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Charlene Teglia

REVIEW: Redline Lover by Charlene Teglia

REVIEW: Redline Lover by Charlene Teglia

Dear Ms. Teglia:

1258Thank you for sending this novella to me for review. I know, having read erotic romance* for several years, that here is a real skill in delivering believable and sexy consummation scenes. You have that skill and I appreciated the delivery of that content. The overall construct, perhaps because of the length, was problematic.

Maggie Parker and Adam Richards were a couple until Maggie up and left one day, leaving Adam sleeping and a post it note breaking up with him.   She moved to Chicago to take a job with a magazine.   When Maggie’s sister gives birth to a son alone and abandoned by her husband, Maggie returns to her hometown near Washington, D.C..   Of course, that puts her back into proximity with Adam.

Adam feels like there was unfinished business between them and proposes that Maggie have sex with him until she leaves for Chicago again.   Adam wants to sex Maggie out of his system.   Maggie is given a remote assignment to come up with a story about Adam, race car driver who leaves it all behind to start a mechanic shop.

I wasn’t sure why Adam and Maggie started dating in the first place and I never got a sense of where their relationship was when she left.   They obviously had communication issues. Maggie never explained to him that she was searching for jobs outside the D.C. area and Adam never explained why he gave up competitive racing.   Some of the conversations they had was if they had never dated before.     Adam really didn’t see Maggie’s departure coming.   He was curiously even keeled about Maggie leaving him.   He was more frustrated and wondering if his strong desire for her had driven her away.

There are great little touches here and there that convey a lot of emotion and provide great setting but the coherency of the story lost me from time to time.   I was confused about how Maggie could maintain any journalistic integrity by sleeping with Adam and I was confused about Adam’s desire to both push Maggie away and sex them both into exhaustion.   For example, Adam swung back and forth after their first sexual encounter.   First he leaves her on the bed, wanting more and hoping that she is gone when he is done with his shower.    When she comes in to the bathroom to say goodbye, he draws her into the shower and they proceed to satisfy each other. I needed something to signal his own internal conflict if that is what you wanted me to read into this. If he wanted to fuck her out of his system, why did he engage in delayed gratification to heighten sensory satisfaction?

I did love the explanation of what the redline was and I wish that this were teased out even more. I thought it was an interesting concept that was brought up but never fully integrated.

There was a nice circling of around for Maggie, from running away to staying and deciding to risk Adam’s rejection in order to find out if they could be together.   As I said in my opening, your sex scenes are always well done and this book is no different.   I wished that there was more cohesiveness in the character motivations.   C

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased at Samhain in DRM Free multiformat.

* I’m not sure I would tag this an erotic romance. I didn’t find the scenes to be any more erotic than in a Blaze.

Dear Author

REVIEW: Animal Attraction by Charlene Teglia

Dear Ms. Teglia

book review Thank you for sending me a copy of your latest release, Animal Attraction. This is a stand alone full length story featuring Chandra Walker, an ordinary shop girl who finds out that her rare werewolf genes makes her a target for an all male pack looking for an alpha female, a queen.

Chandra has no idea that she’s anything but fully human. Sure, she’s been sick and has had very strange cravings for raw meat of late, but the next logical jump from enjoying more protein is not “I’m a werewolf.” When a gorgeous but unknown man starts coming on to her in a strange way at Chandra’s store, she’s frightened rather than turned on and begins to believe that she is going to be the victim of some crime. The site of his gold card stamped with Zachary Neuri does little to allay her concerns.

I can’t tell you how much I appreciated that Chandra was scared instead of turned on. His flirting, his wealth, and all of his external trappings warned her that he was more dangerous than someone who was less suave.

Zach is the alpha male of his all male pack and Chandra is a descendant of the old pack regime. Zach has found her and reclaimed her but Chandra will have the opportunity to choose her mate. Whomever she chooses will become Pack King. She isn’t given much time. The occasion of her turning is shortly upon her.

I am always happy to read your books because the erotic romance part of the story is usually very well done. Animal Attraction is no different. The romance and the eroticism is blended well which is never easy. However, there is little emotional conflict to provide weight to the story which makes it difficult for the story to stick with a reader after the last page.

I think that part of this comes from the fact that the story is a bit episodic with no overarching conflict. First Chandra’s conflict is that she isn’t convinced of her werewolf heritage and then she isn’t keen on the idea of sleeping with 11 men in a twenty four hour time period in order to choose a consort. Second, the conflict turns to an external one when another Pack threatens danger to Chandra’s Pack. How that conflict is resolved is interesting but a deus ex machina character is involved in bringing the external conflict to a close. The final stage of the conflict is an emotional one wherein Chandra is torn over whom to choose to be her consort.

I never really understood why, in an animal based setting, that the alpha of the Pack could be chosen by courtesy of mate partner. It would seem that if the consort couldn’t defeat the challengers, then the queen’s choice would be under constant scrutiny. Maybe if I was told that the chosen consort would be imbued with special powers as a result of the position or something the underlying worldbuilding would have worked. Otherwise it seemed antithetical to biological basis of wolves.

The sex is hot and attention is paid to the emotional connection of the characters. Having read a plethora of bad sex novels recently, I recognize that good erotic romance is difficult. In the end, though, the outstanding worldbuilding questions I had along with the lack of an overarching conflict, I felt a little bereft at the end of the story. I waffled over the grade at the end but decided to go with B-.

Best regards,

Jane

This book can be purchased in trade paperback from an independent bookstore. No ebook format I could find.