Deep Desires, by Charlotte Stein

>> Friday, July 05, 2013

TITLE: Deep Desires
AUTHOR: Charlotte Stein

PAGES: 101

SETTING: Contemporary US
TYPE: Erotic romance

Abbie has done her best to escape her violent past. But in the process, she’s avoided love, life and desire. So when she sees her equally closed off neighbour, Ivan, performing for her one night through his window, she can’t stop looking...

Voyeuristic pleasures become Abbie Gough’s lifeline. But as she comes alive and craves more, Ivan backs away. He has his own secrets, the kind that draw her into kinky games and her own shameful desires, while also preventing the bond of real intimacy between them.

Now she’s found someone so special, she’s not about to give up easily. And she’s willing to do whatever it takes to melt Ivan’s dark and cool exterior. Even if captivating him means pushing through her limits to whatever lies beyond.

I was wowed by the first book I read by Charlotte Stein. Restraint was just the kind of Erotic Romance I like, one that is focused on characters and feelings, rather than actions.

Deep Desires was, at the same time, just like Restraint and completely different to it.

It was different in its themes and kind of plot, which is something I'd find completely unremarkable in any other genre. The thing is, so many ER authors tend to concentrate on a particular kink or type of relationship, whereas Stein seems to be more unpredictable.

Our protagonist is Abbie Gough. She has relatively recently got out of an abusive relationship, but has yet to regain her confidence. She just goes from home to work, work to home, afraid to relate to anyone and call attention to herself.

And then one of her neighbours manages to get through, by standing in front of his window, in plain sight of hers, and masturbating. She's initially convinced he wasn't aware of her presence and even feels guilty at her unwilling fascination, but it soon becomes clear that he knows exactly what he's doing, and that he wants her eyes on him.

It sounds a bit creepy, but such is the atmosphere that Stein creates, that I was willing to suspend disbelief and go along, fully believing these two damaged people were good for each other and were actually building a healthy relationship through their very unconventional sexual adventures.

And this is why I said earlier that Deep Desires is just like Restraint. It's not about having hit on a plot that appeals to me, it's about finding an author whose writing and sensibility chime with me, and whose definition of ER romance relates to how a relationship is developed, rather than about which kinks are present and how explicitly they are narrated. And Stein totally does chime with me. I couldn't begin to guess whether she would work for other readers, I think she's definitely one to try and see, and I strongly encourage you to do so.



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