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The Strip (2011)

Cam Lawford became a stud-for-hire after his football career ended with injury. Now known for his champion efforts in the bedroom, he is found shot dead in a Las Vegas hotel room - presumedly by someone he was intimate with. The story then jumps back six weeks, and introduces some of his clients. Billie Shelton (remember that self-destructive singer from Tan Lines?) is now a headliner for a casino, and is married to the creepy Randall, the plastic surgeon who reconstructed her. Kristin Fox, author of raunchy bestsellers, finds she needs some passion in her life, because her marriage to hotel executive Hart certainly isn't providing it. And therapist Jennifer - who sees both Kristin and Billie - tries Cam out after her journalist husband Patrick loses his lust for life. As Cam proves he's not just a gigolo but a good listener too, who wants him dead? This is a much stronger story than the first - a bit like those addictive gambling machines where you lose track of time - and can be read as a stand-alone. In one word, it's wicked.

Tan Lines (2008)

New York Post's Page Six is running items about a grisly murder, a premature birth and a public meltdown. Each headline applies to three friends who signed up for a summer-share lease in the Hamptons. There's Liza, a feminist media commentator who is stuck in an unfulfilling marriage; Kellyanne, an actress-model whose biggest role to date is mistress to a demanding developer; and Billie, an indie rock singer who's hell-bent on self-destruction. Despite the book's premise resting on who is going to suffer which fate, there was very little suspenseful build-up to the actual murder. If you don't like raunchy reads, you'll probably find this more painful than a dose of sunburn.

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