You know me: I’m always as interested in the people in an erotic story as in the sex. More, maybe. That’s my kink, I guess. A story that I read recently drove that home to me.
A Forbidden Storm by J Larsen tells the story of a newlywed woman, Jessica, who has never felt particularly sexy or attractive. Moving into her new house with her husband, she meets a neighborhood couple, Catherine and Martin, and pretty soon realizes that Martin makes her feel very sexy indeed. She and her new husband go away for a delayed honeymoon to Antigua; imagine her surprise and discomfort when she discovers that Martin is staying at the same resort. Without his wife Catherine.
A cross between an erotic romance and something darker and more psychological, this story follows its protagonist on a metaphoric and literal journey that’s sexy, but also keeps you wondering as a reader how things are going to turn out. The surprise ending was properly satisfying.
The novella is well-written and nicely paced. The strongest thing for me was Jessica, the protagonist, whose relationships — to her husband, to the sexy neighbor who happens to show up on her honeymoon, and to her her own body and sexuality — are drawn three-dimensionally and believably. She’s anxious and full of self-doubt, very self-conscious of her size, and yet when she gets past all of that she’s deeply passionate. The story is told very closely to her point of view, and it’s easy to get pulled in and sympathize.
The other two major characters, Martin and Jessica’s husband Joel, are drawn a little less three-dimensionally. I didn’t have a problem with that; the story is, after all, from Jessica’s point of view. Still, there were times when I definitely wanted to smack each of them — or occasionally both of them.
The sex is sexy — though the emphasis is more on the build-up than the pay-off.
I saw the surprise at the end coming — but still found it satisfying. It absolutely made sense of the whole story. And that’s about all I can say without spoiling. 🙂