"Fair point, Miss Summers." Would you like to get started, then?"Sense of Sin
Breathing slowly, Beth tried to compose herself. She took care not to break eye contact with Adam. He smiled, looking deep into her eyes, his head tilted down.
She brushed her hand against the leather of her skirt, almost~not quite~pulling it up a little. Adam studied every move she made. Beth bit her lower lip.
Before she knew it, he was on her, his hand grasping her thigh and his hard forearm pressed against the nape of her neck. Her legs felt tiny in his strong hands, and everything about him overpowered her, his strength, his size~
At times, this reads like a Taylor Swift song, the heartache, the how could he, the sense of anger and a loss of control.
At others it seems like a lesson in obedience and dominance, with her commanding him as her submissive and the two of them finding completeness within each other through their twisted games.
And then, there is that tease, that little thing the writer holds out on you and keeps pulling away. The big reveal, hinted at and keeping you reading, while the cliffhanger at the end of each chapter keeps pulling the string and the mouse keeps just out of the reach of our paws. It is like me saying that my final verdict on this book is-
You'll have to wait.
Beth continued up to the desk, dropping her bag to the side and innocently cocking her head at Adam. She gestured to her leg, mouthing a little kiss. Never one to turn down an invitation, Adam leaned down, taking his time, feeling her anticipation, and kissed her foot. She wore a pair of black knee-high boots, and he could feel her shiver when he kissed them, shaking as he moved to the pale flank of her calf, bare and hairless. Then her leg-I tease because I can, and it keeps you reading. And you like it. The sex is powerful, leading, teasing, doting and lustful in its details and explicit nature. It commands and teases, pulling back at that right moment you wish the characters would just go all in and ravage each other, yet a patient hand guides this and carefully builds. If you don't know how to carefully stoke a fire in a reader's mind, pulling back when the reader wants more, and delivering after the ache is so great we cannot stand it anymore, you shouldn't be writing erotic romance.
Beth pulled her skirt up just a little. Somewhere between an invitation and a dare.
This? This is very well done and it stoked my fire perfectly. So my final verdict is a-
There were moments which threw me, like a disjointed timeline and the point-of-view of other characters I wasn't as interested in as I was the two main characters. Her and him. The jumping into the past felt odd, a revelation that I was thoroughly interested in but it did not have the impact I wish it would have had if the revelation was in the present time. If there was this open question floating about "in the now" about "will she or won't she?"
I feel this would have had more power and sting, and this would have been a real page-turner for me. It's like weaving a "he is cheating on me" thread through the book and then resolving it by the end with the big reveal. But a big reveal lost in the past does not seem as powerful and engaging, at least in my feeling. But I admit, the question did have me turning pages, so it was well done.
The control and bondage was also perfectly done, with detail and those 'little moments' like kissing the scuff mark on her boot before being allowed to go further that I reveled in. The nastiness too, while father apart than in most erotic books due to the romance, was well paced and thoroughly delivered upon. It lit a fire, let it warm, and roared to life exactly when I wanted it to deliver heat and passion.
The snow flicked through the air, winter winds cutting across the campus. He considered checking again, if only to get in from the cold. Usually, Beth's friend across the hall was home, but her door went unanswered as well, and the volume of the music she played was usually the dorm room equivalent of a tie on the door.
Do not disturb indeed, Adam thought. At least someone was getting lucky.
Not that he couldn't do the same. Sooner or later, there would have to be someone else, for him and for Beth.
Not believing himself for a second, Adam turned his collar to the cold evening air and dropped to his knees, opening the bag he had brought. Not this time. Not with Beth. Beth was something different. He knew how to show her that.Oh, romance, how you toy with my heart so. And how I love you for this mistreatment, relishing in every heartbreak and misunderstanding, finding myself flipping pages crazily to see if they will stick together or break apart. What I find myself lost in is how relaxed I am in this writing, it disappears and I am there, beside the characters, lost in their thoughts, and in that moment with them. Even their darkest, most intimate times, I am there. It is a powerful testament to the quality here, and it cannot be said enough how I appreciated the flow and the transparency of the style - while still finding time to highlight those little details of the falling snow and the turning of the collar against the chill of the air.
Well done indeed.
So my final verdict? Is shall say this, in a great romance book, and also in a great erotic romance book as this one is, you will get that 'final verdict' well before the end. You will come to understand the message and even the ending before the end even comes. In this review, if I have done my job right, you will know if I liked the book or not before I even have to flatly tell you my feelings in a rating. It is an understanding delivered throughout the story and along the way, and this is the job of a great romance writer.
So in a way, you already know what I feel.
You understand long before the end.
And no matter the ending and how this comes out, you know.