I picked up on Ella Frank’s Chicago-based erotica this past summer when I sampled EDIBLE. Mmm. Delish.
But It wasn’t until TRY, that I became a true fan.
EDIBLE, for all it’s hot sex, is kinda like a lot of books. There’s a broody dominating male and a vixen female lead.
Rachel styles herself as a Domme so she can protect herself. She is attracted to Cole Madison, but won’t take it further, knowing he’ll want to touch her–and she can’t bear that level of physicality. A former boyfriend was abusive, and she needs to control all aspects of touch in order to avoid the panic attacks.
Meanwhile, Cole is emotionally closed off. He’s a Dom in search of a fiery gal–and pasty-chef Rachel brings as much sweet as she does heat. Cole’s privileged childhood was isolating, his father died young, and later Cole learned his father’s infidelity left a half-brother–so he’s got some daddy issues. And a (medically) demented mother.
When these two control-freaks get together, their freak is sooper-deeky. What they do with caramel sauce is illegal in Red States. And, this book opened my eyes to Prince Albert piercing. [Disclaimer: Googling PA will result in eye-opening for you, too. XXX-warning!]
But, they get over their insecurities (rather quickly) display an appealing amount of sexual exhibitionism, and tie the knot in no time flat–enraging their respective family members. A little prodding later and all gets forgiven.
In short, they are damaged souls who find themselves. And, an HEA. The story is solid. If you like erotic romance you will not be disappointed. REALLY. I wasn’t. But, EDIBLE felt a bit similar to other reads…
TRY, which begins it’s own series, does not.
Why are they linked in my head? The lead in TRY, Logan Mitchell, is introduced in EDIBLE. He’s the half-brother of Cole Madison, and a confirmed bi-sexual bachelor. In TRY this all changes. Logan’s in hot pursuit of his obsession. And, he’s a straight man, baby.
Tate Morrison is going through a nasty divorce. He’s never really connected with his wife, Diana, and mainly they hooked up because she was Tate’s sister’s BFF. He’s a bartender, and is used to fielding come on’s, but Logan’s direct approach is unsettling, int he most curious way.
Their continued interactions leads Tate to try what Logan offers–namely some fantastic–albeit gay–sex.
There’s a period of wooing, and a longer period of experimentation, and throughout these two men (who would likely be considered Alpha in a hetero romance) develop a deeper connection. This isn’t just a conquest to Logan, King of the One-Nighter. For long-term lover Tate, it’s not just a rebellion. For the first time, they each find a loving relationship they want to work on, one that can be as satisfying for both as it is foreign to Tate.
It’s obviously fraught with conflict. Tate wants to stay closeted, while keeping Logan exclusive. Logan wants to publicly embrace Tate as his boyfriend, yet doesn’t want to help Tate break the news to his uber-Catholic family.
In the end, the book takes sensual to a whole new level. And, it’s the beginning of a series for these two. I’m anxious to read on.
Let me know if you pick up either of these–and what you thought. And, as always, keep reading my friends!