REVIEW:  Silent Surrender by Barbara J. Hancock

REVIEW: Silent Surrender by Barbara J. Hancock

Dear Ms. Hancock,

After reading and reviewing your impressive novella, Ghost in the Machine, I was eager for more of your work and curious as to what your writing was like in other genres. Silent Surrender, your new Spice Brief, caught my attention and I decided to try it.

Alexia arrives at the Rivera hotel and resort for a vacation harried by her phone. Alexia is a trader on Wall Street and it is difficult for her to carve out even two days to get away from her stressful job. She doesn’t know she is being watched by Carlos Rivera, who observes her dealing with a couple of crises as she checks in.

Carlos is impressed and intrigued, and he later approaches Alexia, who is sitting at the bar, with two champagne glasses. Alexia is appreciative of the fine champagne, and even more of the man’s gorgeous appearance. He speaks no words, but his eyes say volumes. Soon Alexia and Carlos are dancing together, and not long after that, sexxoring in a private dining alcove.

Rivera spirits Alexia away to his penthouse suite, where they spend the night, still saying not a word. But will Rivera’s silence content Alexia, and how will she react when she learns why he won’t speak?

This was a charming little short. Your writing here is atmospheric and seductive, so the absence of dialogue worked almost as well for me as it did for Alexia. I can’t say that I didn’t guess where the story was going plot-wise, because I did, but though not as compelling as Ghost in the Machine, it was still enjoyable.

What surprised me was that the sex was pretty vanilla for an erotic story. Also, some of the metaphors, such as “the dress sighed into a forgotten fabric puddle at her feet,” worked for me beautifully while others did not – for example: “Butterflies? The thrill that arced from her nipples to her stomach and beyond was more jet airplanes engaged in aerial acrobatics.”

But the characters were so very easy to like and want the best for, and I was glad for the outcome of their encounter (not things I take for granted in a Spice Brief these days), so this one gets a C+.