Today is, once again, the semi-official something-annual holiday of “Buy a Book Not Written by Courtney” day. And the holiday it is, is Buy Jackie Barbosa’s Behind the Red Door, a single-author anthology which collects three erotic novellas.
Now, I have to admit, novellas are an interesting art form. That is: As an author, you have to tell (a) a complete story (b) with character growth on the part of the hero and heroine without (c) skimping on description. Add in the requirement that the story must be erotic, and you have a further constraint: You have to use a large number of your words for sex. What I sometimes see happening with such erotic novellas is that the characters and/or the plot get lost in the erotic elements. It’s hard not to fall into this trap; you have a small number of words, and so much to accomplish with them. This might make you think that novellas are doomed to be inferior to whole books, that by necessity they must be limited creatures. But this isn’t true. A great novella can be even better than a book–a finely crafted piece of work, every sentence, every word serving double or even triple duty in its service of character, heat, and story. And this means that plot, character, and yes, eroticism, are constantly present–because she weaves them into the story with a deft touch.
Jackie delivers three novellas that fit that bill. The stories have a powerful economy to them. And even though her heroes and heroines have a great deal to overcome, Jackie also manages to weave a thread of sly humor into all their interactions. I don’t want to offer too many spoilers, but let me just say that to find a story that mixes eroticism and emotion in equal measures, and then present it, alongside questions of family feeling, takes a lot. And with BEHIND THE RED DOOR, Jackie does this not just once, but three times. I adore these novellas, and hope that you will too!
In celebration of “Buy a Book Written by Jackie Barbosa” Day, I’m going to be tromping off to neighborhood stores to take pictures in the wild of BtRD. And one lucky commenter will win a copy of the book!