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Mounting Desire: A Novel Hardcover – April 21, 2005

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Killham's rollicking second novel (after How To Cook a Tart) cleverly sends up the romance genre while standing as a funny, romantic novel in its own right. Jack Carter, nom de plume Celeste d'Arcy, is a successful romance writer living in Venice Beach, almost as irresistible to women as one of his throbbing heroes. But after a failed marriage and too much casual sex, lonely Jack is now a "born again virgin" waiting for his true love. Enter Molly, a formerly successful businesswoman fired for sleeping with her hunky but incompetent assistant. As a favor to his sister, who's Molly's friend, Jack allows the suddenly broke and homeless Molly to move in with him. Soon, Molly is authoring her own romances, ones featuring more handcuffs than petticoats. While Jack suffers writer's block, promotes abstinence among his friends and dates controlling, chaste Heather, Molly publishes popular novels, gets knocked up and grows beautiful in Jack's eyes. Killham aims for a witty gender role reversal with these two characters—Jack is romantic, finicky and worried while Molly behaves more like a hormonally charged teenage boy than a liberated woman—but the author often sacrifices the characters' credibility for cleverness. Nonetheless, readers will still wish the best for these unlikely lovers in this fast-paced and thoroughly enjoyable read. Agent, Isobel Dixon. (May)

From Booklist

Jack Carter has everything a woman could want: he is single, has a successful job as a romance writer, and owns a house in Venice Beach, California. But he is a "born-again virgin," and women have terrorized him in their attempts to force him to break his vow. Enter his sister's friend Molly, who needs a place to stay after being fired for inappropriate sexual behavior. Reluctantly, Jack agrees to his new temporary roommate. Molly decides to try her hand at writing romances, but while Jack actually is looking for romance, Molly is just looking for hot, steamy sex. As the two opposites live together, their lives deteriorate into a hilarious free fall of miscommunications and individual sexual misadventures that lead them to reevaluate what they are looking for in life. With a cast of characters both hysterical and endearing, Killham's extremely funny take on the dating scene, and on how Americans complicate their lives by seeking an ideal instead of reality, is a highly amusing read. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (May 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582345015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582345017
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,186,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi, I'm Nina Killham. I'm the author of three books: How to Cook a Tart (Bloomsbury), Mounting Desire (Bloomsbury) and Believe Me (Penguin). I was born in Washington DC but now live in London with my Australian husband and children. Before writing full time I had a variety of jobs, including working for ABC News, The Washington Post, Columbia Pictures and an earplug factory. I hope you enjoy my books. I always love feedback which you can give to me through my website www.ninakillham.com. Thanks!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Korpics on March 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
Mounting Desire is a hysterical parody on the romance genre. I dislike romance novels - at least the "bodice ripping", "She hated him - yet she was drawn to him at the same time" type, which is why I absolutely LOVE this book! It's intelligent humor that pokes fun at not only romance novels but also how we are trained to look at romance as an idealistic artificial moment - from the books we read - to the 30 second "diamonds are forever" commercials you see around Valentine's Day! Nina Killham's writing is smart, subtle, and laugh out-loud funny.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By gaffy on May 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I got into it straight away. I had to keep sneaking off so I could read in peace. The two main characters are believable, and I couldn't wait to find out if they finally got together. I also liked the amusing dramas that came their way, and the supporting characters rounded it out perfectly. A perfect beach read and a lot of fun!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By someproseandcon on April 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An absurd book, that although uneven, has moments of hilarity. Jack is a virgin romance writer waiting for True Love; Molly is his all-sex, all-the-time housemate. Some of the best moments are when Jack is in dialogue with his characters: "Oh no, not the pelisse again," but there are other great lines: "How will you know she's your true love? Is she going to have a secret handshake?" Also a hilarious misunderstanding over "Tom" the cat that simply has to be read (but not in public, unless you're OK with laughing out loud while reading).
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C.D. Fulton on July 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This paraody of romance novels, romance writers and romance itself is a really fun romp! Simultaneously profound and silly, Mounting Desire is particularly appreciated at a time when the U.S. seems to be embracing its puritan past with reckless abandon. Jack, the born- again- virgin- romance- novel author, doesn't date. Instead, he says: "I fantasize about ideal women. I dress them up in whatever I want, the more corsets the better. I put them through excruciating psychological trauma before having fifteen-second sex with them , and then I delete them." Expect to laugh a lot with this one. So, don't balance your mohito on your tummy while you're poolside.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book a while back and it stayed on my shelves for a couple of years. Why did I buy the book? Well the blurb at the back cover was quite intriguing (The hero is a romance novelist for starters!) What compelled me to finally read this book? Regency romance and contemporary romance novels fatigue syndrome. Basically, I've been reading a lot of Regency romances, and while I've tried mixing it with romance books set in more contemporary times, I found that the contemporary romance novels I've been reading were even more predictable (ie every single one seemed to be set in a small town, there are always dogs, supposed alpha males, past traumas easily fixed through love, cheating exes, etc.etc.).

I figured this is a Little Black Dress book, and like the Red Dress books that Harlequin used to publish in the early 2000s, I knew I couldn't lose with this book, in terms of trying to find a romance with a more quirky edge. And by golly, Ms Nina Killam really delivered on this one! Let me illustrate what I mean by providing you with a list of items/characters/stuff in this book that you are unlikely to find in your usual romance novel:

[My apologies for the spoilers but I have to list them here]

(1) a hero (Jack) who happens to be a romance novelist with a very feminine nom de plume (Celeste D'Arcy) and who decides to be a "born-again virgin"
(2) an opening scene involving the hero's date literally plunging to her death trying hard to seduce the very-determined-to-remain-a-celibate hero
(3) a heroine (Molly) who is a sexaholic (Note: Her character is first introduced while she is attending a group therapy/support session.
Read more ›
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