Wanda’s Tower

Robert Beatty

Publisher: AuthorHouse Pages: 566 Price: (paperback) $28.99 ISBN: 9781665529044 Reviewed: August, 2022 Author Website: Visit »

This fusion of erotic fiction and romance takes place largely in the early 1980s and chronicles the adventures of a traveling repair technician for a major telephone company whose life philosophy of sexual uninhibitedness and always seeking out the next horizon makes her a “female redneck Jack Kerouac.”

When Wanda was 16 years old and on a road trip with her parents, she stayed in her own room at a cheap motel and experienced something that changed her life forever: She listened as a couple in the next room had unbridled sex that lasted for what seemed like hours. The sounds of unadulterated joy and freedom coming from the anonymous woman made Wanda realize this was the kind of life she wanted.

Now a 30-something working for the phone company, Wanda has lived up to her goal: She avoids relationships of any kind and seeks out men at dive bars for gloriously wild one-night stands. In the morning, she’s gone—on to the next horizon. But when she unknowingly hooks up with a man named Chuck who works for the same telephone company—a man she considers the “best lover she had ever had”—complications arise, as Wanda can’t simply disappear over the next horizon.

The narrative succeeds structurally as a romance. Unfortunately, the erotic elements are problematic. Instead of arousing, the sex scenes are largely technical and cringeworthy: “Chuck rotated his hands to the side, using her nipples as the fulcrum and pivotal points.” Additionally, there’s far too much redundancy throughout, particularly with dialogue. Plot points—like Wanda’s philosophy of one-night stands—are unnecessarily examined repeatedly, killing momentum.

Lastly, with references to songs from the 1960s like The Sunshine Company’s Back on the Street Again and Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman and to people like Red Skelton and Gogi Grant, the novel feels outdated.

As a result of all these issues, Wanda’s Tower will likely have limited appeal for romance and erotica fans.

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