Wednesday, February 8, 2012

An M/F Review: The First Noel by Cara North

Cara North
The First Noel
Amber Allure, December 4, 2011

Links: Author’s Goodreads page | Twitter | Buy book here

What better gift than Love for Christmas? Can any Marine expect to be so lucky? All Noel wants for Christmas is one hot Marine—Corporal Dickenson—and she plans to get him! With her brother in the service, Noel knows the "code" all too well—that when it comes to Marines, family members of fellow servicemen are usually off limits—but that doesn’t seem to mean anything to her as she pursues her interest with determination and passion. A chance meeting, a heroic event, and a night of sizzling passion all lead to a lifetime of holiday memories to come...

Genre & Keywords:
M/F Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Military, Christmas, Short story

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3

Reviewed by SharonS.:

I picked this story because it is set in Jacksonville, NC where I grew up, and Noel is a student at UNC-W where I did the first two years of my undergraduate schooling. I didn’t realize it was an m/f story. I read lots of m/f, but I don’t like the erotic ones. I just don’t find certain slang words for girl naughty bits very sexy . But I don’t let that affect my rating because this was written for people who do.

This is a 20 page short story about a young woman named Noel, a graduate student at UNC-W in Wilmington, NC. Her brother, Steve, is in the Marine Corps and stationed in Jacksonville, NC, an hour north of her. She is on winter break from school and helping her brother and his wife with their new baby. Noel accompanies her brother to a Marine Corps dinner where she meets Corporal Bruce Dickenson. Steve tells her to avoid this marine because he will be deploying in a few weeks. She tried to do the right thing, but Bruce ends up rescuing her from some drunks in the parking lot and they can’t deny the instant physical attraction. They meet to go bowling and end up in his barracks for an erotic one night romp.

This story starts out well. I like the writing, it is efficient and clean which is needed in a short story. You even get a feel for some of the secondary characters like her brother and sister-in-law. Then the story kind of broke down for me. When Noel and Bruce are in his room they have a conversation during fore-play and sex was odd. They talk about not being one night stand type people, about being clean and using protection, then deciding in the middle of sex not to use protection. Bruce had been with the same girl since high school and caught her cheating on him two weeks ago and here he is asking her to say she loves him during sex even if she doesn’t mean it. Really? That would be kind of creepy to me. The story ends there except for a short epilogue that picks up three years later and that lets us know what happens.

This is a HEA story about two people who act on lust at first sight and despite the odds make it work out. Even though I had my problems with the conversation during sex, it is a well written feel good story for if you are looking for a quick fix.


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