I have been on a break from reading. I didn’t mean to, it just happened! I started sewing and crocheting and I had so many ideas I wanted to get to and… I just wasn’t picking up my reader! Then when I did pick up my reader I was in the middle of a sweet Christmas romance and, as much as I wanted it to work for me, it just wasn’t working! So, I set aside the Christmas sweets (thank you for that advice, Kate) and picked up something much darker – Raw Heat.
I’m a Charlotte Stein fan. I haven’t read everything she’s written, but I’m working my way through her back list and I really enjoy her voice. I had Raw Heat on my reader, bought at a 50% off sale at All Romance eBooks, I suspect, and I decided to try it. It’s a novella and it’s a pretty short one, but there’s a lot of story packed into the pages. Serena is a nurse, well, almost a nurse at an underground facility that experiments on werewolves. See, werewolves have taken over the world to the point that just pockets of humans exist, hiding away in above ground fortresses or in literally underground cities. But werewolves regularly attack and the humans are losing.
Serena’s patient is Connor. She cleans him up after the “doctors” have experimented on him. Tortured him. He is a werewolf, which means he quickly heals any damage they’ve done to him. But healing doesn’t remove blood, so Serena comes in each day to clean him up. And they have started talking to each other. And Serena is falling for him.
The story is told entirely from Serena’s point of view, but it’s done in such a way that you clearly know Connor has feelings for her as well. This is an erotic short, so it starts when Serena and Connor are finally taking the step to make their relationship physical.
I really enjoyed the story. It was a good hot read while being dark and complex. All that in a short story. From the beginning I was a bit creeped out wondering if Serena was part of an experiment she wasn’t aware of with Connor. That bothered me, but added an edge to the story. I think that added a bit too much suspense for my personal taste, but overall the story worked for me.