Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Trading Up by Brindle Chase

Trading Up by Brindle Chase

Publisher: Breathless Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Rating: 3



Heather has it bad for her sister's boyfriend. When her sister suggests a switch in the dark, the temptation is a seduction she can't ignore.

Denise’s Review

Theresa has Mark. Heather wants Mark. Theresa decides to give Mark to Heather. Oh, and not clue Mark in until after the fact.

And that’s essentially it in a nutshell.

I have mixed feelings about this sexy short story. On one hand, it’s incredibly steamy, the writing is decent, and there is definite passion between the characters. On the other hand, I just don’t believe it, and that’s the problem. While sexual fantasies are often explored in depth in erotic romance, it typically falls upon the author to make it believable, and while Mr. Chase does address some of the obvious points a reader might bring up, it felt like the bare minimum. The lack of conflict throughout really keeps this sensual tale from being as good as it could be.

Firstly, you have Theresa, who is conniving and flighty, and not ready to settle down. She’s dating Mr. Right, who happens to be her sister Heather’s dream man. Theresa doesn’t want Mark anymore, so she passes the buck to Heather, going as far as to concoct the whole scheme so Heather will get a taste of Mark before Mark gets a say in anything.

The reader knows this going in from the novella’s description. We realize that we, like Heather, will need to be talked into seducing Mark before Mark knows he’s been duped. We need to be on board with it when Heather gives the go-ahead. And to her credit, Heather did resist, but not by much. One fantasy later and she’s ready to put her reservations, and sense of morality, on the table and sleep with her sister’s soon-to-be ex while pretending to be someone else.

It’s okay, though, because men like sex so much it ultimately doesn’t matter who’s giving it to them.

In the end, I just don’t buy it. I don’t buy that Theresa would have no qualms giving her perfect boyfriend to her sister, regardless of her intentions, and I don’t buy that someone as sweet and supposedly innocent as Heather would be all right with the sort of deceit needed to pull this off. It’s likewise unlikely that a man who’s shared a bed with a woman for six months won’t realize the body next to his isn’t who he thinks it is. Heather and Theresa had some notable physical differences, and regardless of how dark it is, there are many non-visual factors that weigh into recognizing one’s lover: body language, temperament, and feel being among them. I also don’t think Mark, regardless of how he may or may not feel about Heather, would be inclined to shrug and say, “Okay!” without much of a fight. He’s Mr. Perfect, after all. Not Joe Give-Me-Sex Normal, but our Prince Charming.

Had there been some conflict, regret, added length and character development, these issues could have been avoided. In the end, I felt a little cheated. On one hand, yes, it is a woman’s fantasy enacted; on the other hand, I wasn’t convinced, and if you can’t convince your reader to go for the ride, convincing them of anything beyond the ride is a tad difficult.

However, the sex is very hot and I did feel real heat between Mark and Heather. In the end, it’s up to the reader to make their own decision.

2 Tea Cups!


1 comment:

heather said...

I'll agree, it is hard 2 believe but I would read it just 2 discover the outcome: what happended when the lights finally came on, was he mad, did she leave in a hurry and he chased after her?


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