The first installment of Christina Maraziotiss’ Loveletting saga is a shelf-bending, genre-blending storytelling tour de force that utilizes elements of Victorian-era westerns and romance.
Charlotte is a young woman with no future and no past. With a prostitute mother who was found dismembered in the woods and a father who was her mother’s nameless client 26 years earlier, Charlotte flees the dark memories and hopelessness of the backwoods town of Nephilim Cove and sets out on her own. But traveling through the “unknown void of the West” is perilous at best for a woman alone.
The dangers are myriad, from ravenous wild animals to roving bands of criminals to communities of inbred cannibals. But nothing and no one induces bladder-loosening fear like Mac Kinnon a mythical mass murderer who haunts the region like a waking nightmare.
The courageous Charlotte soon finds herself in mortal danger on multiple occasions, and is saved each time by kind-hearted men—all of whom become enamored by her charm. Entangled emotionally with three very different men (one is the infamous Kinnon), Charlotte must navigate her path forward with the utmost of care.
There’s a lot to love here. The characters are all insightfully portrayed; the writing is darkly lyrical and tonally perfect; the emotional intensity is palpable, and even the novel’s massiveness (750+ pages) doesn’t detract as the story is tight and momentum brisk throughout. The (infrequent) sex scenes are also noteworthy: masterfully written to convey complex emotional intensity as well as erotic lust.
The only flaw is the inundation of grammatical errors, which is especially jarring considering the novel is clearly lovingly produced with an eye-catching cover and immaculate interior design. Sentences like: “Fine.” he gave her a sharp look….” and “It’s time for me to leave.” he said…” negatively impact the reading experience.
Adventurous genre fiction fans who are willing to overlook such technical errors will enjoy this gritty tale of love, lust, and loss.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.