Set in the ‘70s, Having It All is a sexy erotic romance depicting the life of a smart and beautiful young woman.
Clarissa Bateman is a strong, multi-dimensional and intriguing lead character—although the first part of the book depicts her otherwise. The first several chapters of her story read almost like a compilation of erotic short stories rather than a connected whole. Clarissa is confident in her sexuality and has brief flings with Alex the reporter, James the married Republican senator, Matt from the Budget Committee, as well as a threesome with neighbors at her temporary apartment, and more.
Each relationship is fleeting, and although the sex scenes are creative and well written, Clarissa appears shallow and a little sad, and the format feels repetitive. There seems to be so much untapped potential in this sensual, educated, socially conscious woman with an enviable career.
Fortunately, the author turns it around halfway through the book. Here, author Millicent Chartwell breathes life into Clarissa with a more intimate portrait of her emotions and career, as well as social and political observations of the ‘70s.
The author clearly has a background in politics, and it shows in her depictions of political machinations of the time. Feminism, civil rights, and the post-Vietnam loss of innocence color the story and characters as Clarissa starts to truly find herself and begins a complicated relationship with Edward Burke. Their relationship has depth, intrigue, and emotion and serves as a vehicle for Clarissa to change. The highlight of the story is Clarissa’s amazing evolution from lonely single to confident, settled half of a power couple; it all comes together beautifully in the end.
Readers are encouraged to persevere beyond this book’s initial stumbles. As a whole, Having It All has something for all fans of erotic romance: enjoyable sex scenes, ultimately strong characters, intriguing setting, and a satisfying romance.
Also available as an ebook.