The Invitation by Scarlett Sanderson

The Invitation by Scarlett Sanderson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (40 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Every Christmas, Evie dreams of attending the glamorous masquerade ball at Longthorn, home of the reclusive Gabriel. She watches from afar, wishing she could be near him. Gabriel, the man in her most erotic fantasies. Then the invitation arrives, along with a beautiful mask and dress. Her presence is requested.

Gabriel needs Evie. As king of the Shadow world, he knows only one woman can complete him, can sate both his infinite carnal lust and the ache in his lonely heart. He’s spent years waiting for Evie, and he plans to claim her, body and soul.

The dreams of youth and the fantasies of an adult woman are no match for the spice and eroticism of reality. One young woman finds out that there’s a very thin line between fantasy and reality, the question is – can she have both?

Evie is an erotic author so this fits perfectly. Her trade means she shares her imagination with readers. This short tale explores her feelings, thoughts and ultimately her motivation for making a life changing choice. I liked how she waffles between wanting to believe and thinking it’s her overactive imagination. The truth is far more exciting.

Gabriel is an enigma. His plight is real and the author tried to fit a lot of angst and emotional connection in such a short space. For the most part it works. It certainly does for Evie. I liked that he’s a patient man and doesn’t bully anyone. The author effectively used a scene to showcase that fact. It made Evie’s falling in love with him more acceptable.

The tale is told from both their points of view but it’s mostly in Evie’s case because she has the most to lose and gain. Okay, so Gabriel could lose too, but he knows his world, Evie is just discovering it all and is understandably overwhelmed. The dialogue seemed to flow well and was well paced. The sex was potent. This being an erotic romance, it has the necessary verbiage to get a reader all steamed up but the emotional connection was a bit weak. The seduction on the other hand was a treat. I liked how Evie got all flustered every time Gabriel looked at her. It was a nice touch.

This is a bit of a holiday themed story. I question the use of the particular song choice during a tale of eroticism. I think a different song title might have been less cringe worthy. I also think the holiday themed wrap up sentence was a bit much all things considered. But the bottom line is, ultimately Evie and Gabriel achieve their happy ever after and that’s the best part. As far as wrapping up Evei’s side of things, the author didn’t miss a trick. I enjoyed the reference to Skype and other tech conveniences. It made the ending sweet and delightful.

The Invitation is a sexy snap shot erotic romance. It reads easily, the descriptions of the sex scenes were clear, well done and very titillating. The dynamics between Evie and Gabriel worked well because of the snippets of background the author shared. It’s a fun read and a nice and steamy way to spend some time.

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