Lussaria, S.J. Molloy
Book 1 in The Luminara Series.
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
So, after FSoG there’s any number of erotic romances come out, hundreds, thousands even, of them..Some good, some dire and it’s difficult to choose what to read. This one sounded one of the better ones though, and though I’ve some reservations that I’ll explain later I did enjoy this novel.
Lexi, god what that girl has been through. A real nightmare, but she’s damaged to get herself in a semblance of normal, with a strong group of friends and family, and she’s now a self employed Physiotherapist. I admire her, but she’s still living in the shadow of her past, has panic attacks, nightmares and at 26 (I think) she still hasn’t been able to have a relationship. (very understandable given her past). She craves a normal life but fears it too, and so far she’s on a kind of treadmill, work, home, relax with friends and then try to sleep. She a very caring person as we can see from her looking after her elderly neighbour, and the way she is with her friends. Then she meets Lucca…..he steps into her clinic the day before she leaves for holiday, with a bad back. She helps him, recommends future treatment while she’s away, and though he asks her out and she feels a connection, she’s scared and says no. Lucca persists though and persuades her to consider it while on hol, and tell him when she gets back.
So far so good. Then she goes on hol and he’s there…in the villa where she’s staying. She’s freaked out, scared, has a panic attack but luckily her best friend Hazel is with her and helps her. She’s embarrassed at having drawn attention, Lucca is distraught at having upset her – turns out this is his grandparents business, and he stays there frequently when in Italy. He’s not stalking her as she feared for a moment. He manages to get her to talk to him, and accept his apology, he can see there’s clearly fears behind her breakdown but she doesn’t want to talk about it, and he respects that. Nevertheless over the next couple of days he somehow insinuates himself into her life and they’re quickly embarking on a torrid, passionate, sensual romance. Lucca is insatiable and Lexi finds she needs him, with him most of her fears melt away and she feels almost normal. There’s some wonderful days out, meetings with his family, lots and lots and lots of hot, erotic sex (– it almost went into realms of overkill, becoming dull – I’d turn a page and want more story, but they were having sex – again….sometimes less is more ) Then of course there’s drama when things go wrong, jealousies and problems to overcome…all the elements for a riveting read.
So what went wrong – why isn’t it five star for me – well, the endless File a/b/c became intensely annoying to me. I know authors need to have a hook, a unique selling point, and I guess that’s where this was aimed, but each time I read it I was File I for Irritated, A for Annoyed, F for Frustrated….its a tiny thing but became large to me. Then there’s the sex, its a good long book so there was plenty of story, but it’s hard to believe that Lexi could go from being terrified to even look at a strange man to a nymphomaniac in just a few days. There was so much of it too – I’ve found before that even though I love sensual sex scenes, too much and it becomes boring, dull and I find myself skipping parts to get to more of the actual story. There’s a balance needed.
When things go wrong with Lucca – and there are two specific incidents I’m thinking of – they’d be red flags for most people, and for someone with Lexi’s background I don’t see how she could just accept the explanation…and then after she’d had a head injury, numerous scratches and cuts and bad bruises, and surgery for a broken wrist that needed pinning, she could just go out clubbing two days later? And look so good a top photographer wants her to work with him? I’ve done broken bones 😦 and metal pins, and there’s no way I could even leave the home let alone go clubbing even a week later. Just moving hurt for the first few days….I know its fiction but we need some reality.
There are flashbacks through that bring up parts of Lexi’s background, the trauma that haunts her and that worked well. I did find the start very slow, the first 30% seemed to be going nowhere for me…and if it had not been a review book I’d probably have given up – that would be a real shame, because apart from the niggles I’ve mentioned its a great read. For me it could have been trimmed, made into a denser, tighter read, though I love long books everything needs to be relevant, and I felt lots of this wasn’t…still that’s just my opinion as ever 🙂 and its got lots of five star reviews so clearly works perfectly as it is for others.
Towards the end there’s an introduction to the drama that’s about to play out in the next book. I’m keen to get to that and see how things work out for Lexi and Lucca. Part two, L’Amore, is due out in June this year so not too long to wait. Lussaria is priced at £1.81 for 366 pages, great value.
Stars: Four, those little niggles brought it down, they aren’t major faults but too many to rate a five star for me.
Arc supplied by Book Enthusiast Promotions