COERCION is the first title in the Curio Vignette series. Note that you should read CURIO first, otherwise you probably won’t understand the context in which these subsequent scenes stem from. COERCION is written in Didier’s POV and I must say, this POV was so much more compelling than Caroly’s. As I was reading CURIO though, I didn’t feel as if it was less engaging. But for some reason, I devoured this book much quicker because it was from Didier’s POV.
First things first, I have to rave about McKenna’s writing. Oh my god, she is such a talented writer. McKenna paints such a vivid and intimate scene for Caroly and Didier. Set in Paris, McKenna weaves all things romantic into this 53 page short story. Yet, as you read, there is so much character development that I’m quite astounded that the author was able to fit all that into such a tight word count. McKenna is a master of lyrical words. Here’s one of my favorite scenes:
Our bodies have already spoken the words in their carnal language. When I tell her, it will be outside. It’s too easy to love inside this safe place, too easy to feel such things for most any woman who’s invited me to spoil her rotten for an evening. I will tell Caroly someday soon. I’ll tell her as I’m trembling, amid all those buildings and all those people, beneath that crushing sky. I will tell her when I am at my absolute worst, my least beautiful. And if she chooses to say it back, I will know she speaks the truth.
In addition, the role-playing that Caroly and Didier engage in brings forth sensuality and excitement to their time together. Didier is the master seducer while Caroly plays the resister and sparks fly whenever these two are together. I will warn you though, since Didier is a prostitute, many readers are expecting there to be balls-to-the-wall sex. I don’t really think that’s the case. Yes, the sex is smoking, but there’s also substance to it. Mckenna masterly weaves emotions and details into the act so that you feel the love blooming between the two. The tone of this book is far more subdued than what others would expect, but it works so damn well with McKenna’s writing that I don’t even notice.
McKenna delves deeper into Didier’s head, giving readers a look into his mind. He is beautiful, yet there is something about Didier that torments him. His agoraphobia prisons him. But at the end of the book, Didier shows just how willing he is to face his fears for the one woman he has come to love.
*Review Copy provided by publisher