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Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Erotic Romance
Julia Sterling appears to have it all, a good marriage, status, and a successful career. The daughter of psychologists and the wife of a prominent psychiatrist, Julia has spent her life in analysis. When Sam Butterfield, the founder of the Butterfield Institute (a notorious sex clinic) asks her to write a book about the institute's phone sex therapies, Julia is both fascinated and repelled.
Her husband Paul forbids her to write the book. In college, Julia was very sexually promiscuous and suffered a nervous breakdown. Paul fears that if she explores her sexual identity she may suffer another mental crisis. Believing that Paul is only concerned about negative publicity if his wife writes a controversial book, Julia trains as a phone sex therapist. When she begins performing phone sex she finds herself as titillated as her patients, and discovers she has an innate ability to transform herself into each role while she visualizes her caller's fantasies.
As Julia explores her sexuality she realizes that her parents and her husband have manipulated her through analysis. She evaluates her relationships with everyone in her life, including a former college chum, Jake. Meanwhile, tensions mount as Paul's business is investigated for IRS fraud, and Julia learns that the Butterfield Institute may be a front for a prostitution ring.
Although highly sensuous, LIP SERVICE isnt your average erotic tale. The novel is an intelligent and well-crafted analysis of a womans personal identity quest. Although the novel ends happily, the average romance reader may find it more erotic then romantic. (Feb., 285 pp., $12.95)
Reviewed By: Kate Ryan
Publisher: Lady Chatterley's Library
Published: February 1999