by Rose Fell
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
“She enjoyed the anonymity of casual sex, the freedom to walk away if things went sour, the perks of being a mysterious figure, as easily forgotten as she was desired”
The she in question is a woman named Olivia who’s living her dream life in the glorious, shimmering city of New York. Finally a woman who’s not afraid of her sexuality, a woman who embraces it fully without shame or doubts! I liked Olivia’s character, how she was so open and confident about herself. A novella such as “Lazar’s Gaze” would have never worked with a meek Mary Sue.
Lazar was also an original character, because he’s not the usual Alpha, dominating man erotic novels and novellas are filled with. He’s a man who, with Olivia, discovers for the first time the world of sex-just-for-sex. Need. Lust. Quenching your desires for another body. Coming out of a long term relationship, he’s never had such a thing in his life. But there’s more to him than that, and the title winks at his original view on casual dating: while Olivia is all about getting right to the action, Lazar actually enjoys long conversations with his dates, getting to know them.
“Imagine how wild a night like this could be if you enjoyed the time spent and enjoyed the mind of the person beneath your sheets?”
I liked how they confronted their views and were so open about exploring the other’s world.
The sex scenes were also pretty hot, although I would have appreciated a bit more dialogue. The novella was more of the introspective kind, delving into Olivia and Lazar’s thoughts but without much action happening besides their encounters. Another weakness were some editing mistakes and repetitions, as well as a lack of deeper characterization of the main characters and background stories (although, with novellas it’s not unusual), but overall the story was enjoyable, short and sexy.
Last but not least, the style could have been a bit more polished. The dialogues at times felt either unnecessary or stilted, and descriptions of places such as the restaurant, Olivia’s apartment and Lazar’s one, for how lovely detailed, slowed the narration.
Would I recommend it? As I said, it was a short, sexy read that got me thinking about different life-styles than mine. So if that’s what you’re looking for, go ahead.
I’ll leave you with one last, steamy tidbit:
“After I have him really worked up,” she breathed, “that’s when the fun begins. I can begin to please him. I might pretend I don’t know what he wants, if he’s into that, and play with him until he has no choice but to beg me to fulfil his fantasy. To touch him where he wants to be touched”