Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wanted by Amber Scott

TITLE: Wanted
AUTHOR: Amber Scott
PUBLISHER: Liquid Silver Books
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 51k)
GENRE: Time travel erotic romance
COST: $5.95

Her father’s death leaves Samantha Hendricks with three things – memorabilia about the old west gangster Jesse Kincaid he was obsessed with, a bottle of whiskey, and questions. At a crossroads in her life, she drinks some of the whiskey as she debates her options, only to blackout and find herself in the most vivid dream of her life. Jesse Kincaid doesn’t know what to do with the woman he found, but he does know she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. He can’t resist a single night with her as he takes her to safety. But Samantha keeps hopping back to the present, and Jesse is starting to wonder what it is about her. How are they going to overcome the years and questions that separate them in order to find true happiness?

I was quite taken with this cover when I saw it, and the fact that it was a time travel romance – one of my weaknesses – had me buying it almost as soon as it came out. There were a few things in the excerpt I read that made me pause, but ultimately, I decided to try anyway. Unfortunately, the few things in the excerpt ended up being the root of some of my issues with the story.

First of all, while the prose itself is unchallenging, it’s not consistently cleaned up. There are multiple instances of homophone errors (peak for peek, for example) and word choice mistakes that completely yanked me out of it. The phrase, As he slipped his proud attraction into the mouth of her pussy…, still makes me giggle hysterically, because I’m nearly positive the author meant to write erection. And if she didn’t…well, that’s a euphemism that just doesn’t work, I’m afraid, especially with the blunter “pussy” at the end of the phrase.

I also had serious issues with the heroine almost from the start. I had hoped that the fact that Samantha was angsting over being a spinster at the age of twenty-five was an anomaly (she's supposed to be entering law school and be a modern woman and considers herself old at twenty-five?), but her odd sensibilities got worse. At one point, when she first meets Jesse, she swears, but then she almost immediately regrets it, and proceeds to apologize to him. Whispering. Meek doesn’t even begin to cover it. Any respect I had for her was gone at that point, and with the characterization as shallow as it was, there was no room to get it back.

The entire story is incredibly shallow, actually, and that’s the biggest problem with it. Jesse and Samantha have sex almost right away, and then she disappears. When she reappears in the past, they almost immediately have sex again, and both of them are considering themselves head over heels at that point. Because they’ve had sex twice. Not spent time together. Not had any kind of conversation. There was never any basis for me to believe that these two actually had anything in common for a long-term relationship. There’s also little explanation given for much of the time travel aspects. Details are hinted at with the jumps back to the present, but even in the end, they never quite satisfy.

That pretty much describes my reaction to the entire story. Unsatisfied.


7/10 – Scanty on detail, with a few homophone issues and word choice mistakes that jump out because the prose is on the sparse side.


5/10 – Nice but lacks depth, since he feels like an ABC of what makes a western robber hero


4/10 – Lacks personality and I never get much of a sense of what drives her, except for a few details that make me want to shake her.

Entertainment value

4/10 – Predictable and shallow, and when I needed details, they weren’t there.

World building

5/10 – There’s no real sense of place in either the past or the present, and the lack of real explanation for how everything works is frustrating.



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