Rough Sketch by Kate Canterbary was a bit of a surprise. Mostly because I hadn’t realized it was only a novella. It’s a very intense and raunchy story taking place in Canterbary’s Talbot’s Cove universe. It’s very high on the smut-scale (love it!) but it also has a surprisingly serious and contemplative undertone.
The story describes the first few days of Neera’s and Gus’ passionate relationship. Neera was first introduced in Fresh Catch while Gus is new to the series. Gus is an artist, a free spirit and a wanderer. Neera – an ambitious and highly disciplined executive – is Gus’ opposite in every way. They irritate and frustrate each other to no end, but they’re also intensely attracted to one another. And when they give in to their desires, it’s quite frankly incendiary.
I would say that Rough Sketch differs quite a lot from Canterbary’s previous work. It’s a love story sure, but there’s a whole different feel to the writing than her usual full length romances.
First, the story progresses very fast to some very naughty, semi-public, naked acrobatics. Which is awesome, naturally. It may be that I’m a bit of an inexperienced short-story reader, because I was a bit taken aback by the pace and how they jumped right in.
Then, there’s the tone of the writing. The story is told through dual POVs and mainly through the inner monologue of either Neera or Gus. It’s introspective in the extreme. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but it also makes the story way more earnest and less of light, fluffy entertainment. It’s actually so very full of weighty and significant contemplation that I feel that I should have read Rough Sketch way, waaaaay slower than I did to really savor the wording and reflect upon the content.
In other words. Not what I expected from Canterbary. But that being said, it’s still so, so good! As short stories goes, this is da bomb! Yes, there is more food for thought but if you can get behind that, you’ll love Rough Sketch.
The thing I miss though, the thing that I’ve always seen as Canterbary’s trademark, is her humour. Her books are usually hilarious. And sure, the splooge sock was priceless, but apart from that Rough Sketch isn’t that kind of story. But it’s still a great read well worth your time.