Book Cover

GENRE

DRAMA EROTICA ROMANCE SUSPENSE / THRILLER DETECTIVE ACTION

    Core Theme

    VENGEANCE AND ACCEPTANCE OF GUILT

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (FILM), LETHAL WEAPON (FILM)

    CHARACTER LIST

    • JEFF BRYAN: THIRTIES, FAMILY MAN DISSATISFIED WITH HIS SEX LIFE. INTELLIGENT, BUT EASILY TRICKED

    • WES: 50+M, LOST HIS WIFE, LOOKING FOR COMPANIONSHIP AND ROMANCE

    • DWAYNE: COLLEGE KID,M, BIT OF AN INCEL LOOKING FOR SEX, NERDY, KNOW-IT-ALL

    • LOU: 20S, FATHER TO BE, GULLIBLE AND FOOLISH BUT GOOD-HEARTED

    • LOU'S UNCLE: 50S, INTELLIGENT AND HARDWORKING, SOLVES THE CASE

    Logline

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    Target Audiences

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    Setting

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    Based on a True Story

    No

    Starting Description

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    Ending Description

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    Group Specific

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    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

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    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

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    Plot - Premise

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    Main Character Details

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    Additional Character Details

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    Additional Character Details

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    Additional Character Details

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    Development Pitch

    Genre

    ACTION, SUSPENSE, THRILLER, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA

    Brief

    Four men from different backgrounds wind up at a sex show that changes their lives. They meet a woman, follow her back to a motel, and have a strange sexual experience together. The men are then blackmailed, which sends their lives into chaos. Some lash out, others fess up, and one doesn't make it out alive.

    Overall Rating

    FAIR

    Point of View

    THIRD PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: FAIR

    Characterization: FAIR

    Commerciality: FAIR

    Franchise Potential: FAIR

    Pace: GOOD

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: GOOD

    Theme: FAIR

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    There is no Book Profile available at the moment apart from the pitch page - the “info by author” tab is supplied by the author.

    Draw of Story

    There is an air of sexual promiscuity that brings the reader in. Satisfaction mixed with guilt and the different backgrounds of the characters makes the reader wonder how they all end up in the same circumstance.

    Possible Drawbacks

    The book does not command enough interest in the protagonists, so the stakes feel low at times. Jeff's story is the most compelling, Dwayne's is the most affecting, but Wes and Lou do not evoke enough compassion yet to really engage this reader to put as much stock in their storylines.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    The hook is sex, adultery and vengeance. A compelling trio together, so long as there is an acceptance of the hetero normative tropes that dominate the entirety of the plot. This movie is for the "red-blooded male" demographic and those who are fans of adult content.

    Fanbase Potential

    The demographic is male-centric, heterosexual, those who are fans of adult films and adult content, crime fans and those with a taste for adultery. There is not much sub plot outside of the sex-blackmail-revenge storyline to keep other viewers entertained.

    Awards Potential

    Likely no Awards potential for this one. The exception could be if this picked up by a smaller studio and really leans into the artistic aspect of desire--making it a more tasteful adult-themed thriller. Otherwise it settles more in smut-action and does not permeate far into the genre's rankings.

    Envisioned Budget

    LOW BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    WE DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (FILM), LETHAL WEAPON (FILM)

    What’s New About the Story

    The story tries to pull together a diverse group of men who all desire the same thing. It gets them to the act and we watch the aftermath shape their lives for the worse, but we know only a few scant details about them in the beginning to really invest us in their lives. What we do know is interesting in its own right, but it doesn't attach the viewer/reader emotionally to the characters so that they feel compassion and empathy for their eventual misfortune.

    Lead Characters

    Jeff Bryan matches the typical straight-man trope and adds a bit of Rambo-like revenge in the end. There is not much to his personality that is surprising, except in the beginning of the property, where we learn that he likes to fantasize events that don't actually happen in his real life. This is an interesting detail at first, but it is used in straightforward ways that don't evoke a sense of mystery or intrigue from this character quirk.

    Uniqueness of Story

    This is an average story now, and could use a serious boost in the subplot. In order to solve the case, the protagonists need the help of an outside source, Lou's uncle. The man does most of the heavy lifting, and even then it is only to help Lou and Jeff. The fact that Dwayne is killed is a bit lackluster, but predictable. The same shortening of the storyline should be done for Wes, who the author constantly returns to, even though his story has no significance on the main plot after the initial incident. Instead of using that time to develop Wes' life, have him exit the story in some fashion and focus the attention on building Lou and Jeff's relationship around the common goal of restoring their lives. Maybe the two me can try and get their money back, fix their marriages and more. Maybe they can have it all if they work together. The stories join forces early on and then become so disparate that Jeff's story is the only one that carries any weight by the end. That means the buck is given up too early, and theirs is not followed through to keep the rest of the plot compelling.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    WORK IN PROGRESS

    Justification

    It feels as if the first 60 pages of the property are the majority of the plot, tension and engagement. From a development point of view, this story is still in the first or second iteration of the plot structure. There is quite a bit of fluff that needs to be trimmed and replaced with strong plot in the action/romance vein--not so much filler of the character's daily lives. On the content and subject matter, this is a bit of a gamble. Sex sells, but so does inclusivity. The heteronormative nature of this piece is not as compelling as it could be with some camp/burlesque undertones and a strong sexually-inclusive cast of minor characters who help the story along. There is room for something other than the straight-man revenge plot that dominates 95% of the story.

    Tips for Improvement

    Rewriting the second act would be a fantastic start. Bring in the uncle who solves the case, and bring in a woman who can help bring some female perspective and help smooth things over with the wives in the story. Cut all derogatory speech. It is not really tasteful or necessary, considering that the black minor characters are already being portrayed as rowdy goons. Add a meaningful subplot for Wes or cut him sooner in the story.

    Brief

    Four men in different points in their lives are looking for sex. They find it in a seductive woman in a motel named Angel but pay the price dearly when they are blackmailed by a forward-thinking corrupt cop. Some pay with money, others lose their family, and one even pays with his life.

    What We Liked

    - The story tries to bring different male perspectives into the mix. There is a great deal of drama that keeps the reader invested even as things slow down in the second act. The payoff is traditionally satisfying and brings some much needed action into the plot.
    - For Film there is a leaning toward the indie art film style that can be more openly sex-heavy. There is the possibility of more tasteful nudity and the likelihood is that the hetero-dominant story will be seen as a piece of art.
    - For TV this feels like a full season or two. There is plenty of dialogue that can be sourced from the book to build up the relationships of the characters. There is also room in a series to develop the antagonists, who are the most interesting part of the story.
    - Key points: Moral Lessons, Payback, Justice, Retribution, Rekindled love

    Synopsis

    Jeff, Wes, Lou and Dwayne are all men in various stages of life. The one thing they have common is their sexual frustration. That drive leads them all to a theater in upstate NY playing adult films, where they meet Angel, who changes their lives forever. After following her to a motel, they each engage in some level of sexual elation and then make their way home. Jeff and Lou have young families, Wes had a wife who has since passed and Dwayne is single. They all take some form of guilt from the experience that is doubled down when they are called by a blackmailer with pictures of their encounter. The men each pay what is asked of them, except Lou, who pays his own special price.

    Dwayne has to rob a liquor store to get the money, while Jeff and Wes dip into their personal finances. Lou doesn’t pay and his wife receives photos of his affair. Even though he did nothing sexual with Angel, it fractures their marriage and he loses the ability to see his newborn son. Lou speaks to his retired detective uncle who starts collecting facts to find the blackmailer. We learn that he is a cop named Nick who has been doing this blackmail scheme for about two years.

    Jeff gets invested in his fitness, shaves his head, and meets Lou at the gym one day by coincidence. It was just the right thing; the two start discussing Lou’s uncle’s plan and Jeff eventually dashes off to New Orleans hoping to confront Angel and Nick.

    Dwayne tries to rob the liquor store again to get some cash. He gets shot in the incident and sent to the hospital, then court, where he is sentenced to several years in prison. He ends up in Attica, where he pisses off a few other inmates, gets himself stabbed, and dies in the prison in upstate New York. Meanwhile Wes is trying to move on with his life. He is with another woman and, right as he is starting to forget about the whole thing another tragedy strikes. A young girl runs into the road and his car hits her sending the nine year old into a coma and into the hospital for months. He works on his guilt enough to call the family and see the girl, trying to rid himself of the burden of what happened, even though it wasn’t really his fault.

    Jeff tracks down Angel in a New Orleans theater and she leads him to a motel and Nick, whom he overpowers with a lead pipe. He fantasizes sex with Angel one last time before evading the incoming police looking to catch the blackmailers.

    In the end, Lou starts working at Jeff’s company and Wes tries to move on with the rest of his life.

    About The Author

    Merritt Charles was an HR executive and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who spent several years in the United States Coast Guard and 2 decades in the Coast Guard Reserve. This is his first book.