Category Archives: hot hero but boring heroine

The Silver Chain

the silver chainThe Silver Chain (Unbreakable Trilogy #1)
by Primula Bond
Published by HarperCollins
400 pages
Genre: erotica
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
2.5 / 5

 
What is it with the erotica trilogies? One after the other, they head our way. I’m becoming weary of it all, quite frankly.

Primula Bond is here to give us her Unbreakable Trilogy. I mean, right there. You chuckled, didn’t you? Had a little eye roll?

Just wait till you read the book.

Twenty-year-old Serena Folkes (they’re always young, aren’t they?) heads from the hinterlands to London in search of a career as a photographer. For all of her youth, she is almost preternaturally mature. It’s difficult sometimes to remember that she isn’t even of the age of a college graduate (nor of the intelligence, but we’re here to gloss over such unsavory details).

She does have mad photog skills, though, and when we meet her, she is chasing after some schoolgirls costumed as witches on Halloween. She runs – almost literally – into Gustav Levi, a mysterious, sexy, irresistibly hot (and older – they’re always older, aren’t they?) man. He’s also wealthy (they’re always wealthy, aren’t they?). They spend a little time together, and Serena “mistakenly” leaves her cameras with him.

You know what Freud said about mistakes, right?

Naturally, this oversight sends her back in his path, and now Gustav has a proposal for Serena: I will mount (HAHAHAHAHAHA – no pun intended, though) your photos in my gallery, and you will be mine until the last photo sells. He gives her a silver chain bracelet thing that he uses to clip onto a longer chain that … oh, hell. Just read the book.

And thus begins Serena’s entry into Gustav’s world.

He likes it kinky, kids, and bless him for it. The sexy times are deliciously written, and you can see why Serena is drawn to him, at least in that way. Plus, he’s older, rich, mysterious, tortured. She acts like a total prat around him, though. Pouty, driven to passive-aggressive tantrums. She wants to squelch his demons for him – she’s TWENTY! – when she really needs to slay her own.

Yes, two tortured souls find each other on the streets of London town.

But why is Gustav drawn to Serena? Does he see the broken in her and think he can fix it? He says several times that he knew when he saw her that she would “save” him. How? Why? She’s gorgeous, yes, but surely Gustav runs across gorgeous all the time. She isn’t particularly deep or compelling. The one thing Serena is, though, is sexually open. She not only is intrigued by Gustav’s needs but drawn to them. She enjoys them as well.

If it wasn’t for the hot headboard rockin’, there wouldn’t be much here at all. Oh, Primula Bond tries. She gives us all of this “I had a bad childhood” and “I had a rotten marriage” and “therefore I have issues” stuff, but you will be bored by it. How much navel gazing should we be subjected to before we start to notice the weaknesses in the story?

The next installment is due in May, and I’m honestly not sure if I want to read it. The cliffhanger at the end of this one tells you where it’s headed, but I’m just not that curious. Serena annoyed me endlessly. I kept wanting Gustav to leave her ass and find someone better. But Primula Bond clearly adores her heroine, so we’re stuck with her.

Read it for the sex. Those scenes are delicious. The rest? Not so much.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Grey continues to cause problems, erotica, Hot Headboard Rockin' but not much else, hot hero but boring heroine, spanky panky

Enslaved

Enslaved: Book I in the Enslaved Trilogy
by Shoshanna Evers
Published by Pocket Star
152 pages
Genre: erotica
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
3.5 / 5

Here we go again with the trilogies, The good news is that this one really does fit expectations for what a trilogy entails.

In Enslaved, we meet the three men we will get to know over the course of the novels: Trevor, Marc, and Roman, aka the BAD Boys. BAD as in Billionaire Arrogant Doms. All three are the stuff of fantasy. They’re all tall, all gorgeous, and all extremely wealthy. Sound familiar? Shut UP, Christian Grey.

An aside: is it just me, or do all of these literary Doms start to look the same? It’s as if there is a proscribed outline for them for which erotica writers must not deviate. I’m sure it’s just me.

The fair damsel at play here is Elisabeth, a “pain whore” recently dismissed by Gregory, her gay (!) Master. Gregory is not completely unfeeling, however, and he attempts to fix Elisabeth up with her next Dom. In this case, he sends her to meet with Trevor.

Elisabeth has certain sexual needs, not the least of which is to be hurt. Despite being a Dom, Trevor isn’t into pain for pain’s sake, and he’s reluctant to hurt Elisabeth the way she likes. Plus there is the teensy issue of Trevor really liking Elisabeth. He wants to keep her, but he wants her to be happy and want to be there. So he turns to Roman, who has no problem inflicting pain on a sub.

There is an attempt at characterization here. Elisabeth’s need for pain stems from certain events of her childhood, We also get some background info on Trevor and Roman. Marc sort of exists in the background, serving primarily as peacemaker when his two friends have their differences.

In fact, it’s when we delve into Elisabeth’s story that the book takes a poorly aimed turn. For the most part, this is a novella that knows its purpose: entertain and titillate. And, um, stimulate, because the sex scenes? They are steeeeeamy, faithful readers. Oh, are they nicely steamy. But this whole Elisabeth thing. It becomes distracting, largely because there is sense of reaching too high. Just entertain us. Don’t make this a psychological examination of a woman’s need to suffer pain as part of sexual pleasure.

Trevor is a nicely drawn hero. He’s the sort of man we expect him to be, whether professionally, physically, or in his desire for Elisabeth’s pleasure. Elisabeth? Meh. She’s a little dull, to be honest, and you might find yourself wondering what Trevor sees in her. You can’t help but think he can do better.

Leave a comment

Filed under erotica, hot hero but boring heroine, not another excuse to bring up Christian Grey again