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Friday, October 26, 2007

Strictly Taboo

Strictly Taboo by Jaid Black. Erotic romance.

This is an anthology of erotic romance, in 3 different sub-genres (sub-sub-genres?), with the connection of the couples being off-limits to each other in some way.
  • **½ "Barbarian". Historical.

    Viking Ivar is attacking Lady Elen's castle. Her father's been killed, and all seems lost, until she takes charge and repels the invaders. So Ivar vows revenge on the woman who dares to defy him, and when he does conquer the castle, he takes Lady Elen, planning on making her his bed slave.

    Pretty standard stuff, but then about halfway through, it's a different story, and Ivar's only claiming Lady Elen because her father had promised him her hand and Lady Elen refused the match. WTF? No, it's not a paranormal parallel world story--it's just that Ivar's motivation abruptly changes in the middle of the story. Because a novella is so long it needs more than one plot?

  • ***½ "Nemesis". Contemporary.

    Failed actress Diane has come up with a way to give herself and her child a new start: a week as a nude waitress/whatever on a cruise ship. Just one week, and she'll earn enough money to get them settled back in her home town, and nobody will ever need to know about it.

    Except that her high school nemesis, Garek Ennis, now a football star, is on board. (cue dramatic music)

    An injury has curtailed Garek's football career, and even womanizing is getting boring--all those naked women leave him cold, except for Diane, who he's always had a thing for, but who snubbed him back in high school.

    Lots of contrived (by the characters) situations for them to get intimate, lots of misunderstandings and hurt feelings on both sides.

    Cute story, as far as it went, but I had trouble believing the characters and I couldn't really buy the premise. Plus, the cruise ship is in Germany for no good reason, and the hero complains about weak German beer. The American hero. Complained about weak German beer. Uh-huh. **headdesk**

  • **** "Naughty Nancy". Paranormal.

    This one was just fun. You really have to suspend disbelief for it, though.

    Nancy dresses as Xena for a Halloween party, and a witch ends up whisking her into another dimension. She ends up in a nest that's perched reeeeaaaallly high up on a skinny pedestal (no way to get down).

    Vorik F'al Vader is a shapeshifter (sort of gargoyle-shaped and human-shaped), and apparently, screaming "help me!" sounds exactly like the cry of a hungry yenni, a not-very-bright creature whose food is the shapershifters' ejaculate. And coincidentally, they look quite a lot like human women, except they have metallic tails (hence the Xena costume, with its sword that in the dim light, he mistakes for a tail--don't quibble, just go with it).

    Unsurprisingly, there's quite a lot of oral sex in this one, but it goes on from there. It's a very nice blend of hot sex scenes and laugh-aloud humor. Vorik's confusion and concern for the poor yenni who was so hungry she couldn't eat cracked me up. The romance part worked itself out quite satisfactorily, too, despite the couple's inauspicious beginning.

I thought I'd bought this because I'd read something else by Jaid Black, but nothing on her website looks familiar, so it must have been a recommendation--a pretty strong one, too, since I bought this new. The first two stories didn't do much for me, but I think I may look up one of the Trek Mi Q’an books--any suggestions?


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