Posted:  Aug. 7, 2014

The Other Side of the PillowThe New York Times bestselling Queen of Erotica, Zane is back with a new novel about a testy love affair that emerges between a woman who’s had enough and a man who’s had it all.

Jemistry Daniels is a bitter woman and not trying to hide it. Even though she is beautiful, intelligent, and makes six figures a year as a high school principal in Washington, DC, one man after another has failed her. So she decides to give up and join the party by adapting the entire “friends with benefits” mentality with a couple of men that she beds on the regular but refuses to hold any kind of real conversation with, in fear that she might actually catch feelings. 

Everything is going according to plan until she meets Dr. Tevin Harris, a prominent vascular surgeon, one night at a poetry slam. Tevin listens to her deliver her male-bashing poem and instead of steering away from her like most men with any common sense would do, he asks her out. Tevin has been casually dating for years, ever since his failed marriage to Estella. They had suffered several miscarriages and the emotional pain had become too much for either one of them to bear and still wake up with each other every morning.

Opening up, gaining trust, tearing down barriers, and ultimately, having the audacity to love again is not easy for either Jemistry or Tevin. It takes a lot of transparency, emotional honesty, and patience to even begin to build a life together by helping each other rebuild what has been broken. The Other Side of the Pillow examines, explores, and exposes what it means to truly fall in love. It proves that true love stories do not have a happy ending. True love stories never end at all.

     This is a very interesting concept for a story I get it.  I love sex as much as the next woman but I have a problem with the aggressive undertone of this whole story line at the beginning of the story.
     I understand that Jemistry Daniels, 37, has been wronged by men.  Not one or two but hello in the teens.  Which I have to say is a problem for me to understand.  Especially since she is a highly educated woman, who does some harsh smack talking where she rubs the noses of parents in the sand that come in there all high and mighty acting all skanky when she is walking the same walk and putting up with the same thing.  This all started with the first guy back in 2000, Wesley. who beat her numerous times sending her to the hospital. 
     Now mind you she is already a social studies teacher by that time.  So, from that guy where she finally hits him over the head with an iron skillet in 2000 to now 2013 in the book.  She continues the same pattern of men beating on her.  I assume beatings, but if not that at least the mistreatment and abuse of the spirit.
     So, her solution is to have sex with a couple of men which from what I can tell they don’t know about each other, (Anthony & Gregory.) She is on the friends with benefits plan.  She just doesn’t want the socializing part you know being a friend is even to much.  She wants SEX PODS.  Because “GOD FORBID YOU CATCH FEELINGS” as she puts it.
     She to me as a character is just not very likeable because to me at this point she is no different than any of the men that she was with, emotionally I am speaking.  For her really it’s all about payback.  What really makes me laugh is that she gets on the moral high ground with her roommate for being a “bisexual sex bunny.”
     She meets Tevin Harris, 34, a divorced vascular surgeon.  He got her poem and he got her pain that emanated from the poem.  He was willing to open himself up if she was.  Her mind kept telling her don’t do it you might like him and you might get trapped in another bad relationship because you are jumping in to soon.  He is willing to take it as slow as she needs to. She wants to, his job, his intelligence, his personality, his looks and his sex appeal make her want to go forward.  At the end of the second date when he says it had been months since he had had sex and he asked her how long it had been for her she lies.  It had been that day not a half hour before their date, yet she wants to talk about how she’s been burned.  A part of me gets it she’s on a power trip thing, she’s a principal of a high school and governs teachers and staff.  So, with her background with men it’s her way to keep control but she’s a skank I’m sorry to say, up to this point, my view starts to change about her at about chapter ten.
     Tevin has a profound effect on Jemistry and how she was now starting to look at males as a whole.  All he was asking was to be able to prove himself before she made a snap judgment.  He ends up taking her away for a weekend which is even a surprise to her that she said, “Yes that she would go.”  She knew she wanted to bed him but not ready for a love fest but for a show stopper Tevin speaks from his heart saying he loves her.  Being the nice guy he is, let’s her know he will not pressure he to say it back to him.  He wants her to say it only when she is ready if she ever is.
     Now Tevin has lost a patient on the table and needs a self-pity party.  Jemistry wants to be there for him so goes to his place and cooks him dinner, gives him a massage, and watches a movie with him.  Then sexual heat starts to fly…
     Watch as these two start evolving as a couple.  As individuals and see how it effects those around them.  I didn’t think I would enjoy this as much as I did especially after the shaky beginning we had.  Jemistry being such a skank at the beginning I think both men and women could benefit from this book to see what not to do in a relationship because it was a sure fire way, at the beginning, for how to end up in the toilet.  Then, when I thought there was no way to save this woman she is saved for sure.  I give this book 4 stars.  Provided by Net Galley.  This book tells it like it is be prepared.
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