There is a book, Take, that falls between Try and Trust in Ella Frank’s erotic romance trilogy, but I read them out-of-order and didn’t bother to read it because, and I can’t believe I am saying this either, and, please note, doing so for the first time in scores of romance reviews, erotic and otherwise,
this book has too much sex.
In Try, Logan* is a successful lawyer who very much enjoys his life as a good-looking, financially comfortable man about town. When he visits one of his regular haunts looking for someone to take home, he spots a new bartender, Tate. Instantly attracted, Logan presses his suit for the heretofore straight gorgeousness providing him with gin-and-tonics. Curious and confused, Tate resists Logan for a little while, but the man’s persistence wins out and they move towards progressively more sexually and, eventually, emotionally intimate encounters.
In Trust, Logan and Tate are established partners and Logan wants to move forward with living together. Tate is unwilling because he doesn’t feel he has enough to offer the relationship. They have a lot of sex, something bad happens, and Tate decides he’s ready to move in with Logan.
About the aforementioned unexpressed sentiment re: too much sex. Let me be clear, it’s really good sex, hot even, but for much of the two books it feels like that is all there is. This is not the time to remind me of the definition of “erotica”, but time to reconsider that of “erotic romance”. As with every story in this genre, a balance has to be struck between the tropes, wish-fulfillment characters, and sincere emotion. For much of Try, Logan and Tate alternate between sturm and drang. There is a passionate encounter, some kind of misunderstanding, and an intense reconciliation. Sex represents emotional connection in erotic romance, but a little more relationship building would have gone a long way.
*Logan is quickly gaining ground as one of the most popular names in romance and I can only assume it will accelerate as I read more contemporary stories. Logan must be the “modern” version of Simon.