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Bittersweet - Alyssa Turner I’ve been surprised by a few erotic romance writers in the last few months and Alyssa Turner is one of them. I have to admit though that I’m a reader who loves the details in a story. Prolonged scenes full of sensualism, heated dialogues or really delving in to the mind of a character is what brings me to my reader’s happy place. Still, even though Alyssa Turner only gave me a 53 page long story she gave me all of that in the core and with an intensity I love. In mere pages I understood there was a combustible spark between Keith and Sabrina, igniting some fierce emotions. Over a period of time it resulted in a deep love, even if the trope was one of a newly appointed professor at the NYU and his student, which felt a bit corny at first.

I was quickly fast forward to the time where they were married for years but catastrophe had struck in the form of a car accident which left Keith paralyzed from the waist down. Because the story is told from Sabrina’s point of view I initially got to understand how it affected her and how she now perceived their once strong relationship. It is then that Keith comes with an outrageous proposal. Since a while he has a new assistant, Evan, and Keith wants him to give to Sabrina what he can’t anymore.

Well, up till then I was engaged in the story. Curious how this situation would play itself out. It is only pages later that Keith explains his reasoning behind his proposal that Evan should take his place. From there on out there were such conflicting emotions in me. At one hand I understood that Keith and Sabrina had a different outlook on life but what about their love? At one hand I got titillating new emotions blooming with Sabrina but also her devastating pain and a love that is tried and tested. The rawness of the emotions washed over my via the writing voice of Alyssa Turner. I had some initial reluctance to accept the new budding feelings from Sabrina and yet, the proposal, the choices made, it was all born from the love Sabrina and Keith feel.

Keith who is this strong driven personality is stuck in heart breaking circumstances. I got his desperation, his endless love for his wife and his happiness at finding a part lost between him and Sabrina. In between there is Evan, never diminishing the love between this strong pair but supportive, promising a new beginning and to feel a spectrum of emotions again for the first time. The somewhat unorthodox relationship exposed individual wants and needs which captivated me in both its intricacy and its simplicity. Like Keith said to Sabrina:

“That’s what you think you should be doing. Sometimes you have to let your instincts take the lead. There is nothing wrong with your sensibilities or what they are telling you.”
“Stop trying to make this sound so easy.” He sighed, twisting a lock of my hair around his finger. “But it is, Sabrina. It’s as simple as we make it.”

I’m not saying BITTERSWEET is a perfect story. The quickness of storytelling diminishes some of the flow. Some scenes could’ve used more elaboration to create a deeper connection to the characters. Even though I would’ve enjoyed to have the author explore Sabrina’s double edged feelings even more in this novella I believe the saying “sometimes less is more” fits this story to a tee. What captivated me from the get-go are the conflicting emotions due to a terrible situation. It evoked such strong emotions with me! Alyssa Turner places her characters in the most devastating situations and still manages to let love shine in all its facets. The title is very apt for the story because even though I was torn in two it is the dose of realism that lends a beauty to the story and it struck a chord with me.

I was crying and smiling by the end for the three characters I loved to meet for this short time. Alyssa Turner evokes powerful emotions with her novella; BITTERSWEET. I hope to hear more from her!