Thursday, November 30, 2006

Enlightened Love, Shara Lanel

Warning: This review is not for kids. I repeat: This review is not for you, my darling daughter, so stop reading it right now. Also, if you are under 18, or at all squicky about s-e-x, then please, just skip on to the next review, ok?

Now that we've got that established, can I just tell you that this book was HOT? OMG, it was hot.

Now, I'm sharing guilty pleasures here, ok? And don't go all uppity on me when I tell you this, but there are times when I just love reading erotica. It isn't all the time, because most of the time I prefer my stuff much tamer. I like leaving things to my own imagination, which works pretty well, thankyouverymuch. Sure there are some hot scenes in some of my favorite books. Who the heck could forget that dock scene in Jenny Crusie's "Welcome to Temptation"? But every once in a while, I will come across a book that just looks interesting, and I have to pick it up, for research, you understand. As a writer, I need to see what other writer's are doing in their stories, and how they're doing it. That's the case for a book that I'll be reviewing early next week. That wasn't really the case here though, so let me explain.

If I say "New Jersey" are you gonna roll your eyes and mutter, "When is this chick gonna stop talking about Jersey?" Well, then you can go away for a bit too. Because the NJRW book signing is where I met Shara Lanel. She was very nice, and she actually warned me that her book was pretty steamy, like she might be afraid that I'd get home and be offended or something. Well, after talking to her, I was interested. Plus, I won a bottle of wine in her giveaway, and you all have got to know how much I appreciate a decent bottle of wine. It just looks so good on the shelf in my Tuscan-deco kitchen, you know? Anyhow, I came home with the wine and the book. I still have the wine, but the book got lost for a while. Now it's sitting here on my desk, after being devoured in my post-NaNo exhaustion. You wanna hear about the book though, right? Here we go...

Kerry Reynolds has always done the easy thing. She went to the school her parents picked, she got engaged to the guy they liked, and started falling right into the high society life they wanted for her. The only problem was that her husband-to-be had a vicious streak, but nobody would listen to her. One night, it went too far though. When he called her dad to help him clean up a mess (and by mess, I mean body, ok?), Kerry finally snaps out of her safe shell and runs, for her life, straight into the arms of Rick.

Rick Abernathy has spent most of his life in a monastary in India. After his parent's death, a monk took Rick under his wing. After 18 years, Rick is disillusioned, disheartened, and no where near the enlightenment he's been seeking. His aunt has left him a sizable inheritance, and Rick moves to America in search of a new life, which he finds when he meets Kerry. And did I mention he's a virgin?

Rick and Kerry barely start getting to know each other when her almost-hubby shows up and tries to get her back. Ok, really, he just wants her out of the way, but you know what I mean, right? There is danger, there is intrigue, there is romance, and oh yeah, there is steamy hot shecks. Lots of it.

Did I like it? What do you think? It was well written, fast paced, and entertaining. It had a few flaws, but nothing too major. The timeline of the first few days messed with my head. I actually had to go back and count the days that Rick and Kerry had known each other to make sense of some of it. A lot is packed in to just a few days. Also, there were goons with guns, and that didn't make sense, since they'd flown in. Unless they packed those guns safely in TSA approved locking containers, in their suitcases, which is a possibility. And Kerry got a job in a restaurant making $3.00/hour plus tips. I want to know where that place is! I haven't found a place that will pay more than the state required $2.13 (Yeah, I live in the same state where the book is set, so I know this).

Like I said, I don't read Erotica very often, so I'm in no way an expert on the genre. It is simply something I check out once in a while, to see how far the edges are being pushed in comaprison to more main-stream writing. I am very interested to know where the limits are. Personally, the book was tamer than I thought it would be, considering that Shara warned me. Still, it was so sweet that she did. And honestly, it was still a lot hotter than books that I normally read. But it wasn't tacky, or tasteless. The YEX seemed to be more about trust and romance than just physical gratification. The build-up to the first encounter literally had me breathless. It had a plot and it had interesting characters that grew over the course of the story. It was engaging.

As it's not my normal cuppa, I don't know that I will go hunting for Shara's books in Borders. Besides, my kids are usually there with me. But, if I happen to see her in Jersey next year, you can be certain that I will be picking up any other books that she has for sale. And I may just send her an e-mail asking how to order her others, if I can't wait til next October, you know, for research purposes, checking where the limits are in the genre and all. Not because I like erotica, you understand. It's all just for research. ;>)

And did I mention that this book was really hot?
Just sayin'...

Keep turning those pages!


Shara Lanel said...


This really made me chuckle. I'm glad you liked the book! I think I was allowing for inflation (wishful thinking?) by giving Kerry $3 an hour. I know when I worked as a waitress in the late 80s (ouch...I'm not that old, am I?) the wage was $2.13/hr. Hasn't changed huh?

Thanks for the awesome review!


Cherry Tea said...

I could use a nice HOT book right now. We have blizzard conditions outside and the snow is falling on top of at least an inch thick layer of ice.

And, um, I'll admit, too. GRET - QUIT READING THIS!!!!

I like erotica. I don't read much of it, but when I do, I sure like it! Need to check this one out! Great review and CONGRATS on completing NaNo!

Deb R said...

I'm a fan of good (well-written!) erotica, so I'm going to have to check this one out!