Why do I tout my book as the antithesis to Fifty? For a number of reasons: plot, message, pace, merit and genre. Plenty de-glamorizes sex kitten training, and strips away the fairy tale sheen, a theme popularized by Fifty. Plenty chronicles the dark, ugly, gritty side of contract intimacy with a dominant male and shatters glossy Pretty Woman perceptions. Plenty can’t be categorized as an endearing “acceptable” romance novel between an injured dominant male and a naïve female. Moreover, it doesn’t encourage a submissive female and dominant male dynamic. Plenty doesn’t begin with a stumble but with a shudder. To some readers, the pace of the story may be jarring but to an adrenaline junkie who watched jolting intense James Bond movies for decades, it's a perfect fit.
Finally, in contrast to Fifty, merit knits the threads of this suspense thriller together. Merit drives the plot in many ways via car crashes, impulsive decisions and opportunities for empowerment through friendship and skills training. First, car crashes in the book drive the plot forward but also impart important messages about driving and tolerance. Merit weaves its way throughout the plot through Mark’s mantra, the horses, the bees and conversations about road rage. Merit eventually galvanizes acceptance plus understanding of an unconventional but well-matched loving couple.
While, ultimately, Plenty doesn’t popularize, encourage the objectification of women or glorify sex kitten training, it does focus on a wounded woman secure male dynamic that holds many fascinating surprises for the reader. Other plot differences include the rural versus city setting, the number of suitors involved, education and family life separate the female protagonists - Anastasia and Camille, the gender of the teacher/trainer, the boyfriend’s agenda and the sex scenes from Chapter one to the final chapters. In fact, all represent major differences between the two books.
For readers seeking a sleepy, slow, romance story about a wealthy man who plucks a sexually inexperienced young woman from a life of obscurity to become his well-trained plaything/princess, I suggest another story besides Plenty, the powerful, feminist, flip side of Fifty.
In closing, as the mother of a son, probably slated to be a mother-in-law one day, I think often about the life partner he may choose. I hope that he chooses a loving, kind, good-hearted, strong woman who rescues herself, a woman who values her ability to function independently in the world like my niece who recently graduated as a Marine officer. By the way, she dates an Army Ranger. So proud of my family's military service and ties. So proud to live in an era when female empowerment, exempliary and exalt belong in the same sentence.