Ella James is one of the “original indies”. She burst onto the scene with her best-selling paranormal romance series, STAINED back in 2011 and she never looked back. My first Ella James book was HERE, a fantastic young adult science fiction novel that captivated my attention because of her one hundred percent original plot. That’s what I remember most about Ella, how original her plots are. HERE was a five star read for me, and Selling Scarlett is no different.
The Selling Scarlett premise sounds simple at first. If you just read the blurb you get a few things – Elizabeth DeVille needs money. She’s a virgin. She auctions off her virginity. That’s not even close to what this book is really about. This plot is thick, filled with action, sex, violence, politics, friendship, and above all—romance.
I loved all the main characters, at least those who were meant to be loved. Elizabeth DeVille is complex, original, and deep. We get to see her change from the insecure grad student in the beginning of the book—the girl who never had a boyfriend, who was a little bit on the pudgy side, and who lacked confidence. To the totally ravishing, confident, and much more experienced “Scarlett” at the end. I enjoyed her journey.
Hunter West is not what he first appears either. Oh, sure, he’s a playboy. He deserves every bit of his semi-tarnished reputation. But he’s not a killer. And this book is really about him just as much as it’s about Elizabeth. Hunter West is the last person to spend time with a high-class prostitute names Sarabelle and now Sarabelle is missing.
This just barely scratches the surface of what’s going on in Selling Scarlett. There’s a whole other plot back in Elizabeth’s “real” life with her best friend Suri, and California Governor’s son, Cross. In fact, Cross is the whole reason Elizabeth needs to do what she’s doing in the first place. I loved this storyline between Cross, Elizabeth, and her best friend Suri. It’s so great. And Cross is getting his own book! YES! The second book in the Love, Inc. series is all about Cross. (Chasing Cross).
This book is not fluff, not at all. It’s a murder mystery, it’s a story about friendship, it’s a smexy romance, and it’s one hundred percent fun. Five start for Selling Scarlett.