Improper Relations

Juliana Ross. Carina, $2.99 e-book (66p) ISBN 978-1-4268-9365-0
Ross debuts with a barely serviceable Victorian romance novella featuring a widow and her late husband's wastrel cousin, adding a soupçon of mild erotic content to a stock story line and wallpaper history. The story begins with an episode that tries and fails to shock: Hannah Taylor Bell sees Lord Leo Wraxhall engaged in a sexual interlude with a housemaid and is both appalled and excited. After the maid leaves, Leo calls out to Hannah to join him for an adult discussion about what she has just seen, setting the stage for a series of love lessons. Hannah, forced by her late husband's indebtedness to act as companion to Leo's domineering mother, had a loveless marriage and cannot understand why Leo arouses her. An orgasm later and she's addicted to him; meanwhile, he is falling for the quiet widow. Bland prose, a cliché-riddled story, and tepid eroticism add up to not much more than zero. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2012
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