STAKING HIS CLAIM by Lynda Chance
Description: When alpha male rancher, Raul Vega, meets innocent nursing student, Elaina Ruiz, he works hard to resist her, believing she’s too young for him. Elaina finds Raul too intense and doesn’t disabuse him of the notion, even though she’s old enough for what he has in mind. But how long can they deny their attraction?
The Good: Chance’s writing has a lot of energy, which is harder to achieve than one might think. You won’t get bored, and you’ll keep on turning the pages. Also, this novella is a bargain at $0.99.
The Hero (Hispanic): It’s a thin line between aggressive would-be lover and judgmental bully with Raul, and if you’re sensitive to that line in alpha males, you might have trouble fully enjoying this story.
The Heroine (white and Hispanic): When dealing with alpha males, the characterization of the heroine has to be even more on point, so that it doesn’t feel like she’s being completely overshadowed by a stronger personality. In this case, Elaina needs considerable character work, as her motivation is unclear and often shaky. She doesn’t know what she wants from life or love, which happens all the time in real life, but in book life it’s hard to give a character these traits without her coming across as wishy-washy and childish as opposed to truly conflicted.
Craft: Contradiction issues. Ex. Elaina was stunned at his agreement and didn’t even think to question his sincerity. He was sincere. She would bet on it. “Are you serious?” [she asked]. Basically, the character is saying she doesn’t question the hero’s sincerity before turning around and questioning his sincerity. There are a few contradictory turns like that.
The Naughty: Sensual>Steamy. Virgin.
Editing issues: Minor. 2 typos found.
Length: 91 pages (Amazon estimate)
Final Grade: C+
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