Alex, this devilishly handsome man with piercing hazel eyes and the sinful smile, enters Olivia´s cupcake shop and there you go. A chance encounter as it happens a million times every day. Olivia, coming from a long term relationship, is a nervous wreck and babbles her way through the conversation, while Alex is interested in her right from the start as well. Not exactly insta-love, more like insta-passion or insta-desire sets in.
The line between romance and erotica is blurred in Complications. Bear with me, I did not do a word count, but approximately half of the novella is pure sex. Nothing else. Good hot sex, though. Hot sex, oh my. It is passionate, full of desire and I like that both enjoy it as much. Sex isn´t a one-way street and Olivia here is for sure as demanding as Alex and finds as much pleasure, with no regrets whatsoever. Both are on equal footing, even if only when it comes to the sex. Of course Alex is the one who is the player most of the times, but that doesn´t make it less hot. Far the opposite. And the sex is holy hotness. Did I mention already that the sex is hot? Dampened panties are the consequences, and for sure I would pass the wetness check too, not only Olivia.
Luckily Emilia Winters doesn´t shy away from calling a cock a cock and a pussy is a pussy. Not childish circumventing around the real deal, no silly nonsense like "down here" or similiar is used to describe the pleasure. And what a pleasure it is!
On a side note: if you ever slap my ass just like that please be sure I return the favor and kick you in the balls. Thanks for asking and all that jazz.
The characters act logically and coherent even the differences between Alex and the fairer sex, Olivia, are significant. Sure, Olivia just broke up with her former boyfriend with whom she was in a relationship for six years some weeks ago, but to be such an emotional mess in some areas seems to be following the same old strong male/weak female cliches. Alas, she shows confidence when it comes to the sex, and sex there is plenty.
One scene in a restaurant comes to mind when Olivia, feeling insecure about herself and becoming shy, points to a group of women. All styled and dressed uppity and Alex explains how he sure has dated this kind of women but those are "cold". No doubt women like this exists. Manipulative, only interested in the money of her what? fuck-buddies? but here it is simply too obvious used as some kind of black vs white explanation to make Olivia more likeable. Not that it is needed, Olivia herself is lovely and the interaction between the two has the right amount of teasing and light bantering that it makes it a joy to read. There are no real laughing out loud scenes, but it is funny and sweet to make me melt like chocolate in the sun. Yummy.
Also her insecurity at times is devastating since she is an business owner herself, but Alex is a Director of Sales working for a Tech comp while she is only a baker (her words, not mine!). He is rich, has style and class, and is she really up to terms with him? Those are the questions she asks herself in her mind. Duh. Show some ovaries, girl!
Alex however has his own issues, a childhood loss that he could never forget. I understand that for a teenage boy Alex was back then, the emotional trauma was overwhelming, however for a man of 30 years of age it seems slightly silly to be still suffering from the consequences in this case. There needs to be more, more drama, more background, more of *something*, to be believeable, otherwise he is just a crying wuss if that is all there is. Not that this little part of him isn´t sexy. It is. Alex can shut down from one minute to the next, and hide his emotions before Olivia. His melancholy, if I should call it melancholy, makes him sexy as hell, though.
Luckily Alex didn´t turn out to be the douchebag I feared he might be, judging from the blurb. His not taking no for an answer can be seen as a more general one. This one sentence that still doesn´t go well with me, is right and wrong at the same time. Arrogant and bossy Alex gets his way as he is used to from his high profile job. Alpha? Yes and no. He isn´t really the OTT type of guy, just someone who is used to that his orders are followed. Which shows, no denying.
Due the length, or rather the shortness of the novella with its estimated 90 pages only, too many things needed to be tossed over, mentioned in passing or thrown in casually in a sentence or two. The writing is solid, more then only decent in fact, and Emilia hits the right tone of being sexy while being light and straight forward. The plot isn´t really complicated. No major twists or turns. A simple story that goes from point A with a helluva lot of sex in between before coming to point B.
Strange as it may sound but less sex, more story would be a good start. More flesh to chew on, more background of Olivia and Alex would be needed from my point of view. A focus on the relationship itself I wouldn´t mind. In Book 1 it makes insofar sense to focus that much on the sexy times since it starts pretty much as a casual thing, and the rest follows a natural path that just happens.
Some friends of both as secondary characters are already introduced in Complications, but here I fear the worst with Luke especially. Now this guy has trouble written all over his face and his fake smile makes me anxious. I am not really looking forward to cross path with him.
The ending however killed me. It´s less of an ending, but a massive cliffhanger, so be warned if you purchase this novella, that Book 2 and 3 will follow suit with Alex and Olivia. Book 2 of The Rebound Series should be published in late December. Well worth the wait.