Friday, July 17, 2009

Ink Me by Anna J. Evans

AUTHOR: Anna J. Evans
PUBLISHER: Ellora’s Cave
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 26k)
GENRE: Contemporary BDSM erotic romance
COST: $4.45

Summer Wakayama is desperate to rekindle the passion of her relationship, so she plans a night of seduction for their five year anniversary. Everything starts out on the wrong foot, however, when a dangerous customer almost turns deadly. Aidan’s rescue reinforces Summer’s desire to prove to him how much she desires him, and she sets about to resume her special plans, much to his delight…

The blurb on the publisher’s website misled me. I bought this on the pretense that it was going to be much more suspense-filled than it was, and while the opening scene is written that way – and everything I expected – it took such a left turn afterward, it might as well have been a different story.

Everything starts out in Summer’s tattoo parlor, after she has closed for the night. She’s getting ready to meet her lover for a special night she has planned when an upset woman comes in and locks the door behind her. She wants a special tattoo, and when Summer tries to explain nicely that she’s closed and to come back the next day, the woman pulls a gun and gets belligerent. It’s a tense, exciting opening, and after it was over, I was holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop, since according to the blurb, their night of experimentation is violently interrupted by two criminals with love life problems of their own. Didn’t happen. Or at least, it didn’t happen for another 11,000 words, which in a novella that’s 26k, ends up being halfway through the story.

Instead, what happens is their special night. Three incredibly sensual chapters of these two exploring BDSM boundaries when Summer ties Aidan up and plays the role of Lady Tigerlily for him. On their own, they’re extremely erotic, romantic, steamy chapters. Against the taut opening chapter, they’re much slower paced and lack the same tension that sucked me into the story in the first place. That’s not saying they’re bad. They’re absolutely not. They just don’t fit with either the story that was started or the one I was told I was going to have. Because after that 11k, the other shoe finally does drop, and the story reverts back to the action-filled drama of the first chapter. It’s jarring, and it’s this schizophrenic pacing that keeps this story from being as good as it could for me.

I really liked both lead characters, and without spoiling the ending, have to say the emotional pay-off of the last chapter helped compensate for some of my frustration with the schismatic story construction. It made me want to read more about Summer and Aidan, which is always one of my hallmarks for a fulfilling read. It just could have been so much more.


8/10 – Hot when it needs to be, though the sensual parts never mesh with the suspense parts


8/10 – He was charming enough for me to consider him a 7 all the way through, but he deserves an extra point for the ending alone


7/10 – Sexy and smart

Entertainment value

7/10 – The sensual parts in this work far better than the suspense did, though the ending helps tremendously

World building

7/10 – The sensual milieu was well done, but the rest of it didn’t feel very vivid or unique



No comments: