Wednesday, February 3, 2010

After Hours by Lynne Roberts

TITLE: After Hours
AUTHOR: Lynne Roberts
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Short story (roughly 12k)
GENRE: Contemporary erotic romance
COST: $2.00

Elle Simpson can’t keep her eyes off the new intern in her office, even though she has a strict policy not to get involved with men at work. But he’s the hottest guy she’s ever seen, and she’s gone too long without sex, and…did he really just volunteer to spend a week of overtime with her?

There’s one thing this short story supplies in great abundance: smoldering UST. It starts from the first page and remains unrelenting until the hero and heroine finally break. Elle can barely work because of her constant thoughts about David, while David has been hot for Elle ever since he started as an intern. Their attraction is unknown to the other, which only heightens the tension. Everything else falls to the wayside.

Everything.

Both characters are consumed with thoughts of sex. Little depth is given to them otherwise, though because of Elle’s circumstances, we know more about her (the fact that she’s widowed, her daughter is at college, etc.). That’s not necessarily a bad thing if I keep thinking this is erotica and not erotic romance, but the ending and the growth they show in the last thousand words makes it clear this is meant to be the start of something bigger, and in that respect, I can’t say it necessarily works for me. However, as an erotic short, it does. The UST is very good.

What holds it back from being fantastic is the lack of breaks in the story to denote POV and scene changes. I don’t know if that’s a flaw on the part of the publisher or an aspect of the author’s writing, but there are no extra spaces or symbols or anything to signify switching. The first time it happened, it completely jolted me out of the story. The second time, I scowled, because it became clear it was going to happen all the way to the end. It’s annoying and disrupts the flow of the story, and when there isn’t that much to the story to begin with, every part counts. Still, it’s nice to see some solid UST instead of jumping straight into the sack. It makes a refreshing change in short stories.

Readability

6/10 – The lack of breaks to denote POV and scene changes really weakens the heat in this

Hero

6/10 – Charming, but the focus is on the heat rather than personality depths

Heroine

7/10 – More depth to her than the hero, but again, the focus is on the heat

Entertainment value

7/10 – Think of it as erotica, and it works a lot better than as a romance

World building

6/10 – There’s some fleshing out off the office world, but – and I’m going to sound like a broken record – the focus is on the heat

TOTAL:

32/50

1 comment:

Lynne Roberts said...

Thank you for taking the time to read AFTER HOURS and for giving your honest review!

!Lynne