Again, being a member of the LDS Beta Readers Group on Facebook has given me a chance to review a new book: Off Script, by Liv Bartlet (Rebecca Charlton and Sarah McKnight). This is a book I read in beta versions and was gifted a copy of the published version.
From one point of view, the story is a modern interpretation of a Regency-style romance -- how a pair develop their relationship while threading through the unwritten rules of upper-class (modern) society.
From another point of view, it's an examination of violence and power in relationships, and something of an implicit advocacy piece, especially for women, providing an LDS/Mormon female protagonist as a proxy for women's issues and other characters as proxy for other current social issues. (The advocacy does not qet in the way of enjoying it as a novel.)
The context is an intersection of LDS and non-LDS adult society, but the LDS society seems to be a proxy for pious society, and is not crypticaly LDS. I think the LDS references will not be opaque to non-LDS readers -- the reader will find them similar to references to Catholicism or any protestant sect as plot devices in many novels.
Warnings up front, there are several make-out or similar scenes, terminated by one or the other protagonist's sense of morals, or especially by the authors' sense of modesty in one case. There is one date rape scene, curtained by the female protagonist's delirium and loss of consciousness. There is also some violence. These elements are not gratuitous, but integral to the plot.
It should be considered oriented towards a mature reader.
The authors are intentionally provocative, and provide a list of topics of discussion at the end.
You can find the book at Amazon, at least. (Google search as https://www.google.com/search?q=off+script+liv+bartlet.)
My personal evaluation:
It is carefully crafted and flows well, and is not too long. (There were several scenes cut from the beta version I read which I admit I missed in the published version. But cutting them does make for a better read.)
The parts that are supposed to be enjoyable are enjoyable, those parts that are supposed to evoke other emotions are somewhat modulated, so as not to cause the reader to want too much to throw the book at a wall. (The beta copy was a bit more visceral.) Overall, it is both enjoyable and thought provoking.
I'll give it at least four out of five.