Once, it was Kelly's dream, too, to feel the heat of the boy she desired. But a brutal attack from a stalker still on the prowl has left Kelly terrified of the dark unknown and of a man's touch. Now, as fear and desire converge, Rowdy fights for the only woman he ever loved--to save her from the deadly threats of a stranger, to rid her of her demons, and to satisfy a hunger more powerful than either can imagine.
Comment: This is the first book in the Nauti series by author Lora Leigh, featuring a family living in Kentucky. This is the story of Rowdy and Kelly and how they went from possible sweethearts to solid couple.
Rowdy and his two cousins have had quite a reputation among the people in their hometown. However, they are good people and they take care of those they consider friends and family, including Kelly Benton.
Rowdy has always had a ting for Kelly but she was only 16 when he started to pay attention to her so he goes to the military to be away from her. Of course, he never forgot about her and even thinks of the day they can finally be together. When his time with the marines ends, he decides it's time to start a relationship with Kelly but he is surprised to find out that while he was in his last mission, Kelly was attacked in her house and almost raped. Can they now talk and become a couple? Is the man who attacked her going to let it go?
A little bit of history.
I've started to read erotic novels and things outside my usual comfort reading around late 2007 and 2008. I started to buy more books online which allowed me to read a lot more genres and things not so easily found in my language and to find and buy those books in english really started to make a difference.
Lora Leigh was an author that got on my radar for her supposedly taboo types of plots. I gave in to some of these books before adventuring into m/m, which I came to appreciate immensely.
Way before even having the blog, I already had read some stuff by this author, namely several books in her back list. So far, besides this title, I've also read several books in her Breeds series and the Men of August trilogy, being that all have erotic content but the Breed series is fantasy/sci-fi and he other books contemporary.
All this to come back to this book.
It had been in the shelf for twelve years, actually, since I got it in 2008. Now that my general taste for erotic books has disappeared (I might read an erotic novel but only if it has been in the pile or if well recommended), this didn't feel like such a great story anymore.
It's true reader's taste can evolve/change but if a story is good, then it might still be enjoyable, right?
To me, sadly, this one turned out to not be good.
The story follows pretty much the same basics as the trilogy Men of August did, which is the main couple has a solid connection but they still have sex with one another somehow for some weirdly explained reason, here because the three cousins learned about sex with a mature woman and in the Men of August series to deal with trauma.
The author has a fixation with sharing and anal sex, which always is part of the erotic scenes somehow.
Besides this no longer feeling appealing to me, it is rather odd one would heal oneself with more sex, and if kinky, the better. I'm no expert myself and I did read other books when I was looking for erotic stuff where author would do this well, some character improving, healing, getting past trauma with the help of patience and therapy, a lover/partner who was considerate and a better experience with sex.
In this author's book things are not so obvious. Yes, this is escapism, this is not a book on proper counseling and therapy but the message... it's still there. I'm not even going to go into the whole rape thing because I think anyone would think of it as wrong and the fact in this book it was a means to and end, just.... I'd say that what could be seen as taboo or kink or dark erotica just felt wrong here.
Now, I could embark on this whole escapism idea had the plot been a fascinating one.
It was not, though.
Basically Rowdy comes back, goes on seducing an already willing Kelly despite her trauma, the cousins watch or whatever, they have plenty of sex and the bad guy is finally caught. There's no real plot. There's no real advance on the character's growth into better people.
Therefore, lack of interest, lack of a plot, lack of character development and themes I no longer enjoy made for a very weak story for me.
I could have avoided reading but after so long, I'd feel sad I didn't at least try.
However, I have no plans on continuing with this author. I still have a book on the Breeds series to read, one I have been waiting for - like many other readers - and I hope that is a good one. As for the rest of her work, this is it.