Title: A Gentleman in the Street (The Campbell Siblings #1)
Author: Alisha Rai
Publication Date: November 22nd 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Shameless. That’s what she was.
Billionaire businesswoman Akira Mori can get anything and anyone her heart desires. Anyone, that is, except for a certain aloof author who has been dominating her dreams for over a decade. Accustomed to Jacob Campbell’s stern disapproval, Akira has turned provocation into an art, using every trick in her arsenal to keep the man from guessing the depth of her filthy fantasies.
Shameless. That’s what she made him.
Since the moment the sexy, sultry socialite sidled up to him years ago, there hasn’t been a time when Jacob didn’t crave Akira. But as guardian to his younger siblings, responsibility has controlled his life. Confining his darkest desires to secret, stolen moments maintains his carefully disciplined world…but a cold bed is the price he pays.
A single touch is all it takes for their simmering need to explode. As secrets and fears are stripped away one by one, shame becomes a thing of the past. They find themselves becoming addicted to each other, in bed and out—a frightening prospect for a man just learning to live…and a woman who thinks she doesn’t know how to love.
He shot her an incredulous glance. “When do you sleep?
She glanced at her watch. “Sometime between fucking and ruling the world.”
Alisha Rai is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine. I read one of her other books, Veiled Seduction, and really enjoyed it so I was so excited to get a copy of A Gentleman in the Street through a giveaway hosted by The Ripped Bodice.
A Gentleman in the Street truly is a rarity in Erotica. It was sex positive, anti-slut shaming, flipped common Erotica tropes, and had great humor with well developed, realistic characters and romance.
Akira Mori is a Japanese American billionaire businesswoman. She’s savvy, confident, and unapologetically sexual despite what other people think. Bonus points for her having a giant library in her mansion. Over the course of the novel, she has to overcome her past relationship with her mother who left her feeling like she couldn’t truly be loved.
Jacob Campbell is an an author who writes about spies. He raised and acted as a father figure to his three younger siblings, and has some deep rooted issues over his role in their lives along with not knowing how to let loose.
Couples that have been pining for each other, whether it be lust or love at first, are my kryptonite. That being said, I was rooting for Akira and Jacob from the beginning. Alisha Rai does sexual tension so well. I’m not a fan of step sibling relationships, but Rai made it tolerable and even interesting because of how the dynamics in their dysfunctional family worked out. Akira and Jacob were such an admirable couple, and helped each other grow a lot as individuals. I was so happy with the place in their relationship that the book left off on. It felt real and true to the characters.
I adored the family dynamics in A Gentleman in the Street. Even the poor relationship between Akira and her reality television starring Dad, whose new family is Kardashian-esque ( sex tape and all) and who only wants to use his daughter for ratings, was fascinating. The relationship between Mei, Akira’s mom, and Kati, Jacob’s younger sister, was one of the standouts. It was really interesting how someone like Mei could actually care for someone to a certain degree. Their relationship was such an intriguing contrast between Mei’s relationship with Akira. Of course, I really enjoyed the Campbell family made up of Jacob, acting as the father, and his younger siblings Connor, Ben, and Kati. I wish we got to see more of their interactions, but I’m excited to see how the next book in the series, The Right Man for the Job, highlights the family’s relationship.
I loved the role reversals in A Gentleman in the Street. Typically in Erotic Romances, it is the male character that is more sexually experienced than the heroine. That was the complete opposite in A Gentleman in the Street. It was always Akira who was into multiple partners of different genders (she’s by definition Bisexual, but the word is never used), and throwing orgies. Alisha Rai dismantled the powerful billionaire male with sexual prowess trope that shows up in Erotica so often by having Akira rather than Jacob fill that role. I’ve never read a romance with a female billionaire before, so I was really happy that that was the case.
Rai also had amazing discussions between characters about slut-shaming and sexism in writing. Jacob’s sister Kati calls Akira a slut, and He immediately tells her why calling other women sluts is wrong. Later on in the novel, Akira critiques Jacob’s writing and how he kills off female characters throughout his books while the male characters survive, and helps him to realize his bias.
In addition to all that, A Gentleman in the Street also featured a lot of my favorite tropes including I Could Love You Someday along with Ms. Cynic and Running from the Paparazzi.
A Gentleman in the Street is an erotic romance that has threesomes, an orgy, and the heroine and hero having sex with people other than each other. It is all consensual and agreed upon, but if you are one of those people who doesn’t like the hero and heroine having sex with other people despite this, then A Gentleman in the Street is probably not the book for you.
“The hero’s supposed to live. He’s the hero.”
“Make him a her every now and again,” she replied. “And maybe I might increase the ratings I left you on Amazon.”