Fetish Box, Part Two

The Fetish Box, Part Two: What Escapes - Nicole Camden Initial reaction: I have to be honest, the sensual encounters in this section of the story felt very contrived, and the sequencing/progression of events were quite odd. I can't say that I'll be continuing this series, unfortunately.Full review:Why do I give myself false hope? Why do I do it every single time with a series I hope might get better but doesn't? Even if it's an erotica series with pretty covers and plot lines that don't really make any sense, but the synopsis gives a promising impression?No, I don't mean to be rude in this review, it's just that I'm very disappointed in what I've read with "The Fetish Box" thus far, and I think it's probably in my best interest to stop here. Which is a shame because this is a novel I probably would've endured had it not been a serial novel, had it featured a deeper POV set, and hadn't the whole scattered feeling of starting in an awkward place and ending in an awkward place with much of an awkward middle.In other words, much of this series has been rather awkward. The first book I had issues with but I was at least willing to see what it would build to. This particular part of the story was just utterly ridiculous. "Breathtaking" this was not. I feel like I've yet to see more potential from Nicole Camden (and this is my first reads from her, so I'm not sure how that's going to fare in comparison for future reads. I'm really not opposed to trying something else from her in future considerations, but not this particular series. It just falls flat, and I don't think it's going to change in the third installment.)So, we're back to exploring the relationship of Mary, John, and Max. Mary, when we last left off was/is a virgin who has her first time sex encounter in the sex shop that she inherited from her mother. I didn't really like the writing of the sex scenes here, I thought they were very sluggishly paced and it felt like the narrative didn't flow smoothly. The turns of events after that - which include a violent encounter against one of the shop's workers and an ending that made very little sense in its build-up really did no favors for keeping me intrigued in the novel for measures to come. I kept waiting for more development of the three characters, but it never came, just felt incomplete and implausible. The problem with a serial novel like this is that proper serial novels need to feel somewhat self contained, develop the characters within, and make sense with the continuation from one point to the next. You can't just cut off a story in the middle of one event and then expect a smooth transition to the next, they have to be separated in a way that gives fulfillment for one part and leads into the intrigue of another with some sense of logic. This portion of the serial novel doesn't do that at all. The story left me feeling more empty than having any kind of connection with the characters, rooting for their relationships, or just being invested in the sexy times going on in the duration. It's difficult for me to recommend this, not just for the format of the novel in the way that it's presented, but also for the general portrayal of the story. I think if people are willing to do it, wait for the full novel to release instead of buying this part by part, because it might have more of a line to see where the ending point is, but unfortunately, I don't think the quality would hold up with a full story from what the two parts of this have indicated to me.Overall score: 1/5Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Pocket Star.