Published by Self-Published on 5/9/17
Two strangers in Paris ...
One passionate, earth-shattering kiss.
He was the artist upstairs
with the tantalizing smile and laughing eyes.
He was the devil inviting me to sin,
seducing me to dance in the bright moonlight.
He was desire and need.
When he touched me, my body sang.
My soul came alive.
But I belonged to another man,
and he didn't want to let me go.
I don’t understand why this isn’t a full length novel. I am in no way a fan of love triangles, so it’s a strange thing for me to advocate a full-length novel featuring one, but I feel strongly that this should’ve been that. And if it was that—if the author gave the characters their full due—then I would’ve loved it. I mean, I would’ve hated having to experience the angst, but I would’ve appreciated the book for its openness.
Love Me in the Dark is well-written (in terms of prose), and I honestly loved reading it and was fully taken in by the journey the heroine takes, but I’m frustrated that the story (present and backstory) and characters aren’t fully developed. I’m doubly frustrated since this is the second book in as many weeks that has had the same issue. Why are my dependable authors giving me watered-down love stories? What the hell?
In 193 pages, the story follows Valentina as she battles with the choice of staying in her marriage or breaking free.
“It wasn’t only my love for William that made me stay. I had done nothing with my life except be William’s wife, and the thought of figuring out who I was without him terrified me. It still does.”
Valentina finds herself in Paris, alone on a trip that was supposed to be her and William’s fresh start. A trip in which they admit that their marriage isn’t working and spend some time to reconnect. But, Valentina finds herself coming second to William’s work, so she decides to stay for a bit, seeing it as a chance to reconnect with herself. Then, she meets a lovely stranger.
“Sébastien and I would build a paradise with our sins while I set my whole world on fire…”
Sébastien is an artist (of course he’s an artist) dealing with a great loss, and when he runs into Valentina, she shines like a beacon. Their attraction is charged and instantaneous, their pull irresistible, and their future precarious. I adored the tenderness of their moments together, more so than the heat, and appreciated that the author allowed for things to move relatively cautiously and burn slowly. I loved Sébastien the most out of all the characters, and wish I’d gotten more insight into him and his past than the few scenes from his point of view allowed.
Then, there’s William.
“At the beginning of our life together as a married couple, we fought hard, fucked harder, loved hardest. And when our eyes met, I saw life, tenderness, and a bright future ahead of us. Little did I know, little did I understand, that in the balance of life, happiness can’t exist without sadness.”
I didn’t know what to think of William at first, as he seemed almost ghostlike, and by the end of the novel, he seemed even more unreal. I’m not sure what Asher was thinking when she conjured him up. And it’s not so much that I minded finding out his character and about his demons, it’s just that it all unfolded too quickly for me to buy into it. Like Sébastien, I’d have preferred to get more insight into his background, and to have his perspective from the very beginning, and not be introduced to his POV midway through the book. (Side note: View Spoiler »I wouldn’t mind if he got his own book, since I think he’d be a very interesting hero. « Hide Spoiler
All in all, Love Me in the Dark satisfied me in some ways, and disappointed me in others. It’s definitely an intriguing romance, which I read continuously, only breaking to sleep because I’m old and I don’t choose reading over sleep anymore. The writing is beautiful, as is the romance, truly. I just needed it to have more depth. So, put this on your shelf of quick reads with mild emotional angst, some pretty prose, and characters you may or may not want more of. Likely not the most helpful recommendation, but hey, I liked it. Mostly.
“Steal me away. Take me to a place where we can start all over again. No past. No future. Just the present. Just you and me. Your body will be my shelter, my home. Can you do that?”