Restless Spirit by Sommer Marsden
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2013
Tuesday Cane has trust issues. That’s not too surprising. She lost both her parents in an accident and grew up with her grandmother as her only family. Her first serious relationship went sour when her lover began to physically abuse her. She set him straight, literally beating him off with a baseball bat, but the trauma has left her cynical, suspicious and wary, especially about love.
Not about sex, though. Tuesday’s libido appears boundless. As long as there are no strings attached, she’s up for almost anything.
When Tuesday inherits her grandmother’s house in a picturesque lakeside community upstate, she figures it’s her chance to escape from her ghosts and start a new life. Her gran’s presence haunts the comfortable A-frame like a benevolent guardian, but Tuesday still feels insecure and on-edge. That doesn’t stop her from getting sexually involved, simultaneously, with three different men.
Adrian works as caretaker for her gran’s property. He’s a good-looking local boy with whom Tuesday had a fling when she visited during her teenage years. Reed is a charming, articulate former TV star who now owns a berry farm in the town. Shepard is Tuesday’s next door neighbor, a formidable bear of a man who had a career as a cage fighter before settling in as a carpenter in Allister Lake.
These men have little in common aside from the fact they all want Tuesday. She can’t resist getting pulled into erotic encounters with each of them, sometimes all three of them in a single day. She rationalizes her promiscuous behavior, reassuring herself that it’s all just recreational sex. As long as none of them touches her heart, she’ll be fine.
Until one of them does get through her armor—and she’s ready to run again.
Restless Spirit is a delicious erotic romance—with the emphasis on erotic. Sommer Marsden writes gorgeous sex scenes, simultaneously lyrical and visceral. Although I’d guess that seventy five percent of the book is sex, it’s never boring or meaningless. Ms. Marsden has a knack for weaving the character’s emotions into each erotic encounter. Tuesday is a horny lady, but sex for her is much more than scratching an itch. Indeed, it’s another way for her to escape from her demons. That’s one reason she likes a little pain with her sex, as several of her lovers discover. The intensity not only magnifies the pleasure, but it makes her forget herself.
Although Tuesday eventually realizes she loves one of her three sex partners (and I won’t say which one, though you’ll probably figure it out by the time you’re halfway through the story), even her early encounters are spontaneous, wild, arousing and satisfying.
To avoid spoilers, I won’t say much about the plot, except to say that there’s a suspenseful subplot regarding a stalker. There are also paranormal echoes. Neither of these aspects of the book are as fully realized as they could have been. The author’s focus is squarely on the developing connections, both sexual and emotional, between Tuesday and the man who completes her. Everything else falls into the background, which ultimately weakens the novel.
Nevertheless, if you enjoy graphic but graceful depictions of erotic situations, I recommend Restless Spirit. It offers convincing characters, a vivid setting and extraordinarily hot sex with a BDSM edge.