A perfect narration by Lula Larkin
Ali Vali is a prolific author who has written many Sapphic fiction novels in different genres. I have only read a handful of her books but this one got me intrigued.
Wyatt Whitlock – a renowned mystery author – is having writer’s block. In need of a change of scenery, she decides to move away from NY and buy a derelict house in New Orleans. Hayley Fox, an editor in a small publishing house whose dream is to work in the industry in NY, is Wyatt’s next-door neighbour. There is a mutual attraction from the start but noisy neighbours and at-odds future plans might get in the way…
Writer’s Block is not your typical romance, it combines elements of erotica and comedy in a very unusual but effective mix. Romance, erotica, and humour are balanced in equal parts so neither overpowers the other.
The main characters don’t actually talk to each other for a long time in the story which normally is an issue in romance. But somehow it works very well here as the characters interact at a distance without speaking. I’m going to avoid getting into details as it might act as a spoiler but let’s say that Ali Vali knows how to write hot scenes and it shows.
Even though the story is based in New Orleans (Ali Vali’s place of residence), it’s specifically set in the neighbourhood of Marigny, giving the impression of a small town in which typically everyone is in everybody else’s business. Having moved only recently, Wyatt is singled out as an outsider and her interactions with the different neighbours, some welcoming, others not so much, are hilarious.
The comedy element is very important to the story, with ridiculous situations, quirky characters and hilarious dialogues. It reminded me a little of Robin Alexander’s books, who coincidentally is also a Louisiana resident, but Vali’s humour is a little bit toned down.
Narrator Lula Larkin is a perfect fit for the story capturing the overall light and funny tone. I’m enjoying her audiobooks more and more, she reminds me of Lori Prince in comedic timing, light tone, and who can also perform intense emotions. Larkin’s narration definitely boosted my enjoyment of this book as I could see the story develop in my mind’s eye.
I gather that this book won’t be a fit for everyone as the erotica elements are quite strong, but if you don’t mind the combination of humour and sexiness (in separate scenes), then this one is for you. 4.5 stars.
Length: 8 hours and 33 minutes