THE SHADOW BOX by Alexis Ke

Description: Best friends Simon and Afryca are in lust with each other from afar, but each is too afraid to tell the other how they really feel. Can one naughty club finally bring them together?

The Good: This is a very good premise, and I liked that the H/H were regular folk. There were also some funny moments with the heroine. And I loved her best friend.

The Bad: The plot is largely propelled along through interior monologue as opposed to sex or actions. This means that we spend an inordinate amount of time listening to the main characters go back and forth with themselves in their heads. It also means that nearly all the conflict is either internal or rooted in misunderstanding. If there was a bad assumption to be made or a wrong conclusion to draw, these characters were all over it. Also, I was very confused by Simon’s side hustle. At one point it’s said that he’s not really having sex with the woman he puts on a show with nightly, but then women are able to book his services — wasn’t quite sure what was going on there.

The Naughty: Erotic. Two sex scenes. Anal.

Editing issues: Several. I counted eleven typos.

Publisher: Red Sage Publishing

Length: Novella

Final Grade: C-

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