REVIEW: Perfect Alignment by KB Alan
Dear KB Alan:
\ This is an erotic romance featuring a college senior who gets pulled over for speeding while on her way to Boston to visit friends and spend the evening at a fetish nightclub. At the time of the traffic stop, Emma is wearing a special pendant that denotes her sexual preferences as a submissive. She enjoys the club and the encounters she’s had there but it’s three hours away from her college and it’s impossible maintain a relationship with anyone she meets given the distance, her busy schedule of work and school.
Drew is on his way home after a long shift when a car goes speeding by. He stops her, gives her a ticket, notices her necklace and…then asks her to step out of the car. He acknowledges that he shouldn’t be doing this and Emma notes that this isn’t the club and he’s trusting her not to report his admittedly inappropriate behavior to the authorities.
The two share a hot scene and then agree that he would come up to Boston to meet her. Instead of going to the club, Emma has another intense encounter with Drew and they decided to continue seeing each other–for the sole purpose of physical release–back home where Drew lives and works not far from Emma.
Emma reasons that because she’s in her last year of college and plans to move back home and help her parents run their store, she might as well enjoy herself in a no commitment, physical pleasure only relationship. For her, though, she begins to develop feelings quickly for Drew. Their relationship isn’t solely sexual. They begin to do couple-y things such as watch movies and make dinner.
The first half of the book establishes their relationship and toward the middle part, I started getting bored. The sex in the story was fine but nothing I hadn’t read before and because it wasn’t emotion based in the beginning, it didn’t hold me interest as the story moved on.
However, once Drew began enforcing the barriers to any true relationship, the emotional drama took off. Initially Drew is presented as not wanting to play so close to home, worried it would cost him his job. Later, however, the conflict morphs into Drew not wanting any relationship at all. His parents are cold and unhappy. His best friend retreated inside himself after his wife died. Drew doesn’t want a vanilla relationship but he’s also scared of a relationship with a sexually compatible woman too.
There’s an air of reality in the story. It doesn’t rely on over the top angst but instead presents a possible real life dilemma. One guy who’s afraid of committing and one girl who’s future doesn’t allow her to commit. Even the mundane part of the story lends itself to enhancing the realism in some ways.
The cover says it is a short story but my guess is this is category length. I didn’t feel that it was too short because the issues of conflict were all well addressed by the end including how the two would work through their relationship after Emma graduates from college.
The BDSM is very mild and while I wasn’t annoyed by the menage, it didn’t fit well other than to emphasize that this was an Erotic Romance. I kept waiting for some kind of greater emotional impact from the menage, but it never arrived.
The second half is much better than the first and I’m glad I powered through but the slow parts during the set up of the relationship almost had me abandoning the book. In the end, though, I was intrigued by the couple’s dilemma and I enjoyed the resolution which I felt was true to the characters. B-/C+