Reviewed by Elise Logan
Title: A Lover’s Call
Author: Claire Thompson
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: BDSM erotic fiction, Quickie
Publication Date: 2007
Rating: 3 of 5
In this erotic short story, Rachel’s day job is librarian, but her nights are taken up with being a phone sex operator. One night, though, she receives a call unlike the others. This caller is interested in her, not just anonymous phone sex. What follows is an exploration of Rachel’s sexuality, guided by Richard from afar.
One of the real strengths of this story is the interesting juxtaposition of the control exerted by the Dominant with the consent of the submissive – the balancing of the trust in the relationship. It is really pointed up in this piece because Richard cannot see Rachel during the phone scenes – he must trust that she is actually following his directions. At the same time, Rachel is explicitly submitting, because there is no physical contact or coercion, and she can sever the phone contact at any time.
Richard is a compelling character, and the best parts of the story are those where there is intensive dialogue between Richard and Rachel, and where the internal dialogue and point of view are Richard’s. The interaction scenes between Richard and Rachel – particularly the first sexual interaction – are hot.
This story, however, does not live up to its potential. Rachel doesn’t pop for me as a character, and a large part of that is the reliance on description and summary rather than internal dialogue or actions by the character. There are several scenes in which a promising scenario is cut short by a summary of the rest of the scene. This disconnects the reader from the scene and from the characters. Since this usually occurs in Rachel’s point of view, the reader is left without a sense of connection with her.
Additionally, there are some logic blips that distract from the story. For example, Rachel is a librarian, but evidently hasn’t read any of the classic erotic works of BDSM – not even after she and Richard begin conversing.
The storyline is interesting, the relationship dynamics are intriguing, Richard is compelling, but the reliance on telling rather than showing drags down the characterization and the intensity of scenes. A Lover’s Call is a fun, fast read, but without the complete characterization that would make it completely satisfying.