Late last night I received a second anonymous email from a different reader who expounded on the details of his displeasure with the story as it stands:
Since I agree with the poster that you commented on in your blog of 9/27, perhaps you will let me explain what I see happening in this installment that has (in my opinion) ratcheted down the sexual tension and made the story lose energy.
Simply put, the hero has become very passive, almost submissive and reactive.
For example, he is willing to do whatever his girls want of him (to the point of having a kid with a much older divorcee while a freshman in college with no income to support said child), he allows himself to be bullied and ordered around by the sheriff and now the trainer, and has spent no effort to explore his new powers.
Even when he dresses as a dom (in what sounds like a very non dom type outfit btw), he just goes to get comfort from the bar owner, rather than actually act dominating, he just illustrates how submissive he has become. I understand that you seem to be working towards a "kinder, gentler" hero, but having a hero that is so reactive and reluctant to accept his "destiny" makes for a story where the point of view is not active and so loses reader interest. Even his protective instincts towards his girls cannot seem to overcome his burgeoning submissiveness.
He seems willing to let the sheriff wipe his girl's memories and not fight the trainer's cavalier attitude towards him.
He allows his sister to walk all over him and move into his house.
He doesn't know how to deal with a previously unknown sister that is very obviously after his power (as a matter of fact, Seth says "I would give her some of my power"!). Another side effect of this is that he is so passive that I imagine only the magic connection is keeping the girls around, as he is not the kind of take charge kind of guy that can manage a harem as big as his has gotten.
He is simply not coming across as the kind of guy to attract these type of women without help.
The reader keeps hoping for him to realize his destiny and find the hidden strength that makes him someone that the reader feels would fall into his arms without the magic, which makes his descent into submissiveness more distressing. Why is Seth so reluctant to use his powers to make his girl's life easier?
I know about the illnesses, but as Jordan said somewhere along the way, they are going to get sick without enough fonti whether or not he uses the powers.
All he is doing by playing ostrich is making himself and his girls vulnerable.
To the reader, this makes him come across as timid and insecure, which is in opposition to the need for him to be a strong leader of his "pack".
From an authorial standpoint, the exploration of sexual magic is a major plot draw, yet it has been 20 or so chapters since he last tried something this way.
I read this and took my time, breaking it down into sections that pointed out different parts of the story to reply to individually, but I've chosen not to post that. It's not a matter of justifying what I've written. If anyone feels the same way as the anonymous readers, I can only hope that you will hold out until the story is done. I have the whole thing planned out and though some of the writing has expanded the number of planned chapters and information I've given up already, nothing has changed how the story will progress.
I do want to offer this in defense of Seth. Chronologically speaking in the story, only about 24 hours have passed from the beginning through the currently posted chapter. Most of the events Seth has faced have happened all in the same day. That's not much time to process, not even for the hero of the story. And the punches are still coming.
So, I ask only for patience while I continue putting together the chapters, get them edited - not only for grammar and punctuation, but for content too - and get them posted.