by Erica Lucke Dean with Elise Delacroix
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Categories: Romantic Suspense
Published: March 2nd, 2014
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Imprint: Cinnabar Silk
Length: 147 pages/44,860 words
Source: Review copy from publisher
Emily Chambray wants a divorce. Unfortunately, her husband believes in “’til death do us part” with an emphasis on “death.” She won’t get another chance, so her get-away plan must be foolproof. When a ruggedly handsome stranger comes to her aid, she definitely doesn’t expect to fall for him in her hour of deepest need.
Xavier Caine has ulterior motives when he offers Emily refuge in his rustic cabin. Against his better judgment, he is drawn to her innocent allure and natural beauty. Together, they explore a sensual relationship that rocks their world. But once Caine sets the stage for his own agenda, Emily could end up directly in the eye of the very storm she’s been trying to escape.
****GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****
Read: July 5th-5th
The opening of Craving Caine hooked me immediately with a mix of present and past circumstances of the heroine, Emily Chambray. Two attempts to run away from her abusive crime boss husband, Nicky Chambray, ended in her recapture both times. That didn’t stop her from trying again though, and then the story got going from there. With a disguise and a new identity, Emily became Taylor Ashbury. For the length and pace of this story, the overall background on the heroine was established clearly and quickly.
The hero, Xavier Caine was a little more mysterious. His introduction established him as a man not interested in commitment or relationships. As for his employment, it was rather dodgy, and I couldn’t pin him down as to whether he was one of the good guys or one of the bad guys. That didn’t become clear until around the half way point. I thought that made things a little more interesting, especially where Emily was concerned.
I liked the set-up with the hero operating under specific (incorrect) assumptions about Emily. I felt the pacing was a little rushed. Taking into account the build-up of her fear of being caught again, and she said she would practice more common sense and caution around strangers, she sure made herself awfully vulnerable within a matter of hours of being alone with Caine. She was attracted to him, he’d shown her nothing but kindness in the first few hours, and she wanted to be brazen. That led her to tease him, pull back, and then she let him reach second base. For me, that was too fast to be believable for a woman in her situation. After that first tease, the sex scenes started coming, and overshadowed the rest of the story. My frustration with the heroine reached its peak when Caine rescued Emily from Nicky, and they had put maybe a few miles between them, then she pushed to have sex (in case it was the last time before they died), then they fell asleep making them ripe for the picking.
The action picked up again at the end, and it was nice to see them working together instead of him hiding her away for her own safety. However by that point, I didn’t care about the secret reveal of the bad guy and source for Caine’s demons. The ending though was sweet, and I was happy that they achieved their HEA. An unforeseeable twist in the epilogue made me think there could be a sequel. Though, I don’t think I’d want to see Emily and Caine’s world shaken up again.
The Bottom Line
I enjoyed the writing style and sexy scenes. I think the story could have benefited from a longer time line to develop the character’s budding relationship. Their connection was rooted in too many sex(y) scenes and a telling rather then showing of the progression. I still found it to be an enjoyable, albeit slightly forgettable, read. But I would read more from this writing duo.
About the Authors
After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica Lucke Dean moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains, where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180 lb lap dog, and at least one ghost.
When she’s not writing or tending to her collection of crazy chickens and diabolical ducks, she’s either reading bad fan fiction or singing karaoke in the local pub. Much like the main character in her first book, To Katie With Love, Erica is a magnet for disaster and has been known to trip on air while walking across flat surfaces.
How she’s managed to survive this long is one of life’s great mysteries.
Elise Delacroix married her high school sweetheart and moved to a remote hideaway far enough from civilization that she was forced to create her own entertainment. When playing charades got old, she came up with a plan to write erotic romance in order to keep life exciting. She may spend most of her days lounging in a pair of red flannel pajamas, but her characters wouldn’t be caught dead in anything less than satin and lace.
While Elise also writes in other genres using a pen name, it’s her collaborations with Erica Lucke Dean where she lets her naughty side come out to play. And oh, what a naughty side she has.
Connect with Elise: | Goodreads |
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