I almost wept when I read Audrie Driscoll’s review my three story collection, Best Friends and Other Lovers. It’s been so long since I got any feedback about my writing.
Yesterday I told my friend, Georgette, about it. “I probably should print it out and frame it,” I said. “Of course you should,” she said. “You also should hang it on the wall and read it next time self doubt starts to gnaw on your confidence.”
Not only that, it made me reconsider my plan to give up on my blog.
Not only that, it also made me feel better about my newest novella, or story No. 4, I Will Be Waiting for You at the End of the Story that I’ve just sent to my editor. It continues with the same family/friend angle like its predecessors — the primary female character is Ted’s Canadian cousin Harper, who appears in the third story in a minor role, just to make things complicated. (The third story is also my favourite, although, this upcoming novella might shuffle that order. I really like this new tale and its feisty, courageous and funny female protagonist, who has “a problem for every solution”, as her love interest, Jamie, likes to point out.)
And now — drum roll, please! — the review.
“This trio of romantic encounters features three different couples. An interesting aspect is the family and friend relationships that exist among the six individuals, in addition to the sexy encounters that are the focus of each story. So, for example, Nick in “Once Upon a Night,” the first story, has an ex-wife named Hannah. She is the female lead in “Blind Date,” and Nick’s sister Deanna is the narrator and main character of “Best Friends & Other Lovers,” the third and final story. That means there are references in the later stories to the people in the earlier ones, a nice touch.
For the most part, the characters are professionals in their 30s–doctors, architects, business consultants, etc. They have lots of money at their disposal, so the reader is treated to pleasant surroundings, lovely clothes, and delightful meals.
The first story, “Once Upon a Night,” is about a relationship that develops from unlikely to actual, thanks to a winter storm. It’s told in first person from alternating points of view, hers and his. Since there is quite a lot of steamy sex, I must commend the author on capably rendering the sensations and emotions of both parties.
“Blind Date” begins with a fantasy that becomes reality played out in detail. Readers will definitely want to keep a fan handy for this one. It fairly sizzles.
“Best Friends & Other Lovers” is subtitled “a Christmas story,” and indeed it is. I liked this one the best of the three because it contained more characters and backstory, which made the main characters more relatable and sympathetic. Good friends Deanna and Ted go to his grandmother’s ranch near Calgary, Alberta for Christmas. In addition to holiday warmth and fun, there’s the question of when (or if) Ted plans to propose to his absent girlfriend, and how that might change his friendship with Deanna.
The sexual situations in these stories are explicit and detailed but not gratuitous. All sex is consensual and responsible. I’m not a dedicated reader of romance, but I found these stories to be well-written and diverting.
I would recommend this book to fans of spicy romance.”