Never-Tied Nora by Cheyenne Blue
Ylva Publishing, 2015
Romance is a feel-good genre. You may ache along with the characters as they struggle toward their future together, but you know they’ll ultimately find happiness. Romance provides vicarious satisfaction, an escape from the sometimes ugly and always uncertain nature of reality.
Unfortunately, this also means that romance tends to be predictable. No matter what obstacles separate the protagonists, they’re required, by the genre, to overcome them by the end of the book. From a personal perspective, I find this unfortunate. I like suspense. I enjoy being surprised. Occasionally I encounter a romance that can deliver that pleasure, along with the satisfaction of a HEA, but that’s rare.
Hence, I’m probably not the best person to review Cheyenne Blue’s FF romance Never-Tied Nora. The book features Ms. Blue’s usual strong and evocative prose. Her characters, as always, are distinctive and believable, and she paints the environment around them in quick, sure strokes that draw the reader into the scene. However, from the moment Nora first meets the lovely and mysterious Geraldine, I knew what was going to happen—not just the happily ever after that finally awaited them, but the nature of the issue that would tear them apart first.
Assertive and independent, Nora Kelly has earned her sobriquet “Never-Tied” through her pursuits of women for a night of pleasure, but nothing more. Her many siblings all want to settle down, but not Nora. A sort of female Don Juan, she loves the chase, the dance of flirtation, the sensual delight of exploring new bodies. She believes that’s enough.
When she meets Geraldine—Ger—all that changes. For once, she’s not in a rush to get the lovely woman into her bed. They take time to get to know one another, and when they finally do make love, the experience is totally unlike anything Nora has experienced in her many conquests. She understands that her sister Theresa was right—that she’s finally found a woman with whom she wants a future.
Geraldine apparently feels the same. Then Ger discovers the truth about Nora’s background and family, and despite her love, pushes Nora out of her life. With Geraldine gone, Nora’s existence loses its meaning. She resolves to get the girl she loves back, no matter what sacrifices that requires.
Nora’s emotional journey struck a chord with me. My favorite section of the book is when Nora, trying to recover from the loss of her true love, goes back to her old haunts to deliberately seduce a a new woman. A tourist from London, Monica seems up for the game, matching Nora innuendo for innuendo. She invites Nora to her hotel room, for the obvious reasons—but they can’t bring themselves to have sex. It turns out that Monica has come to Australia to forget a heartache of her own. This encounter is what triggers Nora’s decision to fight for the woman she loves—whom it seems no other girl can replace
It’s always a delight to read Cheyenne Blue’s work. However, I have to admit that I prefer her erotica, where the outcomes are more in doubt.