There are some places thighs just shouldn’t tingle, and the parking lot of a church – during Sunday school, no less – is one of them. (In my defense, I was stuck out there with a sleeping baby who was too sick to go to the nursery.) But at any rate, there I sat, almost panting with the heat generated between the two main characters in Elaina Lee’s WRITTEN IN BLOOD, absolutely unable to put it down. In a word: YUM.
As a reader, I’ve found most characters edge into one side of a mold or another – one sniff, and it’s an easy typecast … from there, I know what to expect. Heroine Lyndi Crisdean would have none of that. From our earliest meeting, I found her to be about as real as any character I’ve ever met. Her demons are realistic ones, and they play across the page with such natural ease that I not only sympathize with her actions, but find myself making those decisions right along with her. This is a fabulous place to leave the reader, right up until the point where Alek appears on the page.
Then it’s just plain torture.
Lyndi’s first encounter with her adversary Alek Trevian is the start of the kind of sexual tension that causes earthquakes. Even before the reader learns his name, there’s a tangible hint of danger surrounding him; needless to say, once they are properly acquainted the air throbs with forbidden promise . As a reader, you’re quivering, craving, begging for these two to get together, knowing you’re going to feel the release right along with them. But Ms. Lee is deliciously merciless in that sense, leaving that heat to filtrate the pages until you’re having to wipe the fog off the screen just to get to the next scene. And when Lyndi and Alek finally give in, they’re not the only ones panting at the prospect. The action is intensely erotic, but in a true-to-the-story kind of way. There’s no poetry, no flowers. Just raw, gripping need with an unforgettable onslaught. (I’m totally fantasizing about said onslaught, by the way. YUM again.)
Mouth-watering as it is, the sexual tension isn’t the only way WRITTEN IN BLOOD keeps the reader turning pages. Alek’s closet is stocked with a few unruly skeletons, and the premise of danger lurks just out of focus. As the bits and pieces fall away, the hero’s truth is in many ways more intriguing than the mystery. For Lyndi, the erratic actions of a man suspected of murder turn personal, but the answers are as clear as mud splattered over the twists and turns of this fabulous ride.
Where Ms. Lee really won me over, however, was in the details. The scratch of fingers on wool, the squeak of leather … discomfort, even, where pleasure made an easy out – these nuances take the story to the third dimension. And when the third dimension means a heart-pounding, breathless experience paired with a deep, exquisite aching that leaves you lost in need right along with the characters, it’s a most excellent place to be.
Even in the church parking lot.
Ready to do some quivering of your own? WRITTEN IN BLOOD is currently available in multiple e-formats, including Kindle. You can find Elaina Lee on her blog or website, where she’ll inevitably be up to no good.