ompromising Charis on the NetGalley website, I decided to get a taste of what's on offer out there. For one thing, I was thinking of writing an erotic romance for NaNoWriMo and thought I should read one before trying my hand at writing one. For another, I was curious. I had no idea what to expect, and to say I was a bit apprehensive is putting it mildly.
I needn't have worried. Compromising Charis by Sahara Kelly, published by Red Sage, was a surprisingly amusing novelette about a young aristocratic woman who decides to get herself ruined in order to avoid having to marry a man she's never met. She's sure she doesn't want to marry him because she is sure he is a "chuckleheaded lackwit" to want to marry her, since she'd been ruined once already and is, in the eyes of most of society, unmarriageable. Charis decides to run away to the gypsies (I didn't say the story was free of melodramatic improbabilities). On the way to the gypsy encampment, she meets a very good-looking, obviously aristocratic young man who is driving down the road in a curricle.
Sinjun Randall offers to drive her to her destination. Ever a rebel, Charis accepts his offer, then, in sudden inspiration, asks if he'd be so kind as to ruin her some more. (Did I mention he was really handsome? And charming.) He, of course, being a red-blooded male, immediately agrees. (Did I mention that Charis is really beautiful?) Off they go to a secluded country manor belonging to a friend of his and, after giving the servant a holiday until the next morning, have their way with each other for the rest of the day and night.
I expected the sex scenes to be pretty much nonstop and, if not boring as hell, then totally cringeworthy, and that I'd have to skim over them to get to the expected HEA. I was wrong. Yes, they were pretty much nonstop, but they were far from awful. In fact, though there was the requisite breathlessness and moaning as well as some frank descriptions of the sexual act, in between these passages were also some delightful conversation (!) and moments of actual humor, and much of the action was more sensual than mechanical.
And the ending? Expected, of course, but fun and satisfying.
So, not only did I learn a lot about how to go about writing an erotic novel (for instance, there were a total of only FOUR characters in the entire story, and two were on for a mere two or three pages, never to return), I spent a couple of hours of reading enjoyment (I almost said "pleasure," but I didn't want to give the wrong impression. I was reading strictly for educational purposes, you will recall, not to be aroused, no matter how arousing some of the parts turned out to be. ;)
Bottom line: Compromising Charis is an appealing erotic romance, filled with humor, great characters, and a sweet and sexy love story, and I will definitely be reading more from Ms. Kelly and whatever else is on offer from Red Sage.
Being an eGalley, there were a few typos, and the formatting, as is usual with galleys, sucked. I shouldn't think those annoyances will be issues in the actual eBook.
DISCLAIMER: I received the eGalley free from NetGalley; however, that didn't influence me in the least, and all of the opinions expressed in this review are my own.