Monday, January 14, 2008

The Thin Wall by Cheryl Anne Gardner

ISBN: 9781430312567 - Twisted Knickers (2008)
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/07)

Once again, Cheryl Anne Gardner managed to sweep me right into her passionate, erotic tale.  She first did this to me with her novella, "Le splendor de l'antiquite."  "The Thin Wall," is a novella about five close friends, Julian, Laleana, Cecile, Tom and Ioan.  They are in their late thirties.  Each one is experiencing success in their area of talent.  They have been meeting at a pub every Friday night for years. They all carry a special tie to each other in that they know and understand each other's dark sides.  None of them leads a traditional type of life that would be expected of someone at their age.  There are no marriages, children or little white houses with picket fences. 
Julian and Laleana have been carrying on with each other for years.  They bonded twenty years before over their attraction to sexual bondage and submission.  They found each other at a library over the works of the Marquis de Sade.  Their other friends worry that they take their roles too seriously.  Julian enjoys giving Laleana wounds during their erotic encounters.  Ioan is a tortured artist that likes to capture the images of tortured women in his art.  Laleana is one of his favorite models, but even he is concerned about her wounds.  Laleana finds herself attracted to Ioan and his mysterious ways.  Initially Ioan is afraid to surrender to her because he is worried about acting on his darkest thoughts.  He also has a fascination with blood.
Cecile and Tom managed to find each other and fall in love.  Tom is a recovering addict, who they helped get off the streets.  He and Cecile also have their own special erotic encounters with submission and dominance.  They recorded a video of themselves in action which they shared with their friends.
The story revolves around their lives and the ties that keep them connected.  In addition to the passion, there are also feelings of love among the friends and the lovers.  They are satisfied with their lives as they are and are not looking to make changes that will cross them over in to the mundane world. 
Laleana's character has taken to writing fiction. At the end of this story is a short story written by her character entitled, "The Muse and the Alchemist."   Looking at Leleana now as an author, this story takes you further into her mind and shows you another creative outlet in which she is able to express herself.   I thought that including this story added a great touch to the whole book.
I found "The Thin Wall," to be totally engrossing and intense.  The close relationships among the characters allow them to take their acts to deeper levels because they know and trust each other. This makes them feel like they have a safe place in which to act out their darkest fantasies.  This can make it even more exciting and dangerous for them.   If you enjoy dark romance, do not miss out on this story!

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