Geraldine writer Leigh Marsden's second novel is perfect if you're looking for something in the naughty department.
Crush is just as saucy as Scarlet, Marsden's first book, which was described by Penguin as the most sexually explicit they have ever published in New Zealand.
Crush, too, is pretty descriptive.
The story follows Philippa, a chef who returns to her small hometown of Glory Falls to find herself being pursued by two equally charming men.
Ben, a kind beekeeper, and Andrew, a confident but cheeky carpenter, compete for a place in Philippa's love life, but then both their chances are challenged by the return of Philippa's childhood crush – her best friend's older brother, Cam.
At the same time, Philippa's best friends Gill and Sean struggle with their own problems.
Gill and her husband have a creative sex life, but on an emotional level there is no connection. Sean is bullied for being gay and finds it hard to be open about his life.
While Philippa's love square plays out, readers are reminded of why Marsden's first book was described as such a sizzling read.
But as Marsden has said before, it's not porn.
And as I said in my first review, there are times it does come close.
Explicit details aside, Crush still has enough of a storyline to keep the reader interested – at least those who are looking for more than rude words.
It explores the good and bad, funny and seedy sides of small towns and makes the reader realise no matter how well you think you know someone, they can still surprise you.
- © Fairfax NZ News