Just when I’d swear on that big stack of religious tracts people leave stuck in my door that I don’t read reviews, I go and do it.
We’re not supposed to have favorites among our kids or our books, but I have an almost favorite. I have written a few romance novels and I love them. In fact, romance comprises the bulk of what I read and write. I love that breathless first kiss moment. The does he, doesn’t he, will they, won’t they, tension of romance. I love the sigh I get when I close a book after the author has tucked all the characters into their wee beds for the night, happy, safe, and sound.
But I also love stories where things aren’t so pat, where people are a flawed, where they get things wrong, or they’re selfish, or they aren’t listening to each other and it causes conflict.
Home The Hard Way is not a romance. It’s a mystery with romantic elements. It has BDSM in it. And fairly casual (within the context of the story) sex. The romance truly begins as the book ends, so it’s got an HFN and not an HEA. It is NOT the book anyone expected me to write, and maybe that’s why I like it so much.
It was a 2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention book, and that was very exciting for me.
Perceptions of that book may have suffered from my schtick–who doesn’t think of laughter and unicorn farts when they think of me? I’m that smiley Kool-Aid mom, the one who says, “I love you,” and “Drive Safe,” every time a member of her family leaves the house, even though half of them don’t drive at all, and even though I know to add the -ly ending on an adverb.
At any rate, though, I just gave the book a reread, because if it’s going to have a sequel–which it is–I need to create a series bible. I also looked it up on Amazon and I found this very recent review, from blogger/reviewer Elisa Rolle. She said:
“Fascinating tangle of old guilt and new sins, highly engaging characters, a suspenseful, inherently consistent plot and steaming hot eroticism. Plus, I loved to see the dom in this light BDSM setting come apart for a change too.
This book is one of the best examples of fiction done well. Each intricate thread is weaved perfectly through the story keeping tension high and the plot, character development, and setting perfectly balanced.
An incredibly absorbing novel. ZA peels back the layers of the plot masterfully, building suspense. By doing so, she develops her characters equally well. I liked both MCs, especially Finn, and found myself enjoying the BDSM interaction between them more than I usually would with such scenes. I enjoyed this a lot. The final showdown was excellent. She did not pad out the plot with sex, but used it to build on her characterization and introduced it at appropriate points, not as padding for a thin plot.
This author that never fails to deliver. Mystery in everyday life: just look closely in your past if you dare.” – Elisa
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