Novella Serial Review: Calendar Girl by Audrey Carlan

Serial Saturdays: On the occasional Saturday, I review a serialized series (a series that is released in parts that would normally make up a whole novel) to see if the series is worth keeping up with or worth buying all its parts. Here is this week’s offering:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Calendar Girl (from Goodreads):
It’s really simple. I needed money. A lot of money. One million dollars to be exact. The amount didn’t matter. All that mattered is that at the end of that price tag held my father’s life.

No money. No life.

The time limit was one year. On January 1st I had to pay up or my Father was going to be killed. When you’re faced with an ultimatum like this, you do whatever you have to do.

And that’s exactly what I did.

The job…Exquisite Escorts. My role, serve as high priced arm candy to anyone that can afford the $100,000 price tag for a month of my company. Sex is optional (for me) and a 20% increase on the price.

Mia Saunders just barely escaped a paltry life back home in Las Vegas until she gets the call that her Father has been beaten to within an inch of his life for not paying his gambling debt. Problem is, the lone shark is her lousy, ruthless ex-boyfriend. Another guy in a long line of men she’d fallen head over heels for. Not anymore. Mia’s mission is simple. Serve as a high-priced escort for her Aunt’s company and pay monthly against her Father’s bad debt. A month with a rich man who she doesn’t have to sleep with if she doesn’t want to? Easy money. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fave Serial 2016
Series: Calendar Girl
Author: Audrey Carlan
# of Parts: 12 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: January – December 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

My best friend actually recommended this series to me. Rarely do my friends recommend that I read something because chances are, I’ve already read it. But I hadn’t even heard of this one when she suggested it. And so I waited until Kobo had a great sale and bought all the volumes at once.

The Concept:

The premise reminded me a bit of The Arrangement and Blurred Lines–serials I hadn’t kept up with though I enjoyed them. I wanted to see what adventures Mia would get in by being an escort but not necessarily sleeping with the client. So I was eager to get into this one!

The Plot:

Each “part” is a month of Mia’s assignment with a different man who has hired her. What he has hired her for varies from simply being a date to being a muse for an artist, but they are entertaining nonetheless. In addition to that, you have the overarching plot of her father being in the hospital while Mia pays off the debt. Needless to say, these stories move fast and always have something happening to keep you reading.

It’s apparent that this serial was thought out in advance. Never did I feel like Audrey Carlan was throwing out ridiculous plot twists for the sake of keeping the story going. It has a great flow and purpose and I greatly appreciate that.

The Characters:

Mia had tremendous growth throughout this series. I wasn’t her biggest fan in January but by March, I had really warmed up to her. What’s great about each “episode” is that Mia learns something new about herself through the relationship with her client. And I don’t mean she learns something romantically either. While Mia does learn more about what it means to have a strong romantic partner, she also learns to become more confident in herself and decide what she really wants in life. That what I like to see in my characters and I really appreciated that growth.

The Romance:

I like that the romance here isn’t straight erotica when it easily could be. Sure, she’s an escort and doesn’t have to sleep with the guys but the expectations are underlying…

I definitely picked my favourite for Mia and it was a lot of fun waiting to see if I was right as the months progressed.

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

This series was SO MUCH FUN! As each novella progressed, I became more and more invested in the story and it’s outcome. It was the perfect blend of romance, drama and character growth!

Read if You Like: stories about escorts; novellas, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: dislike serials, dislike escort stories

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