Erotica Readers & Writers Association
Home | Erotic Books | Authors Resources | Inside The Erotic Mind | Erotica Gallery
Adult Movies | Sex Toys | Erotic Music | Email Discussion List | Links




'10 Authors Insider Tips

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
Have More Good Sex
I Can Do Better ...
Trying to Get the Feeling
Plotting and Planning
Character Profiles
Discovery Draft
Be Bad to Be Good
E-Book Revolution
Naked for Halloween
Sex With Pilgrims


FictionCraft
by Louisa Burton
The Music of Words
The Balancing Act
Your Fictional World
Backstory & Foreshadowing


The Fine Art of Submission
by Shanna Germain
Nailing the Query Letter
Banish the Boring Bio
Becoming a Market Master
Become a Market Master, 2
Backstory & Foreshadowing
Enticing An Editor, Part 1
Enticing An Editor, Part 2
Contracts, Money & More


Serious about Smut
by Vincent Diamond
No More Horsing Around
Short Stuff
Selling Short Stories
Editors' Pet Peeves
Settings: Beyond Time & Place
Beating Up Your Scenes
Selling Your Books in Person
Staying in the Saddle


The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Broken Rainbows
Talk the Talk
Equations
10 Commandments for Writing
Plotting to Avoid
Cover Story
Rewriting




'10 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister
St Valentine's Day
Renaming Body Parts
Sex, Cigarettes & Erotic Fiction


Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
C. Sanchez-Garcia
Emerald
Kathleen Bradean
Lucy Felthouse
Neve Black
PS Haven
Tracey Shellito
Tresart L. Sioux


Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
Plenty of Miles Left
Don't Worry, Be Happy
Fly the Unfriendly Skies
Coffee Time
Castrated Words
Virtual vs. Actual Romance
Bait
The View from Gallows Hill


Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
The Fashion Industry
The Same Old Same Old
Writing Porn
About the Closet
... About Spirituality
Making Sense of Religion
Worked Up About Monogamy
What's Next
All Worked Up About Nature
Still All Worked Up...


Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Holiday Ghosts
Love and Romance
An "Interracial" Epic
Trying to Make It Go Away
Sexual Etiquette
Sex and Children
People Against Bad Things
Virtual Acceptance
His Cold Eyes, His Granite Jaw
A Flash of Northern Light

Control

by Kayla Perrin

Book Review by Lynne Connolly

 

Control | Erotic Romance

Harlequin Spice is the only Harlequin line that isn’t completely romance-oriented. So this book belongs here, as it’s less a romance, more one woman’s story. However, Spice books are supposed to be hot, and this book wasn’t about that. I can see why the Spice editors wanted this, but it’s an odd read for the line.

The cover and the blurb encourages you to believe that you’re in for a hot, steamy read, but that isn’t the case. I don’t think the author is at fault here, because it’s a well-written book, but it seems to have been shoehorned into the line.

The book is in two distinct parts. The first part follows Elsie’s marriage to Robert, a marriage that is in trouble, because Elsie is unfulfilled and unhappy. After eight years she has begun to realise that she’s been controlled for her marriage, not in a hot, BDSM way, but in a “you dress like this, you behave like this” way. Elsie was a waitress when she met Robert, a man 32 years her senior (she is 37), and he romanced her until she gave in. Now she lives in a mansion, has all she wants monetarily, including her life’s ambition of a florists’ shop, but she feels empty inside. Poor Elsie.

Then one day an amber-eyed man comes into her shop, and she’s captivated. But he doesn’t come back. I should maybe mention that this is a book featuring African-American characters, but that didn’t add or take from the book, which I liked. It was a story about people, not about ethnicities.

The first half of the book drags, and is gloom almost without respite. About half way through I wanted to say, “Yes, I get it, she’s unhappy,” but the book went on with different incidents where Robert tries to control her. Elsie doesn’t confront him, doesn’t ask him what he thinks he’s doing, doesn’t stand up to him. The book starts when she tries, by dressing the way she wants instead of the way he wants, but he sends her back to her room to change into the dress he prefers. It’s pretty much downhill from there. Elsie puts up with the manipulation, has desultory sex with Robert and masturbates, imagining the amber-eyed man in various situations.

The second part of the book concerns her “affair” with Dion, the amber-eyed man, and its results. Since she meets Dion after she’s made the decision to seek a separation with Robert, I don’t think “affair” describes it completely correctly. I won’t say what the blurb describes as Robert’s ultimate manipulation is, as that constitutes a spoiler, but I’d have preferred a tighter build-up to it, as by the time she had her revelation, I was losing patience with Elsie. It took her eight years to realize what her husband was doing? Either she recognized it all along and learned how to deal with it, or she left him earlier. Eight years seemed a long time to me, to realize that being sent back to your room to change wasn’t normal behavior for a loving husband.

The sex between Dion and Elsie is fun, vanilla, but passionate. Nice to read. Not really enough for a spicy read, and since the book isn’t about Elsie’s sex life, but about her outer life, it doesn’t take center stage, so if you’re looking for steam, this isn’t really the place. However, Dion is handsome and sexy, Elsie is willing, and the language used is appropriate, although a little surprising for the naïve, relatively innocent Elsie. Somehow “cunt” and “pussy” seem out of place words for Elsie to use, and since this book is told in the first person, it’s either Elsie, or it’s in quotation marks.

Dion is a bit of an enigma, and there’s a revelation at the end which explains this. However, since Elsie is passionately against having her man lie to her, after she discovers Robert’s manipulations and lies, it wasn’t entirely convincing and was left hanging in the air. The ending was a bit of a cop-out and seemed to happen too fast. I wanted more. And Elsie has to do something that is completely TSTL in order for the ending to come about. I’d have preferred less space at the beginning describing Elsie’s empty life, and more with Dion and providing a more satisfactory ending. And erotic – no. There were plenty of masturbation scenes and sex scenes later, described in detail with appropriate words, and they were fun to read, but not particularly a turn-on. Looking at the Spice line, and I’ve read a few now, I don’t think it can compare with the output of, say, Cleis Press or Ellora’s Cave, which take erotic and make it hot and steamy, with lashings of, well, lashings. Spice books don’t come anywhere near this standard, either in the kind of sex described (so far in my readings, always m/f and always vanilla) or in the frequency of the sex. But they have been good, adult reads and I intend to continue to read them, although maybe with different expectations.

While I wasn’t wholly convinced by all the aspects of this book, I still enjoyed the read, for the most part. Dion was definitely sexy and I liked that Elsie didn’t go from one millionaire to another. Although she did seem a little slow on the uptake to me, that was consistent throughout the book, and so it worked with her character, and I appreciated the consistency.

Official back of book description – “Their romance was a modern-day fairy tale: handsome older millionaire falls hard for struggling young waitress. Robert swept Elsie off her feet—and into his bed—put a huge diamond on her finger and spirited her away in his private jet destined for happily-ever-after.

Eight years later, Elsie Kolstadt realizes the clock has finally struck midnight. The five-star restaurants, exclusive address and exotic vacations can no longer make up for Robert's obsessive desire to control everything about their life together. From her hairstyle to her music playlists, Robert has things just the way he wants them. No matter what.

But it's Robert's ultimate, unforgivable manipulation that finally shocks Elsie into action. Though divorce would strip her of everything, she can't live under Robert's roof any longer. Making her decision easier is Dion Carter, a high-school football coach with a heart of gold and a body of sculpted steel. Suddenly Elsie is deep in a steamy affair that could cost her everything—because Robert will stop at nothing to keep Elsie under his thumb.”

Lynne Connolly
November 2010

Control by Kayla Perrin
(Harlequin Spice, September; ISBN-10: 0373605471)
Available at: Amazon | Amazon UK


______
© 2010 Lynne Connolly. All rights reserved. Content may not be copied or used in whole or part without written permission.

About the Author:† Lynne Connolly - Reader, Writer, Lover.
You can find Lynne at her website at www.lynneconnolly.com



  E-mail this page


Search ERWA Website:

Copyright © 1996 and on, Erotica Readers Association, Inc.
All Rights Reserved World Wide. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or
medium without express written permission is prohibited.

'10 Book Reviews

Anthologies

Apocalypse Sex
Review by Ashley Lister

Bare Souls
Review by Ashley Lister

Best Women's Erotica 2010
Review by Jean Roberta

canít help the way that i feel
Review by Ashley Lister

Coming Together...C. Sanchez-Garcia
Review by Ashley Lister

Coming Together...M Christian
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Coming Together...Remittance Girl
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Erotic Brits
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Fairy Tale Lust
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Like a God's Kiss
Review by Kristina Wright

Like a Sacred Desire
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Like a Veil
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Making the Hook-Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Orgasmic
Review by Kristina Wright

Peep Show
Review by Kristina Wright

Please, Ma'am
Review by Ashley Lister

Spark My Moment
Review by Ashley Lister

Three In One Blow
Review by Shanna Germain

Unleashed
Review by Ashley Lister

Erotic Novels

Backstage Passes
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Dommemoir
Review by Ashley Lister

Fire in the Blood
Review by Jean Roberta

Freak Parade
Review by Jean Roberta

I Came Up Stairs
Review by Jean Roberta

Marianne! A Journey...
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Marketplace
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Memorial Garden
Review by Lisabet Sarai

On Demand
Review by Ashley Lister

Once Bitten
Review by Shanna Germain

Rock My Socks Off
Review by Ashley Lister

The Tower and the Tears
Review by Lynne Connolly

Sensual Romance

Coin Operated
Review by Lynne Connolly

Control
Review by Lynne Connolly

I Spy a Wicked Sin
Review by Harriet Klausner

Libertine's Kiss
Review by Lynne Connolly

The Master & the Muses
Review by Lynne Connolly

Naked
Review by Lynne Connolly

Rampant
Review by Lynne Connolly

Sinful
Review by Lynne Connolly

Tangled Web (MM Romance)
Review by Vincent Diamond

Tucker's Sin
Review by Lynne Connolly

Victor
Review by Harriet Klausner

Gay Erotica

Best Gay Erotica '10
Review by Vincent Diamond

Best Gay Romance 2010
Review by Vincent Diamond

Biker Boys
Review by Jay Lygon

Necessary Madness
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Personal Demons
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Royal Treatment
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Silver Foxes
Review by Vincent Diamond

Sodomy!
Review by Jay Lygon

Special Forces
Review by Vincent Diamond

A Sticky End
Review by Jean Roberta

Wired Hard 4
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Best Lesbian Roamnce 2010
Review by Jean Roberta

Fast Girls
Review by Ashley Lister

Girl Crush
Review by Jean Roberta

Sometimes She Lets Me
Review by Jean Roberta

Non-Fiction

Best Sex Writing 2010
Review by Ashley Lister

A Brief History of Nakedness
Review by Rob Hardy

Condom Nation
Review by Rob Hardy

Dictionary of Semenyms
Review by Donna G Storey

Doctor of Love
Review by Rob Hardy

Floridaís Purge of Gay & Lesbian...
Review by Rob Hardy

John Holmes
Review by Rob Hardy

How Sex Works
Review by Rob Hardy

The Orgasm Answer Guide
Review by Rob Hardy

Screening Sex
Review by Rob Hardy

Sex at Dawn
Review by Rob Hardy

Whip Smart
Review by Rob Hardy