. “You have an assignment for me?”

“Of a sort,” B.G. said, then groaned as Sylvia took his butt in her hands and squeezed.

The masseuse was his latest find, hired away from an exclusive spa in nearby Victoria. Though B.G.’s staff usually went through a longer vetting process than Sylvia had, Eric could understand why he’d made an exception for her. Her hands were magic, her gift for intuiting what sort of touch would spur the greatest pleasure formidable. It was as if she’d been born to please. Naturally, this fascinated B.G., whose lifelong study of pleasure—what caused it, what heightened it—neared obsession.

Now his legs shifted slightly, languorously, betraying his enjoyment as much as his groan. The change in position bared the lower bulge of his balls, full and sexually flushed. For the last three months, B.G. had withdrawn from everyone on his staff, devoting himself to mental labors until he had to be reminded to eat and sleep. Eric could tell that phase was over and that B.G.’s appetite for sensual indulgence—always considerable—had been heightened by abstinence.

Once again, B.G. was taking his place as the erotic fulcrum around which Mosswood revolved. Once again, he’d decide who would be pleasured and who would not. Sylvia seemed to sense the change, her body humming softly with interest. She stood at the head of the table, and her front brushed B.G.’s back as she reached down.

She was a lovely woman—naked, of course—with slight, high breasts and nipples as tight as pencil erasers. Her hair was so short it clung to her head like a feathered platinum cap. Eric had reason to know those locks were just as soft as they appeared. She was an odd creature in bed, more comfortable with giving pleasure than in taking it. The few times they’d had sex—while B.G. was caught up in work—she’d given the impression that she wasn’t completely there, as if she were perpetually waiting for someone else to appear. The effect was disconcerting, and explained why her status had been so quickly changed from plaything to staff. Competence was what B.G. valued most in an employee. In a sexual partner, however, a desire for the rewards he meted out was all important. Ironically, Sylvia wasn’t greedy enough to suit B.G.—a problem Eric suspected he’d never have to worry about.

He did wonder, though, if he’d ever get used to being able to desire a woman even as his mouth was watering for a man.

Eric had been attracted to both sexes since he was young, a quirk in his makeup he’d been lucky enough to accept almost as soon as he’d figured out what it was. His parents had been open-minded, his circle of friends liberal. Before taking this job as B.G.’s sexual major domo, he’d thought attraction ought to be a one-gender-at-a-time affair. Serial mono-sexuality, so he thought, would keep his feet on the ground.

He should have guessed his old friend would be beyond any rules at all. The world of the quantum, B.G.’s favorite playground, knew few limits. Consequently, B.G. saw no reason why he should invent limits for himself.

“You’ve been here, what, three years now?” B.G. asked, his voice altered by a combination of sensual enjoyment and the pressure of stroking hands.

“About that,” Eric agreed.

“And we’ve met in this chamber at least twice a year.”

Reflexively, Eric looked around. The room in which he stood was shaped like a pyramid, great blocks of softly polished graywacke narrowing rank by rank to a central point. Blue pinprick lights underlit each level, enhancing the impression that this place was both old and new, a juxtaposition B.G. loved.

The quantum realm, he liked to say, can’t tell the difference between all times and none at all.

Then again, since some of his employer’s beliefs verged on the crankish, he might have been trying to test the validity of “pyramid power.”

“Yes,” Eric said, fighting a smile, “we always start our adventures here.”

Despite the chamber’s familiarity, or perhaps because of it, merely opening its heavy door had the ability to disengage Eric from his normal self. His inhibitions fell away, along with his preconceived ideas of what sensible people did. Here, where each new round of play began, his desires spoke to him in the clearest possible tones.

Though it disturbed him sometimes, he was beginning to think the person he became within these walls was the real him. Regardless of whether that was true, his skin tightened in anticipation as his employer drew breath to speak.

“I want you to choose,” B.G. said, startling Eric enough to rock him back on his heels.

Abruptly, he was aware of what hung beneath the lining of his trousers: the thickening weight of his cock, the tensing power of his legs. Eric was bigger and stronger than B.G., not stupid, but more of an athlete than a brain. B.G.’s mental charisma was the force that kept him in check. On his own, Eric wouldn’t have had a fraction of the experiences B.G. made possible. Because of this, as well as his debt of loyalty, Eric chose to indulge the other man’s whims, to wait however long it took for permission to sate his desires—which didn’t mean the reins never chafed.

That was the idea, of course: that no one around B.G. be able to predict when release would come, that the possibility it would be withheld would make them desperate. In that state of suspended frustration, the smallest erotic reward gained intensity.

Blinking sleepily, B.G. turned his head on his folded arms. His face was as attention-grabbing as the rest of him—quirkier perhaps, narrow and olive-skinned, with a long, curving nose and a mobile mouth. His hair was straight and black, cut short except for a shock that hung over his dark-brown eyes. On anyone else, these features would have been expressive. On B.G., they gave away virtually nothing. His emotions were hidden, as was usual, behind a wall of lazy calm.

Only a long-time associate like Eric could tell how jazzed he was.

“Did you hear me?” B.G. asked patiently. “I said I want you to choose our next candidate.”

The candidates’ files sat open on the granite tiles beneath the table where B.G. lay. One candidate was male, the other female. These reports were part psychological profile, part personal history. Eric had not only directed their compilation, he had summarized them for his boss. It wasn’t standard procedure, but Eric himself had taken the long-lense photos for one. That being the case, he knew the files' contents intimately.

“I heard you,” he said to B.G. “I’m just not sure which option you’d enjoy more.”

This spurred a reaction. Like a leopard waking from a nap, B.G. rolled onto his back and pushed up on his elbows. His chest bore creases from the table's leather seams. Though the marks cut enticingly across his nipples, Eric’s eyes drifted farther down. B.G.’s cock was swollen and straight, flushed like his scrotum but not lifted yet. Because his hips were slender, his shaft seemed larger by comparison. With painful clarity, Eric recalled the silkiness of its skin.

As B.G. undoubtedly intended, remembering the pleasure they could share made the waiting worse.

B.G. and Eric had known each other since they were boys, thrown together by well-meaning parents who thought the odd-ball genius needed a friend his own age. Eric sometimes wondered if the Granthams and the Bernes had suspected what they’d begun. From the time he and B.G. were teens, it had been like this between them, a game of do-we-dare and Lord-I-can’t-resist. Losing touch for a while hadn’t changed their chemistry. B.G. was still the partner Eric couldn’t get out from under his skin.

Similarly drawn, if not for the same reasons, Sylvia reached for her client’s burgeoning erection. To see a need and not satisfy it went against her nature. B.G. held her off by spreading his hand across her diaphragm. Though his touch was gentle, it made her flinch. No more than that was needed to make her stop. Sylvia might believe in instant gratification, but like everyone at Mosswood, she knew who was boss.

“I want you to choose the candidate you would enjoy,” B.G. said, his gaze intent on Eric’s face. “I want you to consider no one’s desires but your own.”

“My desires?” Eric repeated. The hair at his nape prickled in a wave. He had to take a step to keep his footing, more off balance than he could account for by the surprise. Without exception, B.G. always set the rules. He bore the ultimate responsibility for the end result. Changing that seemed vaguely dangerous, as if the haven Eric had found here could be threatened by what he chose.

Why B.G. would want to do this was beyond him.

Watching him, B.G.’s fingers played idly across the shaven skin of his own abdomen. “Yes,” he said. “I want to know which of these people you could get most enthused about having. Who would frustrate you more to be deprived of? Who do you wish to help me drive to their brink?”

Eric knew the answer, and had known it even before he passed the name to their investigator to start the file. He’d never had such a strong reaction to a candidate. The thought of having this person here, at B.G.’s estate, under their conjoined control, thrust through his body like a velvet hammer blow. Goose bumps swept his scalp as he hardened with a swiftness B.G. seemed mysteriously able to suppress.

“You know you can’t lie to me,” B.G. said at his hesitation. “I’ve known you too long, and I’m too good at reading how you feel.”

The knowledge that this was true freed him to respond.

“This one,” he said, stooping to pull a picture out of the pile. His hand shook slightly as he held it out.

B.G. nodded, smiling faintly as if the decision was expected. “Good,” he said, settling back against the table. “I appreciate your honesty.”

B.G. beckoned to Sylvia, who moved eagerly forward and took his shaft between her well-oiled fingers. B.G. was human enough to shudder at the first contact. Given her personal predilection, the reaction encouraged her to even more exquisite care. She stroked him hand over hand, from root to rim, the rhythm slow and hypnotic while his cock wavered back and forth at each pull—the tides of his blood a force both Eric and she could see.

This time B.G. didn’t stop her, though his eyes, glittering within the spikes of his dark lashes, remained on Eric. As if he’d given himself permission to be aroused, he rose to full erection, his veins filling darkly, his untouched crown as taut as a drum.

The visual he presented was tempting in the extreme—and not only to Eric.

“Do you want me to suck you?” Sylvia asked breathlessly.

B.G. reached out but not toward her, the back of his hand brushing the front of Eric’s thigh. Trembling now, Eric tried to breathe as steadily as his friend. His own erection felt like a club, hot behind the cloth B.G.’s feather-light caresses tugged. His employer was always gentle, always careful not to hurt. It was the only complaint Eric ever had. Right now, Eric wanted a good firm grip so desperately he could have screamed.

Images streaked through his mind of taking someone against a wall, of pounding recklessly into them until he came. Who it was he hardly cared, though he couldn’t deny the phantom had a face.

The guilt this specificity inspired didn’t weaken the fantasy.

“What do you think?” his old friend asked. “Shall I have her take me in her mouth?”

Eric shivered, his inner vision seeing someone besides the masseuse performing the task. Unused to having the power to choose, he took a moment to decide. He had no doubt what Sylvia wanted the answer to be. “Yes,” he said, “but don’t let her bring you to climax.”

B.G.’s hand shifted sideways, his palm closing gently over Eric’s crotch. “If I can’t come, neither can you.”

Eric gritted his teeth. B.G. was already rubbing his erection, probing for vulnerabilities, stretching him impossibly inside his skin. When his longest finger dragged toward the nerve-rich flare, Eric couldn’t repress an anticipatory twitch.

His zipper was a barrier he wished his heat could melt.

“Agreed,” he gasped, knowing his employer—his rescuer, truth be told—would make it as difficult as possible to comply.

“I want us all to wait,” Eric added impulsively. “Nobody gets off until our candidate arrives.”

B.G.’s brows quirked in surprise—this edict more his style than Eric’s—then relaxed as his eyes briefly closed. Sylvia had bent to surround the upper half of him in her mouth. She held him for a moment, her tongue working against the cap, before beginning to move up and down. As before, her pace was languid, her suction strong. A sheen of sweat broke out on B.G.’s face as his now-rigid cock grew wet.

Sylvia would get him off if he wasn’t careful. Then again, “Careful” was pretty much B.G.’s middle name.

Despite the battle for control he must be going through, when he spoke, his voice was only a little husky. To Eric’s relief, he did not seem angry at his demand. “This,” B.G. said, “should prove more entertaining than usual.”

Eric got the distinct and somewhat unnerving impression that, in addition to making his own choice, he had vindicated B.G.'s.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Imperfect Delight

    This story isn't perfect, far from it actually. The quantum mechanics subplot fell flat and came to no successful conclusion. She took some liberties with the particle accelerator but all that can be excused because obviously, this story's main purpose is to arouse, which it does pretty well. Like much erotic fiction, the premise is a stretch but it's a case of the ends justifying the means.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A sizzler

    In Mosswood near Seattle, B.G. Grantham is the world¿s leading quantum particles expert, but between his research leaps, he enjoys studying attraction and desire in human relationships. He selects subjects and has his sexual majordomo Eric Berne negotiates with the chosen one............................. For the first time, B.G. surprises his employee, lover, and friend Eric by allowing him to choose between two viable subjects. Eric selects Charity Wills, but then raises the ante by telling B.G. the rules are no one gets off until the new subject arrives. Eric visits Charity at Future Tech where she works and makes a deal she cannot refuse. His boss will pay for her to attend Harvard if she willingly spends time at a sexual retreat with B.G and him; he also stipulates she can refuse to have sex and leave early if she feels uncomfortable. As B.G. works on Charity¿s inner desires, she is attracted to Eric, who surprises himself as he wants her and not just for a quickie. Still the bisexual Eric must decide between B.G. and his beloved as his employer has actually manipulated his desires in his latest human experiment..................................... STRANGE ATTRACTIONS is a strange erotic contemporary romance starring a couple odd male characters and a feisty female protagonist. The triangle is fun to follow as Eric finds himself yanked by love along two lines. Charity is a fine player who matches and raises her two ¿opponents¿ in a game of stud poker. Filled with profanity and hands on (literally) sexual encounters, XXX readers will enjoy this wild tale and want more from the master of quantum physics in which one does the act and then seeks the desire........................... Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another excellent Emma Holly book

    I love all Emma Holly's books and this one is not exception. She's great at creating sensual, highly erotic situations and pulling the reader in. The side story about Quantum Physics does not detract from the romance and is intriguing as well. Great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008


    All i can say is WOW! This is my first novel by Emma Holly and i have to say if they're all as good as this i think i would want to give up my life and read 24/7!!! This explores relationships with males and females and male with male and what it would be like to have one big relationshop and it is very very intriguing!!!! WHAT A GREAT READ!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2013

    Suprising Read

    I was really pleased with this book, not what I expected. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Great Book

    Interesting character and story. Some of the technical stuff was boring.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:


    i agree with the last poster! the story DID fall flat when E.H. attempted to use science in her plot. her talent lies in that which is carnal, not scientific and everytime i read a bit which made no sense scientifically, i was a bit turned off to her as an author. shortly thereafter though, i'd read a bit of kink and be excited all over again lol. ooo the lust this woman inspires is just amazing. i'd like to take a romp through her mind sometime ;)

    so please, just stick to the smut, ms. holly! you've never gone wrong there lol.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2006

    TOO over the top!!!!

    when I read the back cover of the book, I was lead to believe that this was more of a story for BG. but I was VERY wrong. the story took a few twists and turns I could have done without (mystery and possible espionage in the mansion) which I think was a waste. the ending was something that was WAY to hard for anyone to believe. I have (in the past) enjoyed holly's books but after reading this one I think that I will drop her from my reading list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2005

    Erotica at it's best!!

    Who would'nt love this book. Best erotica I have ever read. I love how Emma holly gets right to the point from chapter 1, page 1 it just oozes erotica. I cant say enough about this book. Once you start reading you wont be able to put it down. I will definately be reading the rest of her books

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2005

    amazingly yummy

    Strange Attractions was erotically charged and sensual from page one. I picked up the book and couldn't put it down! Make sure you clear your slate for day for great, uninterrupted reading. Then, have your spouse handy. You'll need it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2004

    It¿s All About Pleasing and Being Pleasured¿

    My initial thoughts once I realized BG ¿ ¿Benjamin¿, the self proclaimed and acknowledged ¿Master¿ researcher of human desire and quantum physics - conducted gratifying sexual `tests¿ with men and women involving multiple bisexual partners, cameras, adult toys, I thought of a modern day `Caligula¿ scenario. However, once Emma Holly developed and elucidated compassion towards each character (especially BG), I became enthralled. The story is more dripping wet erotica (sex, sex and more sex) versus romance (focusing more on plots developing into a meaningful relationship between heroine and hero). The familiar themes dealing with built up sexual tension and repressed expressions of love coupled with the need for release soared high ¿ regardless of the orientation of the recipient and method of release. The baser ¿strange¿ ambiance swirling around human DESIRE and NEED ¿ to unconditionally love and be loved ¿ won out. So forgive me for appearing totally carnal minded, BUT¿Good golly Ms. Holly! If you enjoyed Ms. Holly¿s ¿Ménage¿, you will surely enjoy this. Although I missed the sensual spontaneous role playing of ¿Ménage¿, I enjoyed BG¿s mystery mansion and gentle seductiveness; Charity¿s wittiness, maturity and level headedness in decision making; Eric¿s honesty with his sexuality and feelings of love; and the remaining characters¿ realistic personalities / individuality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    Another excellent read from Emma Holly

    Emma Holly sets her new book STRANGE ATTRACTIONS in Seattle, WA and uses Quantum Physics as the background. No need to be scared ¿ you need know NOTHING of quantum anything to read this book. The heroine ¿ Charity Wells ¿ is a high school dropout who receives an offer to have her college education paid for in exchange for living for several months at the Seattle area estate of a rather unusual scientist who is working with quantum physics. Of course, there is more to the plot that little sentence, but for readers familiar with Emma¿s work, I¿m pretty sure you can figure out the rest. I wasn¿t sure I liked this book when I finished, so I waited a few days, and re-read it. STRANGE ATTRACTIONS reminds me more of BEYOND INNOCENCE then any of the Black Lace books, although it¿s closer to the Black Lace books in its premise. There is plenty of hot, steamy sex, but Emma Holly has taken the sexual encounters and infused them with strong emotional content. From the advertised plot of the book, I was mentally geared for a Black Lace type read ¿ well written, but not heavy on the emotional connection between the characters. I think that is why I had to read it a second time to decide I really enjoyed it. The main characters ¿ Charity, B.G. and Eric have strong emotional connections to each other - some were in place when the story began, and are revealed through the story, while other connections begin and continue to develop as we read. In my opinion, Ms. Holly has gifted us with a book that over time will be regarded as a classic. She builds and reveals interpersonal relationships throughout the book, and somehow brings that together seamlessly with the intense, steamy, erotic loves scenes we have come to expect from her writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2004

    flawless multi-point of view writing is dynamite!

    You never quite know what to expect from Emma Holly, which is obviously her intent. She is a writer that continually fascinates me. I don't choose erotic fiction as a matter of routine, because honestly, most of it fails to deliver on the one level I want most - makes me care about the characters. Recently in a debate about the levels of sexuality in Romance in general, some came down on the side of sizzling hot, some for chaste Regency Romances. I said, 'Frankly, I don't care which road you ask me to travel; tell a good story, and I will enjoy it.' And for me, that is so true. I enjoy Sandra Heath Regency tales as much as I enjoy Angela Knight or Emma Holly, two of the red-hot sizzling writers of today. Why Holly continually leads me down roads I'd travel less is she starts with the most important ingredient: characters. She creates very human, very alive people, reaches in and grabs your heart, and then proceeds to push emotional and physical boundaries like no other writer around. Once again, with her newest work, Strange Attractions, Holly delivers up a spicy, but emotional dish. An O.T.T. scientist is obsessed with knowing the why of everything. And the most elusive why to him is emotional response and feelings. When he is not being this era's Albert Einstein, Grantham unwinds by playing games with people - his very own human Kens and Barbies, trying to figure out what makes them react as they do. A one man Think Tank, B.G. Grantham very selectively chooses his candidates, looking for people that are strong willed, but flawed. His right hand is Eric Berne - Grantham's Man Friday and Ken doll rolled into one. It's time for Grantham to unwind from his more earth-saving pursuits, so he sends Eric out to find a new subject. Eric has chosen sexy, wisecracking Charity Willis. Charity immediately wins the readers over. She is a gal who loves being a woman, short skirt, tight tops. Coming from a less than spotless background of a mother who moved about, and 'uncles' who moved in and out of Charity's life with the regularity of the Navy, Charity has learn to protect herself. She is wound, yet resilient; she won't take gruff from people who mistake her delight in being sexy as a come on to any Tom, Dick and Harry. But life has not given Charity any breaks. She means well, but she's been fire from more jobs than she had 'uncles'. She's bright, but little applies herself, because what's the point? Charity has seen Eric around the offices where she works, Future-Tech, even had the strange sensation he was following her on several occasions. She is attracted to the sexy man, but feels that a man like him would be interested in a girl like her for only one reason. When she's called to the personnel office, she at first fears getting fired for perpetually being late. She is ushered into the office by Eric who says he has a proposal for her. Charity steels herself for the usual, and is ready to put him in his place. Instead, Eric tells about his employer, how he likes to study people, their pleasure, what makes them tick and offers her the job of being Grantham's personal Barbie Doll for a period, after which they will pay for her college education, see she gets a good position with a job that has a future. After hearing the terms of the contract, Charity agrees feeling life has never given her a chance to get ahead before. Since the contract spells out that anytime she feels uncomfortable with Grantham's requests, she just has to say the word, they will bring her back to her home and the contract will end, Charity thinks she has nothing to lose. So begins the journey of education of this touching brave young woman, that leaves the reader spellbound, with Eric as her guide. A modern twist, a cross between Svengali and My Fair Lady, done as only Holly can do. She strongly, flawlessly uses Multi-POV (point of view) to keep the reader attuned to all her characters inner emotions. Simply put, Emma Holly told me a good story and I

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2004

    Very Good Erotica

    Strange Attractions is one of the better books of erotica I have read lately (and there is getting to be more good stuff out there). There was lots of sex in this book, but the characters and plot were interesting too, which is not always the case with books of erotica. I did think it was a bit graphic at times, but for the most part in good taste. I recommend this book to women who love romance that is extra hot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2010

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    Posted February 22, 2010

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    Posted August 11, 2013

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