I recently read an e-galley of Charlotte Stein’s upcoming novel, Intrusion, courtesy of the lovely Avon publicity team and Avon Addicts program. It was my first reader’s foray into erotic contemporary romance and I was completely entranced. It’s this delightfully creepy story about the hot, weird guy next door, all told from the point-of-view of a young woman nursing wounds from a past traumatic event.

First-person narration is a tricky execution, one (I think) often doomed to narcissistic failure (a la teenager writing alone in her diary). Yet it’s a driving force in Intrusion and plays into the storyline beautifully. We learn about this troubled man in pieces, just as the protagonist does, lending the entire story a slow-reveal quality that mirrors the couple’s unbelievably hot journey to sexual connection. The odd absence of names throughout much of the novel only heightens the feeling of complete reader-immersion, until you find yourself wondering “What will I–I mean, she, do next?” Intrusion is strangely intimate and unexpectedly subtle.

Clearly, I found the book spellbinding and sexy and scary and smouldering and all the S-word adjectives in the world.

But why? What was it about this tragically damaged man that was so sexy? I think the appeal of the damaged man is played out in one book after another–sometimes wonderfully, sometimes not–but this was the troubled hero taken up a notch. This dude was weird, like, guy-at-gym-who-bounces-on-the-fitness-ball-for-30-minutes-straight weird, or man-with-the-beautiful-face-who-never-makes-eye-contact-with-anyone weird. But still hot. Perhaps there’s an entirely new creepy romantic hero type waiting to be exploited? Or maybe I just don’t read enough erotica?  This kind of balls-out weirdo hot guy is not making his way into any of the historical romance novels I read, and I think I’ve been missing out. If, like me, your romance reading falls squarely in the Regency or Victorian era genre, give Intrusion a shot. There’s something about this creepy-sexy novel that will appeal to the same kind of readers who like the cerebral quality that witty historical romance often possesses.

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  1. Jennifer

    I loved this book as well! The heroes are definitely both awkward weirdos, but in the best possible sort of way. They just work together. And dammmmn was this book hot! I’m usually not a fan of first person narration either but I think in this case it really did work, like you said. It lets you get deeper into the mind of the characters and understand their eccentricities. Great review!

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