Deep Desires by Charlotte Stein

Why I read it: This is another I heard about on Twitter and bought.  Thank you Mandi 🙂
What it’s about:  (from Goodreads)  The Further She Goes, the More She Needs …

Abbie Gough has done her best to escape a violent past. But in the process, she’s avoided life, desire and love. So when she sees her equally closed off neighbour, Ivan, performing for her one night through his window, she can’t stop looking.

Voyeuristic pleasures become Abbie’s lifeline. But as she comes alive and craves more, Ivan backs away. He has his own secrets , the kind that draw her into kinky games and her own shameful desires, while also preventing real intimacy between them. But now she’s found someone so special, she’s not about to give up easily. And she’s willing to do whatever it takes to melt Ivan’s cool exterior. Even if captivating him means pushing through her limits to whatever lies beyond.

What worked for me (and what didn’t): This is a short, dark and very sexy book.  Abbie lives a solitary life, alone and afraid (the reasons for which become clear as the story progresses).  One night she sees, through her window into her neighbour’s window across the courtyard.  He’s masturbating.  And he knows she’s watching.    She’s fascinated and aroused and they start a mutually voyeuristic ‘relationship’ through their windows.  In this section of the book there is almost no dialogue.  The story is told from Abbie’s first person POV and there is a feeling, particularly in the first section of almost stifling closeness, so deeply are we in Abbie’s head.  The way it’s written, the reader is a voyeur too.

After her neighbour (whose name, she discovers is Ivan) starts sending her gifts (in a non stalker-y way), their relationship begins to progress to phone calls and eventually, them being physically in the same room as each other.  And, their sexual relationship progresses too.  It is apparent that their phone calls are long and wide ranging and they get to know each other fairly well in these calls, even though their conversations aren’t documented all that much in the book.

Ivan has his own problems – he has difficulties with physical intimacy and lives his life in strict order.  In Abbie he sees the potential for release or at least relief from both of these things – things which stifle him.

The ending is perhaps a bit formulaic but the development of the relationship between Ivan and Abbie was compelling and oh so sexy. 

It is, at heart the story of two broken people finding strength, acceptance and passion in each other and that’s always a story I’m interested in reading.  Plus, blindfold sex.

Grade: B

3 comments on “Deep Desires by Charlotte Stein

  1. ClaudiaGC

    Lovely review! I loved that book, too! Charlotte Stein can write about heroes or heroines that would come across as totally pervy in the hands of other authors but she makes them absolutely likeable. The only downside was the shortness of the book. It felt a bit unfinished and rushed.

  2. Kaetrin

    Yes, it did end on the abrupt side. I could happily have read more.

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