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Friday, December 26, 2008:
"Reaction Time" by Alannah Lynne - ebook review (2008)

ISBN: 978-1-60504-271-8

Length: Novella

Price: 3.50

Check it out here

Publication Date: December 16, 2008

Cover art by Anne Cain

Five days. Close quarters. It’s enough to drive any woman crazy—or into submission…
Nikki Kincaid carries her smart mouth and in-your-face attitude like other women carry mace. But the sharpest parts of her razor tongue are reserved for Adam Guthrie, a man who sparks her body’s reaction time quicker than a green light. That out-of-control response terrifies her, because control is her middle name.
When someone starts sending Nikki threatening letters, Adam jumps at her brother’s request to help protect her—whether she likes it or not. For the past year and a half he’s been watching her, analyzing her body language and cutting remarks, and has come to one definitive conclusion. She’s a sexual submissive in hiding.
Five days in close quarters is exactly what Adam’s been waiting for—and Nikki’s idea of hell. Bringing her deepest desires to the surface will be the greatest challenge of his life. And, if he succeeds, his greatest reward.

I'm a bit stubborn and still haven't jumped fully onto the ebook bandwagon, but I will dip my toes in occasionally. When an online friend of mine recently had one of her stores published by Samhain Publishing - my favorite ebook publisher - I knew this was one of those times.
I "met" Alannah Lynne at the Plotmonkeys blog, which I've been a part of since April of 2006, and knew that she was an aspiring writer. This month, Alannah's first story, "Reaction Time" was released, and the Plotmonkeys highlighted Alannah in a blog post here.
I'll also admit that I'm a bit hesitant to read first-time stories, especially if I haven't read any reviews, and even moreso if it's for an ebook. But rest assured, Alannah's first story does not come across as amateurish or stilted in any way. In fact, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Even though it had a BDSM storyline, which is not one of my favorite themes, I found myself really caught up in the story.
Nikki Kincaid races cars for a living, and someone apparently doesn't like that fact. She's been receiving threatening letters, and rather than stupidly keeping that information to herself, she's shared this with her brother, who immediately asks his friend Adam Guthrie to keep an eye out for his sister. Nikki's not happy having a babysitter underfoot, but she's not about to let anyone on her crew get hurt, so she puts up with Adam as best she can: with her in-your-face, agressive attitude. There's something about Adam that intimidates her, but no way is she going to let him know that. And she laughs at the idea that she's the submissive he claims she is. Yeah, right.
Adam thinks he's finally found the woman who will be the perfect match for his Dominant personality. Tough yet vulnerable, beautiful and caring, she affects him as no other woman ever has. But Nikki is fighting her true nature, and it's up to Adam to show her the way to enjoy a loving, trusting partnership of control and pleasure while at the same time protect her from the unknown threat hanging over her head. All he has to do is find out who's sending those letters, and convince the woman he loves that submitting to his desires will bring her exquisite pleasure and the ultimate gift of all - a lifetime of love and joy....
My thoughts:
Wow, for a first-time effort, I was quite impressed with Alannah's story. A lot of the ebooks I've read, especially by first-time authors, come across as stilted and generic and even a little empty, but my attention was captured from the first page, and not one did my mind wander. Not being a fan of BDSM, I admit I enjoyed that Ms. Lynne took the time to cover the "basics" of the culture without being preachy or condescending. And I can appreciate that while the BDSM mindset is not one I'm completely in agreement with (i.e. being told what to do, and when the submissive is "allowed" to find satisfaction), I could accept how there are those who do enjoy it very much. I can understand how putting your complete trust in another person must be a very liberating experience, and the story was written to emphasize this, and maybe for the first time ever, I "got" it. Nikki and Adam had these conversations, and he patiently shared with her and explained how these relationships work instead of just blindly expecting her to obey him. I liked that Ms. Lynne covered this area of BDSM instead of glossing it over and thinking the reader should just go with it. Paying attention to detail really made the story "pop" for me.
Also, though there was a legitimate threat to Nikki, it was one that was efficiently resolved instead of one where the characters were stumbling along, scratching their heads throughout the whole book until you want to tear your hair out. This allowed more time to be spent on the growing feelings between Nikki and Adam. Despite it being a novella, I felt more of a connection between these two characters than in some full-length stories. So major kudos to Alannah for writing an engaging, sexy story without skimping on the growing feelings between Nikki and Adam, and for taking the time to delve a bit deeper in the BDSM background for those who aren't as familiar or comfortable with it. I have definitely added her to my auto-buy list.
Rating: **** 1/2 out of *****

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