Author: Pop Cherry
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Pages/Word Count: 85 Pages
At a Glance: Loose threads and sketchy plot development overshadow this author’s obvious gift for writing a descriptive and vivid narrative.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: When a rogue wolf is dropped to the tiles of Saren Lash’s hall, the alpha Enforcer has no idea how quickly the shifter he intends to break and remold will turn the tables. Can the unyielding Enforcer resist the increasing press of the defiant rogue’s fire and beauty, or will he wind up remaking himself as he attempts to subdue the wild runner?
Nor has no intention of becoming a toy for Tek’s pack, no matter how glacial the Enforcer Lash may be. He’s always lived his life his own way and doesn’t intend to change that now. Can he withstand the Enforcer’s impact on his mind during the remaking process? And if he finds himself growing fond of the Enforcer, can he be sure the idea is actually his own?
Review: There are a couple of things I learned about new-to-me-author Pop Cherry while I was reading Borderline:
1.) The author knows how to turn a phrase, and
2.) The author knows how to create an atmospheric and sensual dystopia.
The feel of this –verse is post-apocalyptic with a dash of supernatural thrown in for good measure. There are shifters, mages, and a variety of magicks woven into the provocative intrigues of the Dark Moon Pack: a rogue wolf on a mission, an Enforcer whose own mission it is to break the captured runner and bring him to heel, and this same Enforcer’s duty to his title. That is, until things become further complicated by a growing sexual bond between Lash and Nor. (As a side note, there are very few named characters in this novella, but learning enough about them to see how their names fit was a nice touch to the reading.)
While the author’s talent for setting the tone of the story and painting a visual of place is never in question, where things went sideways for me while reading Borderline is in the dissemination of clues and cues in the plot. There are things mentioned alongside the core storyline of Lash and Nor’s conflicted emotions that made me feel as if I’d missed out on some key details and elements that I should have already known, which then, after some investigating on my part, made sense as I believe this world has been built within another set of books by this author, though this book isn’t listed as part of that series. Borderline is written as if the reader should already know certain facts and –verse elements, which is not a statement against the author’s ability to tell a story but was, without question, an overall detriment to my connecting in any sort of meaningful way with the world building within this particular novella, the beings that inhabit it, and its politics and hierarchies.
What I do believe is a developmental weakness in the story structure are certain details thrown in in a rather offhanded way, especially with the ring Nor seeks and the faceless Doctor Deveaux, who, it is eventually revealed, is the mastermind behind Nor’s mission and seems to play an overall larger role in the alt. universe—though it’s not yet been revealed how—as well as the faceless Tek, who seems to be the Alpha King of the Dark Moon Pack, though I’m not sure that’s the correct term since his role is hinted at but never specified. These elements, I’m assuming, will be more fully fleshed out as the series moves along.
Because of the loose threads that were never quite tied together in a meaningful way, what we’re left with in this novella is the growing connection between Lash and Nor, which is achieved through their immediate lust for each other and the desire to own and be owned. While it’s all sensual to the extreme, it doesn’t leave much to sink one’s proverbial teeth into, so if you’re looking for erotica written by an author who uses descriptive language and the metaphor to its best advantage in setting scenes, then Borderline may work better for you than it did me.
You can buy Borderline here: