Monday, June 8, 2009

Losing It by Kate Willoughby

TITLE: Losing It
AUTHOR: Kate Willoughby
PUBLISHER: Liquid Silver Books
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 30k)
GENRE: Contemporary erotic romance
COST: $5.25

When her sister asks how much pain is involved in losing one's virginity, Charlotte Gibson is forced to admit that she has no idea, that she’s been lying all these years about having experience just to keep her little sister on the straight and narrow. Too late, she realizes she’s been overheard by hunky Ben Hayden, the contractor who has been working on her house for the past year. The inevitable confrontation reveals their mutual attraction, and Charlotte makes an impromptu decision to agree to let Ben be her first. The question is, though, will he be her last?

I laughed more in the first 700 words of this novella, than I have at most full-length stories in a very long time. And when I say laughed, I mean exactly how the author intended me to. It’s a short scene from Ben’s POV as he accidentally overhears an exchange between Charlotte and her sister Kerrie, where Charlotte finally confesses she lied about losing her virginity. The timing, Ben’s realistic reactions, the dialogue…it all added up to hurl me onto the path of this fast-paced, exceedingly funny erotic romance.

The foundation of this story’s warmth is how realistically all the relationships ring. Kerrie and Charlotte relate to each other like real sisters. The way they go back and forth, walking that edge of honesty with love, reminded me of me and my sisters, which goes a long way to adding credibility to all the characters in the story. The banter between Charlotte and Ben also felt honest. There are jokes aplenty – including some truly awful knock-knock jokes from Ben – but there are also believable mood transitions, realistic reactions, and smart emotion. I can’t emphasize enough how real the interactions in this novella felt. That’s the very root of why I loved the romance in this so very much.

Some of the secondary characters aren’t quite as fully developed as the leads, but since they tend to serve plot purposes rather than much of anything else, that’s perfectly okay for me. So, surprisingly, is the very mild headhopping that occurs in this. Anybody who reads my blog knows I’m not a fan of headhopping, but when an author is good and handles it cleanly, I can look past it. That’s the case here. It doesn’t switch for long sections, which helps a lot, and the characters and humor are both rich enough to overcome the transitions.

One of the nicest things about this story? The fact that it’s an older one for this author, which means I have a whole new backlist to explore. Ms. Willoughby is the most exciting new author I’ve found so far this year. This was an exhilaratingly funny, wonderfully sexy romance. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of her work.


9/10 – Mild headhopping doesn’t stand in the way of delightful leads or humor that had me laughing from the very first page


8/10 – Hunky and adorable, though part of me wants to buy him a book of knock-knock jokes so he can get some better material


8/10 – Love her humor, only wished she had a little more self-confidence

Entertainment value

9/10 – The romance between the two left me with the biggest smile on my face

World building

8/10 – Though the juxtaposition of their two worlds is the primary conflict, it ends up being secondary to their interactions



1 comment:

Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, wow. Thanks for the amazing review! It makes every minute I spent writing that book worthwhile. And I have to disagree with you. Ben wouldn't be as adorable, in my opinion, if his jokes were good. ;)