REVIEW: Redline Lover by Charlene Teglia
Dear Ms. Teglia:
Thank 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
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.