Olivia, a young professional recently moved to New York, is enjoying the single life after a messy break up with a long-term partner. She dives back into the dating scene — or at least the sex scene — with mixed results, all while keeping her friend up-to-speed with her shenanigans. Things suddenly pick up when she meets the enigmatic Lazar.
“She enjoyed the anonymity of casual sex, the freedom to walk away if things went sour, the perks of being a mysterious figure, as easily forgotten as she was desired.”
Rose Fell’s heroine doesn’t strike it rich straight away, and the first (of three) sex scenes in the book is with Tyler, a man who bores her as much in bed as he does in conversation. It’s a bold move to introduce the reader to her sex life in this manner, and ultimately it’s not just Olivia who’s disappointed by this encounter.
This encounter does at least add realism to Olivia’s life. The story isn’t just pure erotica, but a more rounded romance tale. We get shown more of what Olivia’s going through, including her struggles at work and her friendship with Ruby.
Each encounter with a man is broken up by drinks with Ruby, where the two women briefly discuss life before delving into Olivia’s most recent sordid affair. Her reflections, introspection and gossip bringing a welcome depth to her character.
Things begin to spice up when she meets the eponymous Lazar, who has “the most enchanting eyes”. They teach each other new things in the bedroom — and wherever else takes their fancy — before their feelings take over and they begin to really fall for each other. It’s a happy ending for all involved, but one that easily hints at a possible series of books.
“She teased him over and over again, her lips meeting his like waves met the shore; he kept diving back into that water.”
Sadly, like good sex, good writing needs to have a rhythm, and the flow of this piece was constantly broken up by typos and misspellings, including a glaring semen/seamen error. In this sort of genre, the sex is often the highlight. But despite the two lovers professing to blow each other’s minds, the sex scenes seemed a little lacklustre and didn’t provide the support that the story so badly needed.
The main problem with Lazar’s Gaze is that it reads very much like a first draft and not a finished product. The bones of the story are there, and there’s enough to indicate that it could be an engaging piece of work, but that will only come with some serious time and effort spent on the story, never mind intense proofreading.