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Friday, July 2, 2010

Strung Out by Kaitlin Maitland

Strung Out by Kaitlin Maitland
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (151 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Fern

Erik Aasen has never failed to get what he wants. If money equals power and power equals influence, then Erik is at the top of the social strata. But when fate tosses a sexy classical musician named Talia Davies into his path, Erik discovers that the one thing he wants more than anything else is priceless.

When a one-night stand with Erik becomes much more than she ever could have imagined, Talia realizes she’s in way over her head. Growing up with nothing means understanding compromise. But the only thing Talia has is her self respect and that isn’t for sale at any cost. Not even when Erik is the buyer and the price is millions.

It doesn’t take Erik long to realize that Talia is worth everything he has. But a lifetime together might be more costly than either one of them expected. When worlds collide and the sheets catch fire, both will have to place a value on love, trust, and loyalty.

Strung Out is a story with a very engaging premise, a hero and heroine that snare your attention, and conflicts that are very real and therefore relatable to. It’s one of those stories that hit the ground running, bringing the differences and complexities of merging social classes together. He’s filthy rich and from old money. She was raised in foster homes after her mother left and has worked for everything she holds dear; including her most prized possession -- music.

Erik and Tahlia’s attraction, while combustive, isn’t enough to see them through several of the pitfalls that occur as a result of their relationship. This is the source of the conflict and tension which progresses the story. Although Erik cares for Tahlia -- and lusts for her -- he doesn’t understand her desire to earn her way in the world. Likewise, Tahlia has a difficult time grasping Erik’s way of life, including his predisposition to buy whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes that focus on this divide in social class and felt that the uncomfortable moments in which Tahlia is viewed as someone far less that those who Erik associated/is related to worked. There are so many positive things to say about Strung Out. Unfortunately there was one thing that kept me from truly loving the story.

Each time there is conflict, upset, or heartache, Erik and Tahlia resolve the issue with sex. At first I understood that their physical attraction was incredibly strong; to the point they couldn’t seem to keep their hands off of each other. However, as things moved along and they continued having sex versus addressing the issues as responsible people would, I found myself becoming a trifled annoyed. Physical intimacy is not the solution to serious issues which you learn will never go away, but rather, is a bandage to cover the wound without addressing what caused it in the first place. Although Erik and Tahlia are just beginning to know each other (their relationship quite literally flourishes over the course of days), I felt something was missing. Each time they solved their problem by dancing between the sheets, it pulled me from the story and caused me to question why they were together in the first place. Attraction is enough to keep you with someone I’m sure, but under circumstances like these, is it truly enough?

Fans of steamy erotic romance will definitely love Strung Out. Although I didn’t enjoy the manner their sexual encounters were used at times, the chemistry between Erik and Tahlia does sizzle. There are also portions of the story that will tug at your heart, especially as Tahlia struggles to acclimate to a world in which people view money, not others, as the most important thing in the world. The writing and dialogue is also very well done, and I’m fairly certain you can expect a ménage follow-up featuring friends of Erik and Tahlia in the future.

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