December 14, 2012

Review: More Than Words by Karla Doyle

I discovered this book thanks to Liz’s cone of shame post (don’t click on that link, though, too many tempting books). When I saw dirty Scrabble and rock star hero, I was sold. I mean, how many of you stopped reading this to go and buy the book? The lure of the dirty Scrabble is irresistible and I’m weak. So I got it, and loved it until about the middle mark, then I didn’t love it as much. Here’s why:

Calli was assaulted two years ago, and now suffers a paralyzing fear to go outside once it’s dark. She spends the days working on her sex shop, and the nights doing nothing. But one day she logs into an online game of Scrabble designed to meet people and even flirt. She ends up playing a great game with a charming man name Travis. But when he decides to meet her, things get a bit tricky. But just a bit, and that’s part of the problem.

I loved the first part of the book, even though the problems begin quite early into the book. But the chemistry between Calli and Travis, as well as their banter, was compelling and addictive enough for the flaws to not bother me as much as they should. But then the story starts falling apart.

The characterization is inconsistent. Calli is traumatized and paranoid, yet she gives key information to a stranger, minutes after meeting him online. She’s careless about her safety one minute, the next she’s paralyzed by fear. So her struggles only make an appearance when they are useful to the plot. She doesn’t have to get used to Travis, and she instantly trust him just based on a feeling of safety he inspires. She also owns a sex shop and isn’t a virgin, but sometimes she acts like a shy, inexperienced woman, and sometimes she’s forward and flirty. These traits are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but in her didn’t make much sense.

Travis is also a bit off. At first he comes across as a jaded, self-assured man looking for something different. He doesn’t even think twice about committing to a relationship with a woman who is deeply disturbed and has serious issues to overcome, something I find slightly suspicious. And then, the minute she says something he finds contrary, he panics and throws a tantrum. It was confusing to say the least.

More Than Words starts with a bang and a lot of promise, but it falls apart at the end. However, I think that Ms. Doyle has potential and knows how to create characters that feel like they belong to each other. The idea was great, and even though the execution left a lot to be desired, I’m glad I read it. Perhaps it’s not the great read I was expecting, but it was entertaining and enjoyable.

ETA: I forgot to add that there's a lot of sex in this book, and it does nothing for the plot or character development, in fact, I think it hurts it. I found myself skimming through some of the scenes because it was boring. So I think it's supposed to be Erotic Romance, but to me it was just another Contemporary with a lot of vanilla sex in it. Dear authors, pointless sex is pointless, even if you're trying to tell an erotic story.

Review by Brie
Grade: 3
Sensuality: McSteamy
Purchase: Amazon

A brutal mugging two years ago left Calli terrified to go out after dark, and incapable of real dating. Hanging out with a resentful Chihuahua every night hasn’t filled the void, and all the sex toys from the store she owns could never replace a flesh-and-blood man. An online Scrabble site promising anonymous, flirty fun sounds like just the ticket. A like-minded geek, that’s what she needs. Unbeknownst to her, the man on the other end of the game is anything but geeky. 
Tired of the party scene, Travis seeks a venue where he can meet a woman who is drawn to his mind, not his profession. Having women chase after his bad-boy musician persona has grown stale. After heating up the tiles online with Calli, he knows he must meet her in person. Touch her in person. And when he does, their chemistry is undeniable. She stimulates him, mind and body. But when he discovers her tragic past he realizes it will take more than words to win her heart…and her trust.
Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc. August 17, 2012.


  1. MAN. I was going to come here and argue with you're right. I just got sucked into the story and it blinded me to its flaws.

    1. I got sucked into it too! The first part was so good, but then the weird stuff happened and it wasn't as fun, or as easy to ignore.

  2. I see some people have ignored your advice about clicking on the cone of shame link (cue evil laugh). I guess I really need to read this now!

    1. People don't know how to listen to good advice! LOL

  3. Boring sex and inconsistent characters?....CLACKERS! I'd have to take a pass on this one. Too bad it didn't live up to it's potential. I kind of hate getting my expectations up with a great start, only to have it all fall apart.

  4. I agree with your review but I have to admit I was never tempted to not finish it. I loved the Scrabble part of the book! The author's style of writing is very engaging and I hope she will do better in her next book. The one thing that really irked me besides that the heroine gave her personal information so freely on the internet was that she had this sex shop. Where was the point?? Seemed to me a bit like a condition to write an Ellora's Cave book.


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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.