Monday, December 8, 2008

Scarlet's Web by Rachel Carrington

TITLE: Scarlet’s Web
AUTHOR: Rachel Carrington
PUBLISHER: Whispers Publishing
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 28k)
GENRE: Contemporary suspense erotic romance
COST: $3.95

Cops Jaden and Kennedy had a torrid affair – until she got promoted and became his boss. Three months later, they’re fighting their attraction, trying to find some way to work together…and failing miserably. When a new serial killer puts Jaden on the defensive, they have no choice but to work together to try and stop the woman determined to get rid of all the cheating men in town…

I have to say this for this story. It was over so fast, I barely noticed. The action and romance move at a swift pace, with some competent prose marking the way. The sex is rough and hot, and the two leads clearly into each other. So why don’t I love it?

Part of it stems from the sloppy mistakes that riddle the text. Prepositions are missing, words are misused, names occasionally have different spellings. Errors like this hold me back from getting immersed in the suspense. Then there’s the actual suspense itself. When the story is in the thick of the action, it clips along at an involving pace. But in order to keep the story short – and sometimes to get to the romance part of it – crucial details happen offscreen. It’s disappointing. There was great potential for this to be a dark, engrossing read. The characters have real conflict and show reasonable depth. The villain has the potential of being three-dimensional. There’s an opportunity for some real angst when the case gets personal for Jaden. But all of it is cheated by cursory examination. Too much attention is placed on the couple, and not enough on the circumstances surrounding them, when both their problems are rooted in their jobs and the serial killer. It’s one big tease for what could have been, and not enough as it is.


7/10 – Quick moving prose that gets held back by editorial sloppiness


6/10 – Charming and hot, though there’s not enough of him to be more than that


5/10 – A bit of a muddle of motivations

Entertainment value

6/10 – Feels like a nibble, this could have been so much more

World building

6/10 – The real world felt only sketched in; far more attention was paid to the romance



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