The characters were frankly unbelievable. The female protagonist is supposedly a sheltered, aristocratic 18-year-old but acts much older and more sexually experienced. For example, she is out the back of a seedy club with two of the male leads getting double penetrated within the first 40 pages of the book. The three male leads were somewhat more believable personality-wise, but the incessant talking about their 15-inch dongs (yes, really) just made me want to tell them all to get their minds out of their pants. Literally.
Now, the author does say right there in the book summary that the storyline is fantastical and unbelievable, so I can’t be too harsh on that subject. However, I do think that she needed to do at least SOME research and TRY to be consistent.
Andorra is an actual real country, whereas the others she made up aren’t – and St. Venetia was referred to as St. Vincenzia a couple of times. Calling the citizens of that imaginary country Venetians only confuses them with citizens of Venice. And one more thing? The US does not have a Crown. Saying that two former US Navy merchant marine sailors were in the service of the Crown makes no sense whatsoever.
That dealt with, let’s move onto the actual erotica. And I just… can’t. I didn’t find ANY of it sexy. Repeatedly telling us about the three “15-inch donkey dongs” the heroine has to deal with was more alarming than hot. There is no way that anyone – not even a porn star or sex worker with a trained non-gagging reflex – is taking one of those all the way down her throat.
Know why? Because she wouldn’t be able to breathe. She’d have blacked out long before the act was finished. Don’t try this at home, folks.
And ESPECIALLY don’t try the unlubricated anal sex. I winced the first time I realized what was going to happen, and every other time throughout the book. DO NOT DO THIS EVER. It’s hideously unsafe and likely to end with a trip to the emergency room and stitches in places where you really don’t want them. Even if you aren’t dealing with “15-inch donkey dongs”.
I was originally going to give the book two stars, because the spelling and grammar were good and we were warned off the bat that the storyline was fantastical.
However, there’s one more seriously massive problem in this book. The heroine is trying to do good in volunteering with a microfinancing agency supporting the ethnic Roma (sic) people. And in the first half of the book, the Rroma are discussed in a respectful manner.
Then, things seem to change and they are repeatedly called ‘gypsies’.
‘Gypsy’ is an ethnic slur for people of Rroma heritage, Ms. Dee. The usage of it is considered as racist as using the ‘N’ word for Black people. Any reasonably socially aware person finding this term in your work is going to consider you to be AT BEST racially insensitive. I strongly suggest that you educate yourself on the matter at your earliest opportunity and remove all instances of it from your works. Or hire a competent editor who would pick up on such matters. One or the other.
For this disastrous cultural error, I cannot give the book more than one star. I couldn’t even if the rest of the work was excellent. You need to fix this and you need to do it now before someone calls you out for racism, because ignorance is no defense.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Contributes! This is the Charlie Sheen of books. No amount of rehab can save it.
Other reading suggestions
Check out the Caitlyn Lynch backlist. And for something a little different (time travel and kilts and such), try Olivia Norem’s Wicked, Wicked Passage.
Note: Check out our review of Wicked, Wicked Passage.