How do you feel about plot, mystery, revelation and narrative in your erotica?
The answer to that question will tell me whether or not to recommend Andrea at the Center.
If what you’re looking for is a series of scenes with a wide variety of kinks, you’re in luck. Andrea at the Center starts with the erotic content pretty much from step one. It’s also well done, from Andrea’s discovery of her bisexuality, to submissions, dominations, bondage, group scenes, shaving... Well, like I said, it runs through a wide variety of kinks, and as scenes, they’re successful, individually.
The crux of my trouble with Andrea at the Center was two-fold, though. One, my answer to the question of plot, mystery, revelation and narrative is that I love them. I want them in my erotica. I like to have something to figure out – even if really all I’m figuring out is that the heroine will end up with the hero (or whatever permutation I’m reading). I want those miscommunications and depths of character, and I want to see an arc where the character grows.
Andrea at the Center just didn’t quite give me that.
To my point, let me explain the set-up to this story: Andrea is jogging, and is abducted and kidnapped. While she spends a short time teary and begging to be let go and promising not to press charges, it seems to last roughly five minutes or so before she calms down enough to learn she’s been taken to the Center – a castle where people are kidnapped and they learn to be themselves before they’re let go again.
This premise actually had me intrigued. Who would do this? Why Andrea? But Andrea seemed to calm down far too quickly – and indeed, as soon as she gets to her private cell, she’s masturbating in the shower and having a right good orgasm. Because..?
That’s my second problem with Andrea at the Center. Despite the title, I never quite “got” her. She didn’t make a connection to me. Or, rather, I couldn’t connect to her. I never felt like I understood anything about her, what her life was about, or why she loved Michael (she’s engaged to Michael, but I never quite felt like she was all that shook up about not being with him). Lip service is paid, but between the shattering orgasms and throbbing breasts I just never found Andrea’s core.
Again, this isn’t to say there isn’t enjoyment to be had with Andrea at the Center. Her sexual evolution/education/abduction is interesting. Individually, the scenarios are hot and expose Andrea to more and more that she finds arousing, or frightening (or both) and deliver on their promise.
But the whole story of the Center? How it works? Why it’s there? What happened and why Andrea was selected? If that premise is one that you find intriguing – like I did – don’t expect any sort of resolution. That was the biggest let-down of the whole book, and the actual ending paragraphs made me groan out loud in frustration. I don’t need a narrative that explains every wrinkle. I don’t need a story that ties it all up for me in a bow. But I do need something better than what came at the end of Andrea at the Center.
It’s too bad. The premise had such potential. The writing itself is really good. But the narrative just annoyed me too much.