After her pet cat dies,romance novelist Julia’s long-time editor Ross suggests she try her hand at writing erotic romance. She goes out to a cabin after nearly a month of book research, not realizing that he has lured her out there under false pretenses. He has been secretly in love with Jules for years, and vice versa.
The problem is that Julia has trouble letting people past her defenses for fearing of losing somebody else that she cares about. She also has a low self-esteem from all of the failed relationships and an attempted rape. Neither wants to jeopardize a decade-long friendship either, but Ross dares to take a chance, sneaky devil that he is.
Anyhoo, Ross arrives at the cabin only to be snowed in by a blizzard, thus allowing him time to work on the big plan of seducing her as a way to convince her to let her guard down long enough to trust him with her heart. Self-delusion convinces her that the intimacy he suggests is just research for the book. However, sexual intimacy has a habit of complicating things.
I expected purely erotica when I started reading this short story, but it became apparent from page one that it was anything but. The characters and narrative were engaging. I started caring about the two protagonists immediately. The dialogue and internal monologue added to this, with the author careful not to overdo it. It was a delicate balance, but Mari Carr has proven once again how talented a writer she is.
The often kinky sex scenes added to the story, showing the vulnerabilities of each character and helping their relationship to evolve over the span of their time at the cabin. The emotional overtones were ripe but not overbearing. Readers will note the use of a deadline for the pair at the cabin. This works well, adding to the drama. The couple also had an existing relationship, instead focusing on the action.
I really enjoyed the story, hence the high rating. The characters are complicated yet cute, the sex scenes emotional yet spicy, dialogue sweet and clever, plot progression spot on. All in all, an awesome read!