Restraint by Charlotte Stein

Grade – A
Hotness Level – Inferno
Kink Level – no kink
Genre – Contemporary, short
Reviewed by Anne

Mallory is pissed of at her friend.  He invited *Artie* along on their holiday.  Artie who hates her and thinks she’s stupid.  But while they are sharing a vacation house, Mallory quickly realizes Artie doesn’t dislike her, he just doesn’t know what to do with the attraction he feels for her.  He’s so uptight, conservative, restrained… he just doesn’t know what to do with the physical reaction he has to her blunt words.

I’ll stop there because it’s a short story (51 pages on my reader) and I don’t want to give it away, but it’s incredibly good.  I love Charlotte Stein’s voice.  Her first person story telling works for me, even though I’m not a first person fan, in general.  Early on in the story, before she understands why Artie seems to dislike her, Mallory decides she’s never going to have Artie’s approval and she doesn’t care.  In fact, she’s going to say more of the things that make him uncomfortable.

I can almost make out the pressure of his immense gaze on the side of my face, as I make a comment I know I shouldn’t be making.

I know it, the second it comes out – but somehow I just can’t help it.  I’m not even trying to employ this new “Artie can go fuck himself” attitude.  The words simply come out all on their own, like a reflex.

A rude, rude reflex, in response to Lucy’s suggestion that she’d be happy just to have some movie star hunk of the week read the phone book to her.

‘He could read the phone book to me, too, ‘ I say, and then the Doc hit my knee with the little hammer, and my leg kicks up. ‘As long as he does so directly into my vagina.’

This story is very hot.  It’s also got a dirty feel to it, which I really enjoyed.  The dirty comes from knowing how Artie feels about the things they are doing, not so much what they are doing.  I really enjoyed the writing!  Artie and Mallory also develop a sweet and believable love for each other.  I highly recommend this book.  It’s going on my Best of 2013 list.

4 thoughts on “Restraint by Charlotte Stein

  1. Ah, but the great thing about an ereader is that whether you have 2 books or 20 books in your TBR pile, it's still the same size 🙂

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