A complicated hometown romance turns dangerous in Star-Crossed, a taut erotic thriller by first-time author Samantha Jo Pryor.
Jacqueline, or “Jac,” has returned home to Bristow, Oklahoma, looking to escape her nightmares. They are all she has left of her husband, Ryan, her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, an Army special forces soldier who didn’t return from a secret mission in Afghanistan.
On her first day in her new job, she runs into Ryan’s high school best friend, Jared, and there is an instant connection. It’s the kind of connection that happens often in contemporary erotic romance novels, with jeans that hang just right on the handsome main male character and much bottom-lip biting by the pretty main female character with the perfect body.
Genre tropes aside, Jac and Jared move quickly into a tumultuous relationship that includes numerous well-written, explicit sex scenes. There’s no shortage of volatile chemistry and drama between them, with possible cheating, horseback-riding accidents, and heated arguments. With the introduction of Tom, a man from Jac’s past with possible answers about her husband’s death, Jac and Jared’s relationship is tested, and so are their survival instincts.
Star-Crossed fits neatly into the erotic thriller genre and easily checks all the boxes: attractive lead characters with a complex relationship, life-threatening situations, unexpected plot twists, a myriad of explicit sex scenes and an unending emotional roller coaster. The plot flows quickly and smoothly, and the characters are likable. The author generally succeeds in eliciting the right emotions from the characters and readers at the right moments, arriving at the correct balance of romance, sex, and action.
While it’s not necessarily groundbreaking and some of the stylistic devices are clichéd, Star-Crossed is an enjoyable, satisfying read. A follow-up book is promised, and erotic thriller fans will happily devour this volume and look forward to the next.
Also available as an ebook.