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Archive for the ‘Wall-Banger’ Category

And this folks, is one of them. I probably would have never spotted this one, but when I saw that Harriet gave it four, and the other two reviewers were wondering how in the hell it ever got published. Library had copies on order so I decided to see for myself and hopefully save the rest of the reading world. Here goes…

Matthew Colgate has gambled frittered away what money his father left him, and he’s in a pinch to get more and cooks up this brilliant stupid scheme to get the gentlemen placing bets on whether his termagant sister Madeline will wed within three days. Of course he sets up a ringer to wed her (with no dowry no one wants her), but there’s a hitch in the plan when Mathew’s arch-enemy Gabriel West pretends to be Madelene’s intended Mr. Brelford and spirits her away to his country manor. There’s a bit more to this pickle, including a mysterious dagger, the Italian count who wants it returned along with possession of Madelene’s virginal body, a kidnapping and an attempted murder or two.

Got that? ‘Cause I’m not sure I did. Now I really, really don’t mind a bit of silly fluff once in a while, but this is just beyond dire, and the plot has more holes than swiss cheese. How does one arrive at a long closed up manor and like magic there’s staff hired (who can be trusted implicitly with every secret), horses for the carriages, and more. Someone attempts to poison his wife and he sends a servant he’s known for a day up with a plate of  food? The characters are cookie cutter cut-outs with some terribly silly names that should draw a chuckle or two (loved the street urchin called Rascal) and that starts with the very first, our heroine’s last name of Colgate. Unfortunately, this came to mind and stuck permanently,

As for the prose? You just go ahead and decide for yourself

“”She tapped her foot, wishing she could at least recall a smattering of Italian when she studied at Filmore’s School for the Proper Raising of Today’s Young Ladies to Become Shining Examples of Womanhood. Nothing came to her.”

No, I am not kidding.

“Continuing his pleasure journey, his kissed his way down to her flat stomach …By the time his tongue had sliped into her wet folds, her body shook from surprise and intense pleasure. He took delight in caressing her with his tongue, with the knowledge that only he could give her the beauty of this moment.”

How sweet.

“”He jiggled his eyebrows lasciviously.”

*rolls eyes*

For those who don’t have enough sugar in their diet,

“To show his infinite love, for that is what he called it, he leaned over to kiss her gently. It was not one of passion, but rather a forever-kind of kiss, a promise they would keep to each other.”

And finally, the sex-in-a-tree-scene. Now I had heard about the sex with trees book  thanks to Katiebabs (*shudders*), but I didn’t quite know what to make of this one,

“His breath came in short bursts, moaning as he kissed her harshly, his tongue mating with hers, accepting no withdrawal, no defeat. With all of his might, he broke from her sweet lips to growl and spill into her hands…What had she done? And in a tree?”

Do yourself and your walls a favor and give this a miss. Wish I had.

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September 1151. The Loire Valley. The future Henry II and his father, Geoffrey of Anjou, are heading back north after a visit to the French court and decide to strip off for a swim on the way.
Laughing, they splashed each other vigorously, then wrestled in the rippling water.
Reading this, I wasn’t comfortable with where the scene was going.
Henry was surprised to find his father’s muscles iron-hard – not bad for an old man of thirty-eight, he thought. He had glimpsed too Geoffrey’s impressive manhood.
Now I really don’t like where this is going. Glance nervously at the next page to read:
Their horseplay abandoned
THANK GOD.

What made me suspect that an innocent swim might turn into something a little less innocent?

The previous 21 pages.

The Captive Queen begins in August 1151 in Paris as Eleanor and Louis are preparing to receive Geoffrey of Anjou. Something I remembered from When Christ and His Saints Slept by Sharon Kay Penman. The book opens with Eleanor’s POV in a very sub-Jean Plaidy style:

Thus ran the Queen’s tumultuous thoughts as she sat with the King on their high thrones, waiting for Geoffrey and his son Henry to arrive, so that Louis could exchange with them the kiss of peace and receive Henry’s formal homage. The war was thus to be neatly concluded – except that there could be no neat conclusion to Eleanor’s inner turmoil.
which makes it all the more surprising when the next sentence is:
For this was to be the first time she had set eyes on Geoffrey since that blissful, sinful autumn in Poitou, five years before.
Definitely don’t remember this from Sharon Kay Penman.
It had not been love, and it had not lasted. But she had never been able to erase from her mind the erotic memory of herself and Geoffrey coupling gloriously between silken sheets, the candlelight a golden glow on their entwined bodies. Their coming together had been a revelation after the fumbling embarrassment of the marriage bed and the crude awakening afforded her by Marcabru;
Hold that thought. More about Marcabru coming up (so to speak) very soon.
she had never dreamed that a man could give her such prolonged pleasure. It had surged again and again until she had cried out with the joy of it, and it had made her aware, as never before, of what was lacking in her union with Louis.
Right, so now she’s going to see Geoffrey again and she’s scared she’ll give herself away. But ONE PAGE LATER she loses interest in Geoffrey entirely when:
Eleanor took one look at Henry – and saw Geoffrey no more…Lust knifed through her. She could barely control herself. Never had she reacted so violently to any man.
After Bernard of Clairvaux has interrupted to tell Eleanor the legend of Melusine, which she would already know and he would know she knew, Eleanor and Henry get talking and don’t beat around the bush. So to speak.
‘Madame the Queen, I see that the many reports of your beauty do not lie,’ Henry addressed her, sketching a quick bow. Eleanor felt the lust rising again in her. God, he was beddable! What wouldn’t she give for one night between the sheets with him!
Fortunately Henry feels the same:
‘You need a real man in your bed,’ Henry told her bluntly, his eyes never leaving hers, his lips curling in a suggestive smile.
Henry knows better than to expect a slap in the face – after all, he’s heard all about Eleanor:
‘I have heard one or two things that made me sit up and take notice,’ he grinned. ‘Or stand up and take notice, if you want the bare truth! But I have been no angel myself. We are two of a kind, my queen.’
Later that night, Eleanor gazes at her naked self imagining Henry’s reaction once he cops an eyeful:
The very thought of that steely, knowing gaze upon her nudity made her melt with need, and her fingers crept greedily down to that secret place between her legs, the place that people like Bernard regarded as forbidden to the devout: the place where, five years before, she had learned to feel rushes and crescendos of unutterable pleasure
(Only it was utterable, because we’ve already been told she ‘cried out with the joy of it.’) Anyway. Remember Marcabru?
It was Marcabru the troubadour who had shown her how, the incomparable Marcabru, whom she herself had invited from her native Aquitaine to the court of Paris – where his talents, such as they were, had not been appreciated.
This seems rather surprising when we learn that he has
done what Louis never had to bring her to a climax, one glorious July day in a secluded arbour in the palace gardens.
With Marcabru banished and her interlude with Geoffrey over, Eleanor was flung back on her own resources:
Since then, she had learned to pleasure herself, and she did so now, hungrily, her body alive in anticipation of the joys she would share with Henry of Anjou when they could be together. And, gasping as the shudders of her release convulsed her, she promised herself that it would be soon.

All this by page 14.

In other words, so far this book read almost exactly like an erotic novel. Not as good as say, Portia da Costa, but a fair enough effort at a Plantagenet sex romp. The trouble is, I wasn’t expecting to read a Plantagenet sex romp. I was expecting to read a serious novel about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The not-particularly-well-written sex was only part of the problem. Eleanor was portrayed as someone who thought with her panties, who only considered Henry as a potential husband after jumping into bed with him. She had the sexual appetite of Judith Krantz’s Billy Ikehorn, but not the ambition. At this point, I really didn’t feel as if I wanted to spend over 450 pages with her. If this was my idea of Eleanor, I’d read Alan Savage.

I decided to look at one of the non-sex scenes (when I could find one) and see what I thought of that before giving up and returning the book to the library. I flipped 15 years ahead to 1166. Eleanor is heavily pregnant with her last child, John, and heading for Oxford when she is diverted to Woodstock by bad weather:

It was cold in the wilds of Oxfordshire, and there was a promise of snow in the leaden air. The sky was lowering, the skeletal trees bending before the icy wind.
So far so good.
Eleanor sat huddled in her litter, her swollen body swathed in furs, aware that she should find some place of shelter soon, for it could not be long now before this babe was ready to greet the world.
I thought this made her sound like a cat who’s planning to give birth in someone’s sock drawer.

At Woodstock, Eleanor notices a new tower has been built…and there’s a light at the top of it.  At the top of the tower she finds:

a pretty domestic scene. The room was warm, heated by the coals in a glowing brazier. An exquisitely beautiful young girl was sitting before a basin of chased silver, humming as she washed herself with a fine holland cloth, by the dancing light of many wax candles. She wore only a white chemise, draped around her waist, exposing her upper body. In the instant before the startled nymph gasped and covered herself, Eleanor’s shrewd eyes took in the small, pink-tipped breasts, the long, straw-coloured tresses, the firm, slender arms and the damp, rose-petal skin.
In this book, I’m not comfortable with Eleanor noticing anybody’s nipples.
This is, of course, Henry’s mistress Rosamund de Clifford. Eleanor has no idea who Rosamund is. Rosamund has no idea who she is. After a round of introductions, Eleanor gets to the point:
‘I will not beat about the bush,’ the Queen said. ‘Tell me the truth. Are you his mistress?’
As Rosamund stutters and begs for mercy, Eleanor feels ‘sick to her stomach’, ‘betrayed.’ She asks if Rosamund realises that she, Eleanor, is pregnant with Henry’s child.

I can see that given the way Eleanor is portrayed in this book, she might feel the paternity of her child requires some clarification. Anyway. While Rosamund weeps, Eleanor threatens her:

‘Do you know what I could do to you?’ Her eyes narrowed as she moved – menacingly, she hoped – closer towards the snivelling creature kneeling before her. She was filled with hatred. She wanted this girl to suffer, as she herself was suffering. ‘I could have you whipped! If I had a mind to, I could call for a dagger and stab you, or have your food poisoned. Yes, Rosamund de Clifford, it would give me great pleasure to think of you, every time they bring you those choice dainties that my husband has no doubt ordered for you, wondering if your next mouthful might be your last!’
Rosamund decides to stand up for herself.
‘My Lady will know that one does not refuse the King,’ Rosamund said in a low, shaking voice. ‘But…’ and now Eleanor could detect a faint note of defiance – ‘I did love him, and what I gave I gave willingly.’
Her words were like knives twisting in the older woman’s heart.
After Rosamund goes on to tell Eleanor that Henry stayed at Woodstock with her ‘all last autumn, winter and spring’, built her the tower and the labyrinth and commanded her to wait there for his return, Eleanor is devastated:
Like an animal with a mortal hurt, she wanted to retreat to a dark place and die…
‘Never let me set eyes on you again!’ she hissed at Rosamund, then turned her back on the girl, glided from the room with as much dignity as she could muster
and announces to her entourage that the place is:
‘…wholly unfit for habitation. Like it or not, we must make for Oxford.’ She knew had to get away from Woodstock as quickly as possible. She could not endure to share a roof with Rosamund de Clifford, or even breathe the same air. She must go somewhere she could lick her wounds in peace.
Fast forward to Oxford where, after her encounter with Rosamund, Eleanor has ‘no heart for this labour’ and ‘turned her face away’ when the child is born. However, she pulls herself together sufficiently to decide on a name for the baby:
‘…I mind me that the Feast of St John the Apostle and St John the Evangelist is in three days’ time. I shall call him John.’
Now we get some heavy foreshadowing as Eleanor’s sister Petronilla thinks that:
what should have been a happy occasion was, for some reason beyond her comprehension, a very sad one.
And sure enough, two years later:
Try as she might, Eleanor still could not bring herself to love him, this child conceived in sorrow and born in betrayal. His existence conjured up too many memories of that terrible Christmas-tide, when she had gone to Woodstock and come face-to-face with catastrophe and ruin, and then endured that bloody, agonising travail at Oxford. No, John was the fruit of a marriage in its death throes, and sometimes she could not bear to look upon him. His nurses had the care of him.

Which is obviously why he turned out as badly as he did. The implication is that if Eleanor hadn’t stopped at Woodstock on that snowy night, Magna Carta might never have happened

Andrew C. Wheeler, ‘The Birth and Childhood of King John: Some Revisions’ (from Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady, ed. Bonnie Wheeler and John Carmi Parsons, 2002**), discussing the placement of Henry and Eleanor’s young children at the abbey of Fontevrault, makes several points. Firstly, ‘there seems no reason to doubt that it was Henry’ who made the decision to send the children to Fontevrault. Secondly, ‘Nothing suggests that [Eleanor’s daughter, also called Eleanor] ever lived at Fontevraud.’ Thirdly, sending John and his sister Joan there would make them more accessible to their parents, not less: ‘the central location of Fontevraud would make it accessible to both Henry and Eleanor, he from Normandy or Anjou, she from Poitou, for such parental functions as they chose to fulfil.’

Weir, however, has Eleanor racked with guilt at her decision to consign her children (including Eleanor) to Fontevrault, despite the fact that John and his sister Joan are so young at this point (1168) they couldn’t possibly travel with the court anyway. Weir’s biography of Eleanor came out before Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady was published, so she couldn’t have taken it into consideration when writing her biography, but, considering the lack of evidence about Eleanor, wouldn’t it have made sense to catch up on recent research before writing her novel? Instead, Weir has chosen to fill the gaps with all the old cliches about Eleanor, many of them based on either medieval misogyny or Victorian ideals of womanhood. Her admirers will perhaps argue that this makes for better fiction. In this case, I found that it didn’t.
***
I borrowed this book from the library.

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***Adult content warning. If you are at work and don’t want the censor alarms going off and notifying the boss what you are really doing I suggest you stop and wait until you get home***

Lol! How’s that for a cover for you. I discovered this book in a round about way (long story, we don’t need to go there) and as a cock-up (pun most definitely intended) my Secret Santa sent me this. I am guessing everyone wanted to see what I could do with it so here we go…..

This “Adults Only” book (there is probably a very good reason the look inside feature is not available on Amazon) is author Tim Desmondes’ take on the old Robin Hood legends. He sets his version in the 1180’s when Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine are still on the throne. Story wise it pretty much follows the standard lines of being branded as an outlaw, living in the forest with the Merry Men and his true love Maid Marian. Where this does go well off the beaten path is the sexual activities and language in this book, much of which I am too embarrassed to even share here. Perhaps if the author had kept his tongue firmly planted in his cheek and kept it light it might have been a bit more *fun* but as it was it was obnoxious and downright painful to get through – but I took one for the team and slowly carried on.

I will share a few quotes with you and remember – these are the tamest, and the *** at the end of certain words are inserted by me.

After his first romp in the hay with his beloved Maid Marian,

“He was a merry Robin. He had found his Maid Marian who had literally found him to her taste.”

Use your imagination and you can figure out what she was tasting, and be very very glad I didn’t quote from just before that. Very glad.

“He had to take pleasure in those voluptuous boobs. As his sweetheart lay on the bed sighing, he applied his lips to those extended nipples that had popped up perkily to greet his. As he sucked and suckled, Main Marian’s right hand encircled his balls”

It gets worse, but I am not going further.

“…Queen Eleanor’s eyes fairly bugged out when they bored in on the bulge in Robin’s tights. She was not disappointed. Unless the outlaw wore falsies he very much lived up to her expectations.”

Falsies? I am sooooo not going there.

“As Robin stared, amazed and in awe, at the most beautiful tits in the Westerns world, Eleanor gazed, awestruck, at the most esthetically gorgeous c*** and balls she had ever encountered. Although he was her subject, Robin took the initiative and bolted directly to that pair of nipples that were winking at him across the room……..Neither minstrelsy nor history record the intricacies of who did what to whom in what was undoubtedly the greatest f***fest of the eleventh century.”

**scratches head** 11C? Kind of makes the Alan Savage novels look good. Almost.

“The queen smiled to herself. She well knew how Robin could shoot with his glorious personal arrow.”

“Matching his Saxon c*** to Eleanor’s Aquitainian c*** that evening, the Battle of Hastings was re-enacted with victory achieved by both sides.”

I do not want to know. I do not want to know. I do not want to know. The book continues on with the rest of Robin’s story including his meeting with the Lionheart (oh I was sooooooo scared what he was going to do there – but whew it didn’t happen) along more pages and pages of someone else’s poetry and/or old ballads. Perhaps if you’re into reading porn this might appeal but otherwise I’d give it a pass. Bad, unbelievably bad.

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Adj. 1. ungulated – having or resembling hoofs; “horses and other hoofed animals”

Lol! When I spotted this word in a very weird sex scene I assumed it was merely a bad typo – until I looked up the meaning. Clearly my limited imagination was not grasping everything the author was trying to convey. Probably just as well it went over my head. Sir Alex de Beaumont has pledged to go on crusade with Edward Longshanks (soon to be Edward I), but he fears telling his new bride and slips out quietly after consummating the union. He disappears and is believed dead, but returns just as Lady Katherine (Kat) is preparing to wed again. Kat not being your typical meek and dutiful Medieval Miss she declares her husband to be a “treacherous bastard” among other names and denies her husband her bed (why the King and the priests didn’t insist she be an obedient wife and submit to her husband…..). Alex is part alpha male and part wimp and pleads with Kat to allow him the chance to regain her trust – but if he can’t he’ll go to the Pope and get an annulment (how on earth he thinks he’ll get that when even Kings had a hard time getting one of those I’ll never know….).

There’s also a mystery surrounding the attack on Alex and his imprisonment, and the threats on his life continue upon his return to court and include a couple of baddies referred to as Scarface and One Eye (how original). Of course Kat gets involved despite Alex’s efforts to keep her in the dark and just like any other well bred medieval noblewoman she can pull the dagger from her boot and throw it with daring precision as well as being able to tumble the bad guy over her shoulder, rides astride like a man (at court, no less while attending on the Queen) leap tall buildings with a single bound…..

Um, just kidding about the last one. This is a silly silly plot filled with more holes than swiss cheese, very bad sex scenes in minute excruciating detail (although some are so OTT they’re laugh out loud funny at times),

“After long delicious moments he added his thumb and pressed against her engorged bud. She cried out loud, her juices bathing his fingers.”

“her breasts peeped out like twin melons, lushly abundant and full. He wanted nothing more than to pluck the sweet flesh to readiness, to suck and plunder her breasts with his lip and tongue.”

 

Add to that a heavy-handed use of words in an effort to make it all sound authentic – “prithee”, “forsooth”, “verily” “aright” and others (at least there wasn’t a bunch of “woe is me”). Whew. I lost count at how many times Alex “snarled” and “growled”, let alone how many times we had to hear about the tips and buds of Kat’s bountiful breasts. Gag me. Oh and since it’s a purply prosed romance novel we must have an abundant overuse of the word honey:

“He shouted out as his essence exploded inside her. Simultaneously her honey-drenched muscles contracted tightly around his shaft again and again………Kat cried out as her flesh throbbed and her honey flowed, the little contractions inside her milking his seed into her womb.”

“The honey-drenched walls of her sheath contracted around his fingers.”

 

In the end, it’s just a fluffy wall-paper romance in a make believe historical setting that’s really only there for the purpose of filling it with OTT sex scenes which includes lots of oral sex (I could swear that would have been considered a sin and they should have been running for the nearest priest to confess but what do I know?). If that’s what you like in a book, this might be the one for you. Otherwise, I’d skip this. Wish I had.

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Don’t stare too long at that cover, those eyes will give you the willies. Sooooo, I’m going my merry way checking the HF forum at PaperbackSwap and stumble into one about a book on Edward II I’d never heard of – Gaveston – which focuses on his notorious relationship with Piers Gaveston. The only setback is it’s published by the Gay Men’s Press Collection. Yikes!

Anyhoo, one of the gals who’d just read it decided to pass it along to me and I’d heard that Hunt’s historical facts were spot on so I was game to give it a whirl. Although, what was billed as a love story was IMHO more of a lust story, but I only made it to page #101 so what do I know? Maybe it did get serious later on…..

Or maybe not. The book starts when Edward is a young teen and he already has a bent towards his preference to men over women by the time Piers shows up. Edward is instantly smitten and desperately in love – does Piers return his feelings or is he simply in it for lands and titles? After slogging through their *wedding ceremony* as well as Piers taking young Edward out to the stews to give him some experience with a woman (wonder why that encounter was behind closed doors without a scrap of detail but the next one where it’s all young boys we get a full blown no holds bared retelling?). Gross, gross, gross – although the book finally flew when in the midst of a battle campaign surrounded by an army the lads just can’t keep their hands off of each other.

“Piers stood in his breeches, a sight to be savoured. There was the firmness of his dark-skinned torso, and his muscular arms; the lean slender belly, the little black curls that showed about the navel. But the breeches! The breeches were tight-fitting, hugging arse and thighs to somewhat above the knee,and trimmed with orphrey, as it is called, Phrygian gold, that same rich embroidery that priests use on holy vestments. Luxurious, sybaritic, sensuous….

I licked my lips. “Unpeel, O blessed one.”

And that friends is when the book flew – although at least there wasn’t any volcano of honey :p

Edward was a simpering wimp constantly mooning over Piers (actually more over his “arse”, but you get my drift) and I just couldn’t take anymore. I guess if you are really interested in the period and can tolerate the constant sex go for it, but in the meantime Michele is next on the list, although what payback I’ll get this time has me quaking in my boots.

If you do want to read more about Edward, I highly recommend Susan Higginbotham’s excellent The Traitor’s Wife. I appreciate an author who can take such a controversial topic and handle it with good taste and delicacy and just shut the bedroom door. I hear the author has written several other *historical fiction* books but I think I’ll pass.

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Full disclosure – Egypt is not a period I have much interest in, so my knowledge of it is pretty sparse. I doubt I would never have looked into this book outside of the fact that one of my Amazon friends reviewed it and received a bit of a slap from the author who took umbrage with her thoughts on the amount of sex in the novel:

“William Klein says:
If Tara, from Utah, disliked my novel because of an excess of sexuality, I would urge her to avoid Norman Mailer’s “Ancient Evenings.” If she wants to be a custodian of public morals, intent on policing the world of novels for unseemly references to sexuality, that is her business, but it’s not the best way to flesh out the value of a novel.”

Hmmm, wonder what the significance is for Tarah being from Utah and what that has to do with her opinons (oh I get it). I for one appreciate a reviewer letting me know if the sexual content of a book is OTT or not – all the better to make an informed reading decision. Although I forgot all about it until lo and behold a *review* shows up on Goodreads that instead of reviewing the book attacks some unnamed reviewer:

 

“They really aren’t as bad as she makes them out to be and one wonders what her agenda is. I mean, she has taken a lot of time to write all of her one star reviews.”

Sooo, at this point in time I’m fired up enough to see for myself and since the library (fools they are) had purchased a few copies I placed my hold. Big mistake. Huge. I made it to page 110 and finally had to give up. Yes the sex was bad – frankly I was afraid there was a ménage à trois coming up with the monkey but thankfully that didn’t happen. Whew!

What “done me in” was the most unbelievably bad drivel I have ever come across. Words can’t describe the simplistic silly plot that doesn’t even make sense – there is just no story or character continuity whatsoever. If it weren’t for the sex I’d recommend this for a five year old. On second thought, perhaps not.

As far as I was able to gather, the story is about Princess Ankhesenpaaten who at fifteen is set to marry nine-year-old Pharaoh to be Tutankhamun. I believe eventually when she is widowed there is a big power struggle and lots of nasty deeds and family treachery. In the first pages, The Princess is more interested in men, sex and drinking at the local tavern. She escapes from the Royal Palace and meets up with the young set (I am not kidding) and heads for the local tavern and gets royally soused and does the hurdy gurdy in front of everyone (no, I am not kidding) and incites the men to mad lust. Then there’s some kind of attempt on her life and our intrepid hero saves her and voila (!) they end up at some lake or river and do the nasty and presto-chango they’re madly in love and our snotty child abusing heroine (more on that shortly) is the sweetest thing since honey on bread. And I’ll buy that bridge in Brooklyn…..

As if bad writing and storyline wasn’t enough to send the book flying the copulating dwarfs most certainly did – let alone what our Royal Princess did to young Tut (remember now he’s just nine) when she and her handmaidens attacked him in the bedroom and raised his night shirt (Pages 31 and 32),

‘Ankhesenpaaten pulled his covering hands apart, pointed to his little peeper and filled the room with her laughter. “It looks like a toad! A dead toad!”‘
Ankhesenpaaten took hold of his peeper. She held it between her thumb and forefinger as though it was something fished from the Nile. She gave it several quick jerks. “Little toady goes Peep! Peep! Peep!”‘

 

And this is our MC who we’re supposed to care about? You remember the author’s comment I quoted earlier about “unseemly references to sexuality”? Ye gods, if that’s not unseemly I don’t know what is. Fear not, it gets worse for we’re soon introduced to her Aunt’s (auntie she calls her) pet dwarfs Pere and Renehen (pages 81 and 82):

‘His fingernails were allowed to grow long and curved so that his hands resembled the claws of a bird of prey. His cock hung between his legs like a large dark desiccated gourd….. The dwarfs faced each other and gyrated slowly…. The object of interest was the dangling gourd between Pera’s legs…..Menkhara stared at Pera’s extraordinary organ…. The room shook with roars of approval as Renehen amused the guests with one of her favorite tricks called the Kingfisher. It consisted of a running leap onto Pera’s huge scimitar cock, a performance that if improperly executed, could main one or both of the participants.’

Had enough yet? I sure have. My only question is who are those six people giving it glowing five star reviews on Amazon? We’ll probably never know but five of the six have only written one review ever and the last has written three. Get it from the library if you must, I’m glad I did. I’ll now sign off so I can wash my brain out thoroughly with soap and water.

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Judging by the cover, I knew it was a fluffy romance going in to it but I did see a good review on Dear Author so I decided to take the plunge. It started off well enough, set towards the end of England’s Civil War between Stephen and Maude, our heroine the daughter of a recently deceased Earl on the run from the Evil Baron who wants to force her into wedlock meets up with Tall Dark and Handsome Hero who saves her from the baddies in the nick of time and *sigh* true love begins. Pretty much your same old same old fluffy romance plot, some nice banter at first between them and despite some glaring discrepancies I thought I’d do OK with it all.

Then in the midst of the Dark and Stormy Night that went on and on and on as our heroine (hair flowing freely and unattended by any ladies whatsoever) escapes from the Evil Baron’s clutches by saddling a warhorse all by herself and slipping out of London undetected (!!) until she’s thrown from her horse in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the Evil Baron’s Evil Knights – but never fear Studly Hero to the rescue of our damsel in distress. Now remember all these events take place during a long October evening (I know the nights are longer that time of year but still!) – hero takes lady to some safe house and he rides to a castle to conspire against King Stephen.

Of course our heroine can’t stay put and wet and bedraggled she gets herself a horse and rides out and ends up at the same castle our hero is at. She’s greeted by the owner, no wife or other woman in sight and is taken to a bedroom by the male owner – no woman of the household to escort this earl’s daughter. No indeedy. Of course our hero accidentally runs into her, they suck face and then escape and he takes her to an old Saxon stronghold (gad, there’s a lot of castles within horse-ride range, aren’t there?), where he meets up with his cronies working to support Henry’s bid to bump Stephen off the throne.

Whew, tired yet? Maybe they had horse freeways back then for speedy night travellers. Maybe it was the medieval ‘burbs’ and all those places were right around the corner from each other. Oh hell, it’s only a romance so I’m not supposed to nitpick and I determined to slog through it all until…

…..the prose turned the most awful shade of purple as the two lovers shared the bed starting at page #133,

“He slid a wicked hand under her waist and lifted her hips into his. Hot, sizzling spurts of fire burgeoned in her womb. More. She wanted more.”

Onto page #134,

“He slid his hands over her hips, down to her trembling thighs. Pushing them ever so slightly apart, he slid his fingers up her inner thigh, until he hovered against the pink folds dripping with slippery juices.”

Gag me. Onward,

“His confident fingers searched….”

Confident fingers. OK….

Page #263 and he’s backed her up against a wall in the castle, lifted her hips up and we have this,

“Leaning forward, he ran his tongue along the hot, wet seam of her womanhood……..Dizzy with victory he slid his hand up and glided gently along the hot, pink seam, plied back her folds and licked again…….She erupted in a howl of such pleasure he almost spilled himself……He spread her apart further with his fingers and nuzzled deeper into the hot slippery cave of pulsing pink flesh…..She flung her head back so hard it hit the wall, her fingers restlessly tugging in his hair, a whimpering-wet goddess of passion.”

“She flung her head back so hard it hit the wall”. Heh, once again we have a whole new definition of wall banger, which is what I hereby christen this book as I throw it across the room. If all you’re looking for in your historical romance is a prettified wall paper setting book and plenty of over the top sex then this book might suit, but if you want a bit more substance in your romance I’d search elsewhere.

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