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winterhowl_800 - smallIn the interest of full disclosure, Joe Hinojosa is a friend of mine that I met through our NaNoWriMo writing group. However, I neither asked nor bribed him into writing a review, mostly because I know how awkward things can be when a friend doesn’t like another friend’s work – especially with an esoteric genre like erotica.

Fortunately, although erotica is not his usual genre of choice and in spite of his reservations, he gave it five stars on Goodreads and a truly lovely review on his blog here.

Here are some highlights:

“Let me be totally honest and say that erotic fiction is not a genre I’m all too familiar with, but be that as it may, I jumped right in, and quickly took a quick cold shower. Who knew erotica meant sex? Okay, I did, but still…wow!”

“At first glace, I thought this book was primary a sex novel, tawdry, cheap, but still highly arousing. What I missed, but soon realized to my satisfaction, is that the story is actually a look into the group dynamics of an insular group. It also illuminates the struggles of a person suffering from an anxiety disorder.”

“It’s fascinating because you can gauge the internal struggle our heroine faces as she tries to live her daily life, and as she takes the first tentative steps into sexually intimate relationship, first with Britt, and then with Grant.”

“It begs the question, why would a woman like Renee, who is quiet and reserved and is not one to take undue risk, go for a man like Grant? Why would she abandon control, giving it over to someone who is obviously dangerous, and quite possibly homicidal? Then there’s the helplessness and betrayal that is felt by the core pack on the sanctuary, especially Britt, who looks to Renee as both a friend and a lover.” (AE: There, right there is the whole crux of the novel.)

“Aurelia does such an amazing job weaving her story that it’s easy to overlook what really is at stake. What are we willing to sacrifice in order to live our lives? What are we willing to lose in the pursuit of interpersonal contact, including and especially that of an intimate nature? Why does it seem that we are willing to risk our safety to be with someone who is an obvious threat when there is someone closer to home, one who is infinitely more wholesome and a better fit?” (AE: More nail heads hit.)

The whole thing is really worth a read if you’ve been wondering whether to check out my debut novel, Winter Howl. In spite of the fact that, on a personal level, I’ve moved past where Renee is in WH, that novel is still one of the first ones that really worked for me. And you never forget your first publication.