Cris Reads | INTRUSION by Charlotte Stein

I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being—and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Everyone says he’s dangerous. He never comes out of his house—a place that looks like it could be featured in Serial Killers Monthly. But the thing is … I think something happened to him too. I know the chemistry between us isn’t just in my head. I know he feels it, but he’s holding back. The pleasure he gives me is unreal—if only I could give something in return. If only he would let me in. I think I can make him feel something good. And for the first time in forever, I want to.

He’s made a labyrinth of himself. Now all I need to do is dare to find my way through.

I don't think any author has ever made paranoia and neuroses as sexy as Charlotte Stein does in Intrusion. That probably sounds a bit weird, but honestly, so are the novel's heroes. They're both a couple of peculiar, wounded souls that find their perfect match living across the street. So many of their initial interactions are fraught with awkwardness and second-guessing which feel completely genuine and fitting for their characters.

I'm not usually a fan of first-person narratives, especially in romance, because I really love to get both sides of the story and figure out where the two connect. But personally, I think Intrusion was better served by using first-person narration. The heroine often has a deliciously morbid mind, one which we would never fully understand or enjoy without the book's unfettered view into her thoughts. And keeping the hero's feelings somewhat under wraps led to a bigger and better reveal later in the story. There's so much mystery and suspense created throughout the novel by keeping the characters in their own little bubble and by incrementally revealing their emotional burdens.

Beth and Noah certainly don't have a traditional relationship. Because of their scars and past experiences they have to ease their way into being together, slowly reassuring and learning one another. But damn, these two sure make taking baby steps sexy as hell. I mean, it's an erotic romance so sex is to be expected, but the dirty talk is what makes it truly scorching. The characters don't just go through the motions, they seduce with words that simultaneously caress and shock the system. I'm a big fan of dirty talk in romance novels, and although there are so many ways in which it can go wrong, this is a perfect example of a novel that gets it right.

I was just awed throughout the novel by Charlotte Stein's use of language and description. Her use of dialog is superb and it really shapes and reinforces the personalities of these two characters. As odd as Beth's thoughts and perspective are, I fell in love with that beautifully dark mind of hers. And Noah is the perfect damaged hero who you just want to save. That is all thanks to Ms. Stein's words and the sexy web of weird they weave. I know typically weird and sexy are not two things we associate with each other but in the words of Beth, "Maybe I like weird. Maybe I like it a lot". 

If you're looking for a dark, suspenseful, sexy read that's just a bit outside of the box I would highly recommend picking up Intrusion by Charlotte Stein. I know I can't wait to read what else she has in store!

Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict, I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.


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Charlotte Stein is the acclaimed author of over thirty short stories, novellas and novels, including the recently DABWAHA nominated Run To You. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. She lives in West Yorkshire with her husband and their now totally real and completely nightmarish dog.

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