Indulgence coverIndulgence
By Caitlyn Black
DellArte Press
30 August 2012

Indulgence is, at least, appropriately named. More erotic novella than novel, Caitlyn Black weaves a fast-paced love story, complete with longing, misunderstandings, and explicit sex. This book is not for children. Now, when I say “fast-paced” I mean it: virtually a whirlwind, the plot’s time frame spans from the afternoon of August 16, 2012, to late evening/night on the 31st of that same month.

Katie Jade, the young woman who narrates the story, has set her sights on her new boss Lance Hardy. He tries to keep her at a distance, but she manages to break down the barriers he’s built around himself only to discover that they’re more alike than either realize: they each hide pain and loneliness deep inside. They fall into bed, and after some dramatic moments and melodramatic arguments, they fall in love.

On the upside, the characters are relatable; who hasn’t experienced pain and loneliness and just wished that someone would take the time to care? On the downside, while the falling into bed part is realistic, the falling in love part is most definitely not. (For the record, Romeo and Juliet isn’t romantically realistic either, but at least the title characters in that story can blame their rush on their teenage hormones or whatever. Katie and Lance are supposed to be adults!) It doesn’t have to be realistic in real life, so to speak, but it at least has to be internally realistic, and it’s not that, either.

On the upside, Katie doesn’t mind taking what she wants—in life, and in bed. She’s assertive and unashamed. On the downside, the story reeks of heteronormativity and gender essentialism. No, thanks; I’ll pass. At best, Indulgence is beach reading.

DISCLAIMER: I received Indulgence free from Smith Publicity for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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