Unleashing the Storm

Sydney Croft
March 2008, Erotic Romance (Paranormal)
Delta, $13.00, 336 pages, Amazon ASIN 0385340818
Part of a series

Grade: B-
Sensuality: Burning

Sydney Croft is the writing team of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler

I could sum this book up in one sentence: Unleashing the Storm was a compelling novel, but there was too much sex. Unfortunately, however, I don't think my editors will find that acceptable. So here's more.

Kira Donovan leads a solitary life of fear, but its the only way she knows how to survive. Her ability to talk to animals is both a blessing and a curse - she loves being able to communicate with them, to learn from them, but her unnatural empathy has an unpleasant side-effect: Kira goes into heat for about a month each year, during which time she must have sex every four hours or die.

ACRO is a top secret agency, dedicated to finding and developing people with special talents. Talents like those which Kira possesses. So they send Tom Knight out to get her. He has three days to convince her to join; if she doesn't, he must neutralize the threat she presents should she fall into other, less ethical, hands. Unfortunately, Kira has been burned before and shes not keen on jumping onto a corporate bandwagon. And Tom is finding it harder and harder to consider the alternatives.

This book is pretty much summed up in my first sentence. The very premise promised a hot ride - after all, two attractive characters, the necessity of having sex every four hours, and an author whos proven her ability to write quality sex scenes - well that all adds up to a pretty erotic book.

However well-written the scenes were, though, they extended long past the main characters so it seemed that every character in the book, minor or not, had an extended sex scene. As deft as Croft's touch is with such scenes, they were used too often in place of actual problem solving. Any issue a character had, it seemed, could be resolved with some really hot sex. Which, given the depth and tensions in the rest of the novel, seemed derivative and even a little cowardly for this author.

I end this review, though, wanting to recommend Unleashing the Storm. The characters of Kira and Tom were well-handled, both their strengths and their vulnerabilities. The tension, both romantic and plot-driven, was well-created and upheld. And the sex, though over-plentiful, was extraordinarily well-written. This is an author to watch.

-- Kate Cuthbert

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