Erotic Romance is all about the tension between the main protagonists – and Home to me is a pure example – emotionally damaged Lucy meets us with Sam, a family friend she has always been attracted to, in a bar at the beginning of the novel and for the rest of the novel they are simmering away!
The only other LaVerne Clark novel I have read is Beyond the shadows, a genre blender: Romance. Crime and Supernatural. Home to me is totally Romance – characters meet, get along, fall apart, reunite. But although we see the story alternating between Lucy and Sam, and although eroticism is paramount in both of their experiences, we do get to hear about Lucy’s awful experience in Australia, about the tragedy of Lucy’s brother (Sam’s best friend), and the impact of that tragedy and the loss of her husband on Janet, Lucy’s Mum.
The plotting is great, the tension is kept up over a week or two, via a horse-riding outing and a paint-ball tournament, as well as through lots of long car rides. It’s a bit of a tour de force really, although the second guessing of the two characters that prolong the wondering about the nature of their relationship, is a bit unbelievable in parts. It also leaves two minor characters in the wind, maybe so the reader can hope they will find each other? And near the beginning is the worst pick-up line ever – it is so bad it gets the donator into the dedication!
Novels such as Home to me take the sensations and emotions of hours and stretch them to weeks. They are an interesting phenomenon – and going by library usage and the fact that when we had a group of Romance Writers at one of our libraries and polled the audience on how raunchy they wanted the readings they all voted for ‘over-the-top hot’ – they have a great following.
Home to me does a good job of contrasting the horror of brutal rape with the joy of loving consensual sex. It is set unashamedly in a world of heterosexual monogamy, where people are toned and beautiful. It is total escapism, and definitely not for those readers who prefer consummations to take place behind the bedroom door, after the chapter ends and before the story picks up. In Home to me getting to the consummation is the story. It is a great example of the genre – give it a go.