Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Waiting in Vain by Charlotte Stein

Dear Ms. Stein:

cover image for Charlotte Stein Waiting in VainI get several requests a day from authors seeking a review of their book. I generally read the first page of every book I receive for review. Often times the first page is insufficient to keep me reading. The story however opens with an engaging premise, a humorous tone, any promise of a worthwhile read. Although it was short, it was one of the more pleasurable erotic romances I have read in a long time.

I always feel awkward at the Hennessey's annual family Christmas get-togethers-‘maybe because I'm just the sister of a brother-in-law. I don't have any family except for him, so I get to be the tag-a-long. But I guess this year my awkwardness isn't quite so unwarranted, when you consider that the revoltingly handsome eldest son has his hand on my thigh, under the table.

The premise is fairly simple. Nancy attends Christmases with her brother and his wife’s family, the Hennesseys. She has been doing this for three years. Not once during those previous holidays, has Nancy ever received any type of signal from Mick, “the revoltingly handsome eldest son”, so his hand on her leg under the table comes as quite a surprise.

The story is fairly short and there’s really not much that I can say about it so I choose instead to quote liberally from the story allowing the author’s voice to tell you what the reading experience will be like. This is a buoyant, charming, and and funny erotic romance. I’ve read many an erotic romance and they’re often so dark, filled with emotional turbulence that reading this lighthearted take was a breath of fresh air.

The story is told in the first person, but through conversation we come to learn of why Mick hasn’t made a move before:

"You're absolutely gorgeous! Hideously gorgeous! I hate to break it to you, Mick, but gorgeous men aren't afraid of asking clever women out on dates. Quite the opposite."

"Did you work that out in your giant alien brain?" he says. Completely deadpan.

See-‘not only is he gorgeous, he's also funny enough to make me laugh in the middle of indignation.

"No, but-‘"

"Were there lots of equations involved? If X has a tight bum and Y has big knockers, do they intersect in column Z?"

The erotic part of the romance comes from the fact that Mick is a bit of an exhibitionist.

"Your Gran's in the next room," I hiss at him, when he starts pushing past just making out in the middle of the night on his old bed.

But I've got no room to talk, because I seem to be rolling his t-shirt up his amazing body. If he keeps tempting me like this, I'm going to go for the buttons on his jeans, I know I am. Please stop me, Mick, before I unbutton your jeans.

"Is she? Think she can hear me spreading your legs?"

"Oh, gross, Mick. Gross. She's eight hundred years old! And besides, I'm not spreading my legs so you can just-‘"

"Get you to make loads of noise? I was planning on it, but thanks for the permission."

"I don't make noise. Ever. I only have very, very quiet sex."

"Aw, that's a shame. Because I'm a talker. A shouter, even."

"I don't know why you're telling me this. I'm not going to make you shout."

"Well, where would the fun in that be? I've just told you that I'm no challenge, so making me shout would be pretty boring. Making you shout, on the other hand…"

You even throw in some clever imagery regarding the labrinth tattoo that Mick has on his arm and a bit of character growth as Nancy blossoms under Mick’s dedicated sexual onslaught. Thanks for sending it to me. I’ll be on the look out for future Stein books. B

Best regards,


This book can be purchased in ebook format. The only place I could find it for sale was at Total eBound.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Christine M.
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:18:06

    Thanks for reminding me about this “#romwin”, I just bought & downloaded myself a copy to know how it ended! =)

  2. jmc
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:19:22

    From the excerpt:

    But if he thinks he's going to splurge his reputation all over me he's got another thing coming.

    Splurging his reputation? Made me chuckle even as I downloaded a copy.

  3. Charlotte Stein
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 15:53:09

    Wow and phew and other non-words I can barely type. A review on Dear Author. One of my life’s ambitions, just like that!

    Thank you so much for reviewing my novella, Jane. And, I guess, for liking it! Never thought it would even be noticed, never mind liked!

    I won’t say any more, for fear of making myself look like an even bigger div than I probably already do, but really- thank you. And to you guys who’ve just gone and bought it- thank you, too!

    Okay- me and my jelly fingers and my heart that’s pounding in my head are going to go have a lie down.

  4. dri
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 17:24:36

    This sounds fabulous! It’s so hard to find good contemporary erotica with a sense of humour that isn’t eye-roll-inducing and this made me giggle just from the review. Off to buy!

  5. SonomaLass
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:32:30

    I had a lot of fun reading this story. I’m also going to be looking forward to more (and longer) works by Ms. Stein.

    I’m not always a fan of first-person present-tense narration, but she makes it work really well. (Should say, YOU make it work really well, since I know the author’s reading this thread.)

  6. Carin
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 18:58:09

    This book made me smile and laugh as I read it. I really enjoyed it! Hooray for a good contemp novella!

  7. Sarah
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:29:06

    You caught my attention! Going to buy it now. Thanks for a review that speaks for itself so well. :D

  8. Christine M.
    Jan 30, 2010 @ 19:48:04

    Done reading it and I *LOVED* it. Seriously, I want more. It was funny and sweet and i had those little butterflies in my tummy from the sweet interaction between Nancy and Mick. This is what I consider a comfort read and call me greedy if you will but I would have loved to get to know them more, to read more about their story. It was awesome.

  9. Hydecat
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 09:45:52

    This book made me giggle out loud multiple times. The narrator’s voice was wonderful and the story was very fun to read.

  10. Statch
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 10:20:07

    I bought/downloaded this on the strength of the excerpted parts. Love the author’s voice! I’m looking forward to reading it, and hope to see more by her. (I signed up for the site’s newsletter to make sure I hear about new books by her.)

  11. Charlotte Stein
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 10:20:25

    Wow! Thank you so much, guys! It’s so lovely to hear about people reading it and enjoying it- I can’t tell you.

    And Christine- you’re really making me think I should do a sequel, now!

  12. lilswtangel
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 17:33:13

    Breezed through the novella and finished it in under half an hour.

    What Jane said: This was “a breath of fresh air” from darker, more turbulent erotica.

    Such an easy and funny read that I’m craving a sequel.

    I’m usually not a fan of stories told in first-person format as I like reading povs from both the H/H, but this does little diminish the thoughts and/or feelings of the secondary character.

    Revealing what was at the center of the labyrinth tattoo was a nice touch. Glad to know Ms. Stein didn’t forget that detail and leave us hanging.

    Ah Mitch, can I put you in my pocket and carry you home?

  13. Kaetrin
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 19:18:39

    sounds great – I’ll just head over and buy it now.

    Thx for the review.

  14. Tweets that mention REVIEW: Waiting in Vain by Charlotte Stein | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary --
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 12:38:38

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erotic Romance, Charlotte Stein, Charlotte Stein, Christine Morin, NightsEmbrace and others. NightsEmbrace said: REVIEW: Waiting in Vain by Charlotte Stein | Dear Author: Romance …: Dear Ms. Stein: I get several requests a da… […]

  15. Hebby
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 22:05:50

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