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Lip Service by M. J. Rose

Lip Service (edition 2000)

by M. J. Rose

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1205175,253 (3.59)4
Julia Sterling has it all--marriage to a successful psychiatrist and a burgeoning career as a journalist--but when she stumbles into a phone sex conversation, she confronts her darkest, most perverse longings.
Title:Lip Service
Authors:M. J. Rose
Info:Atria Books (2000), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:sex, New York, contemporary fiction

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Lip Service by M. J. Rose


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Showing 5 of 5
Lip Service by M. J. Rose is a sensual journey of self discovery. Read my review in its entirety HERE. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |

I knew the moment I saw this on the shelf years ago I just had to have this book and even after I discovered it was pretty sexually explicit (something I wasn't used to at the time) I didn't care. I kept reading because it felt so real...so full of identity, hurt, truth and honesty...

Julia is an unhappily married woman and the last woman in the world I ever expected to relate to or feel so bad for. When I first read it broke my heart and it still does...the way her parents and husband treat her like a child. She has a mind, but because she almost once lost it, no one wants her to use it now. She had a nervous breakdown in college and immediately went home and into therapy...and four years later straight into marriage.

Now Julia wants to resume her life, her career interests and maybe because of her sexless marriage and a need to find out what's normal and what's not when it comes to desire and wanting more, she decides to research what really goes on in the world of phone sex.

_Lip Service_ turned out to be very, very (very!) good, but never really reached the climax I thought it would ( )
  booksandcats4ever | Jul 30, 2018 |
M. J. Rose’s Lip Service is the thinking woman’s erotica. This isn’t raunchy nonsense pinned together with a few weak plot points and vapid characters — a limp excuse for pornography masquerading as literature. No. I’ll be the first to admit I know little about this genre, but Lip Service worked for me as a mild thriller with some naughtiness.

Julia is interesting. We learn she had some sort of breakdown in college, an event that led to her “romance” with Paul . . . which is really no romance at all. A widower, Paul has a young son whom Julia adores, and the stability he provides is exactly what she needs at a shadowy point in her life. She’s looking for a rock, someone to keep her safe, and she finds it in her new husband: a man who works at keeping her quiet and calm.

That works for Julia . . . for a while. But when she’s introduced to phone sex therapy, she realizes how dull and colorless her life and marriage have become. Devoid of any emotional or physical intimacy with Paul, Julia’s mind is left to wander — and that’s where Sam steps in. As Julia learns more about the Butterfield Institute’s work, she’s a little scared at how invested she becomes in the process. Maybe too invested.

This book surprised me — in a good way. As I mentioned, it has plenty of steamy scenes for romance lovers, but at its core is Julia’s transformation. I really felt for her and hoped she wouldn’t stumble down a bad road, especially when she seems poised to break free of the past.

Originally published more than a decade ago and now reissued, Lip Service can feel a bit outdated at times -- just in terms of the technology mentions -- but it didn’t really bother me. No doubt bolstered by the success of those-grey-books-which-shall-not-be-named, M.J. Rose’s novel should find a ready audience. And it’s deserving of one. ( )
  writemeg | Oct 25, 2012 |
I received a copy of Lip Service courtesy of NetGalley.

Julia is the wife of Paul, a psychologist, that treats her more like a patient than his wife. Years before, when she left her carefully scheduled and sheltered routine for college, Julia had a bit too much fun and lost control of life, causing a nervous breakdown. That put her in therapy for 4 years, introducing her to Paul. Since becoming Paul's wife and stepmother to his son Max, Julia has been the perfect wife and mother, never acting out. Then one night at a fundraiser, she meets Sam, a sex therapist. She decides to collaborate on a book with him about his practice, as well as become a 'sex therapist' via phone sex, just so she can experience first hand what she will be writing about. Turns out Julia rather likes the phone fantasies, and it liberates her, waking her up to how sexless her marriage is and how stiffed she feels.

Lip Service was slightly erotic, but since reading Fifty Shades, I'm not sure anything else is going to make me blush. I enjoyed the mystery and love story in this book. I read it in one sitting, so it obviously caught and held my attention. And I was relieved that Julia finally recovered her backbone and stood up to her husband about the way he doctored her. ( )
  Supera710 | Aug 28, 2012 |
Julia Sterling is in a sex less marriage. On the surface she seems to have everything, a good life, a wonderful step son, plenty money. Her hiusbands just shows no interest in her. She goes to work for Sam at the Butterfield Institute where she delves into the world of phone sex therapy. This in turn unleashes her own sexual feelings that have been hidden for some time.

As always with novels by M J Rose they are very racy and very close to the knuckle, so if you are easily offended then they are not the books for you. The book was very easy to read and although I had read it before it held my interest a second time around. A very enjoyable read and her books stay in my permament library. ( )
  tina1969 | May 23, 2011 |
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Julia Sterling has it all--marriage to a successful psychiatrist and a burgeoning career as a journalist--but when she stumbles into a phone sex conversation, she confronts her darkest, most perverse longings.

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