Interdependence by Dee Carney
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (136 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, anal sex, voyeurism, Ménage
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern
Jonah Ballard has seven days to find a way to stop the possession trying to consume him or resign himself to preternaturally induced madness. His twin brother, Elijah, has no intention of letting that happen. Their father’s legacy has doomed them from a young age, but the brothers will have to trust each other as never before if they’re going to survive.
A chance meeting with emotionally ravaged Laurel Butler might provide the brothers part of the solution that they’ve been searching for. In the next seven days they have convince Laurel to take them into her bed, the first step toward the beginning of the end of their curse.
As the hours rush by, both old and newly formed wounds threaten to break the bond the trio is only now starting to forge. For how can a woman who has nothing to live for, who toys with death on a daily basis, and who doesn’t know how to save herself, save them?
Sometimes, you’ll come across a story that has an amazing premise that you can’t wait to read. Such was the case for me with Interdependence. Dee Carney writes incredible characters, and I couldn’t wait to delve into this world in which light battles dark and a woman is the only salvation for two brothers who are doomed in her absence.
When we meet Laurel, she’s in a bad place in her life -- emotionally and financially. So when she meets Elijah, who offers to buy her a hot meal, she eventually caves. His offer for a job follows shortly after and she finds herself driving to his home with his business card, unsure and uncertain. Shortly thereafter she meets Jonah, Elijah’s twin, and after being shown around and told her duties, she quickly settles in. What she isn’t aware of is the darkness that Jonah struggles against, a power so consuming that soon he will lose all control. Elijah has managed to work out what he believes is a plan to save his brother, which involves Laurel, but he’s not sure of the part she will play -- or how to go about banishing the darkness using her presence. Together, they begin revealing more and more about each other and, in the process, unravel the mystery.
The beginning of this story got me hook, line, and sinker. I was curious about Laurel and these two men who continued to struggle against this mysterious force. All are complex and the way they open themselves to one another is timed extremely well, so that there is a necessary and believable amount of growth. Unfortunately, as the story progressed, this steady pace began to shift and their feelings came on so quickly that I wasn’t entirely certain I believed them. Not to mention, the light/dark forces were partially versus fully explained, leading to moments of confusion regarding the source of the darkness and what will ultimately occur when it takes over.
Another issue is that while Interdependence is technically PNR/Fantasy, the heroes are, for the most part, normal men. Elijah’s ability to perceive emotion could be construed as something paranormal (as could his brothers darkness), but not to the effect that say shifter stories are in relation to falling in love with a mate or partner over the course of a few days. While the bond Laurel, Elijah, and Jonah form is understandable, those deeper emotions they all proclaim to feel (including Laurel) seemed a trifle rushed as a result. There was also another element that I’m hesitant to reveal as it could be construed as spoiler, but suffice it to say that Laurel is a woman who deals with her inner torment and pain in a very dangerous and dark manner, yet, I felt that it was slightly out of place as it’s mentioned, used as a catalyst for possible tension (although it is used as a tool to bring two of the characters closer together, which is only fair to mention), but is forgotten by the story’s conclusion.
There are great things to be said about Interdependence, however. Ms. Carney has a very distinctive voice that I enjoy very much, and her ability to lure the reader into her worlds allows them to feel as if they are experiencing the story versus reading it. Her descriptions are vivid, and her dialogue is always witty (one memorable scene with Laurel, Jonah, and a sharp object, had me laughing aloud). The writing is spot-on, which is always important, and the pace doesn’t relent from start to finish, so there is no desire to put the story away and return to it later.
I enjoyed the emotional interactions between Elijah and Jonah, as well as those which occur as Elijah, Jonas, and Laurel create a tentative balance. There is a lot of heart here, especially as they face a future in which the fall of one brother will bring about the destruction of the other. As Elijah and Jonas continue fighting the good fight, you’ll cheer for them, cry for them, and when things take the downward turn you know has to happen, you’ll rally for them. That is always a fundamental part of an engaging and entertaining story, and Interdependence delivers.
Fans of unique paranormal erotic romance are sure to enjoy Interdependence. There is enough sizzle to keep you hot around the collar and enough mystery to keep you reading to find out what happens next. If you’re searching for a steamy ménage, this is just the ticket.