Blue Angel by Logan Belle
Erotic m/f, f/f
May 1, 2011
Guest Review by Jill Sorenson
On her 25th birthday, Mallory Dale’s boyfriend surprises her with an evening at The Blue Angel, a contemporary burlesque club in New York City. Alec is writing an article about the club for a Playboy-type men’s magazine. He’s also been pushing for a threesome. Hey, what better way to celebrate, get some research done, and indulge in a harmless little girl-on-girl fantasy?
Mallory doesn’t like surprises and she’s annoyed with Alec’s choice of outing. He’s always working or looking at other women. His recent fixation on a threeway makes her feel inadequate. When she accuses him of treating himself on her birthday, he brushes off her complaints. He knows she’ll love the show.
Alec is an asshole, but he’s right. Mallory is mesmerized by the costumes and performances. When Bette Noir, a gorgeous dancer, brings her up on stage during the striptease, she’s never felt more alive. Later that night, Mallory dances for Alec and they have hot sex.
I have to say that I found this first chapter troubling. I’m a fan of f/f erotica and f/f/m ménage, but not this way, when one character is feeling insecure in the relationship. Worst setup ever! Of course, the author has chosen this path for emotional effect, not sexual thrills, and it plays out nicely over the course of the book.
Clearly, Alec and Mallory are off to a rocky start. He won’t admit that he’s working on her birthday, which is a total jerk move. She doesn’t tell him that she feels ignored and disrespected. They get along great in bed, but they aren’t being honest with each other.
The next night, Alec is set to interview Bette Noir at the club. Bette requests Mallory’s presence and flirts with her in the bathroom. Alec pulls Mallory aside and says, hey baby, it’s ménage time. She reluctantly agrees. It’s an intense, uncomfortable moment because the reader knows Mallory’s not ready. This is all wrong.
Back at the table, Bette puts her hand on Mallory’s thigh. Alec kisses Bette. Then Bette kisses Mallory and leaves. Alec is so wound up that he screws Mallory in a bathroom stall. The encounter is highly erotic; a lack of sexual chemistry isn’t one of their issues.
Enthusiastic banging can’t make up for Mallory’s uneasy feelings about Alec, however. They have a heated argument, during which she accuses him of losing interest in her. She also admits that she hates her job. She doesn’t know if she wants to be a lawyer anymore. Watching the burlesque performances made her remember her first love: dance.
Alec thinks she’s crazy to question his commitment and her career. Everything is great! He says so.
Although Alec swears he’s devoted to her, Mallory walks out on him. She goes to Bette’s apartment, where they get drunk and hook up. The author does a great job of showing Mallory’s conflict and confusion. I couldn’t quite enjoy the sex because it seemed like such an epic mistake. Mallory loves Alec.
She regrets the encounter, and Alec isn’t as enamored of girl-on-girl action when he’s not in on it. After a big blowup, they decide to spend time apart.
While Mallory is away from Alec, figuring things out, she’s increasingly drawn to the burlesque scene at The Blue Angel. Should she trade in her prim suits for a corset and garter? Will Alec ever accept her as a performer?
Overall, there’s a lot to like in this stylish erotic novel. The writing is modern and fresh, with vibrant descriptions of stage outfits and hip NYC social life. Alec and Mallory, while flawed, come across as real people. Better yet, they’re dynamic characters who grow from their mistakes. Mallory transforms herself on stage. We learn that Alec has a big heart, not just a big dick. He’s devastated by their breakup.
There are some missteps. At times the story feels like a love affair between the heroine and the burlesque scene. The focus on costumes, outer beauty, and social life comes off as shallow. There isn’t much depth to anything except Alec and Mallory’s relationship—and they are constantly at odds with each other.
For me, however, the good outweighed the bad. With its sexy storyline, lush descriptions, and redeemable cad of a hero, I found Blue Angel enjoyable and compelling.