Tort & Retort
by Maura Anderson, contemporary (2008)
Aspen Mountain Press, $2.29, ISBN 978-1-60168-087-7


Gayle Osborne has two secrets. Our lawyer heroine has a thing for Tyler, her boss. The other secret is that she and her friends have started an online blog that present articles related to and reviews of erotic romances. They all use pseudonyms, of course, because as Gayle says, it may get them weird looks and more from the folks they know if word gets out that these ladies read stuff like Anus of Eros for fun. Should Gayle manage to land Tyler - and is there any doubt that she won't - will her being Miss Retort of the blog Hit and Misses affect their budding relationship?

I am hoping for some good satirical elements about erotic romances, epublishing in general, and bloggers here but alas, I have to say that the satirical elements seem to be kept to a minimum here. I'm not even sure if one can call these elements "satirical", come to think of it, since Hit and Misses is shaping up to be blog that the authors love and there is apparently no flaming ever in the comments section even when the article in question is something that seems like a flame magnet to me (Men Can Write Fucking, But They Can't Fucking Write).

The bulk of the story is focused on Tyler and Gayle getting it on and off. Gayle fears that Tyler would feel threatened should he find out that she reads erotic romances. This fear boils down to nothing in the end, though, thanks to a timely and convenient revelation on Tyler's part that casts aside all doubts that Gayle has ever entertained about their relationship. Tyler and Gayle are pleasant characters, though, and the author attempts to show that these two have an emotional bond as well as a physical attraction going on. With this being a very short story, Ms Anderson has, in my opinion, done a pretty good job under the limitations of the format.

However, I still feel that she has missed the boat somewhat by trying to include all that extraneous stuff about the blog and all. She should have saved all that for a longer story where she will have more opportunity to develop them. After all, there are some lawyer bloggers out there in the online romance community, heh, so the author may as well go all the way in giving them the proper, er, tribute.

By the way, how on earth did Tyler's last name go from Morgan in the first page to Monroe in the last page?

Rating: 70


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