by Elizabeth Amber, historical/fantasy (2008)
Aphrodisia, $12.95, ISBN 978-0-7582-2041-7
As usual, I will direct you to my review of the first book in Elizabeth Amber's The Lords Of Satyr series, Nicholas, if you are new to the series just so that you can get all the information you need to know. For example, why the double-wang brothers are hunting for "FaerieBlend" wives and how the series is an acquired taste of sorts, to put it mildly.
When the story opens, our hero Lyon Satyr, the youngest brother looking for his FaerieBlend wife in Paris, decides to call it a day, or night, rather, to stick it indiscriminately into prostitutes here and there because he figures that this night is his last night of "freedom". This is his first night in Paris, mind you, and I can only deduce that he will spend the nights of the rest of month celebrating the "last night of freedom" should he fail to locate the FaerieBlend woman. He ends up just missing his intended and instead sticking it into some kind of mermaid-like creature that comes complete with fins and all. Don't ask. I think this is what they call freaky biology in action.
You can imagine my disappointment when the heroine is not a mermaid or, better still, a puffer fish. Sigh, and here I am, hoping to see what kind of grotesque double-wang fish monster babies that would result from such coupling. Juliette Rabelais may be able to see fey folks, do mind woo-woo tricks, and transform herself into stone if she has to, but the rest of her is disappointingly human. No penis, no fins, no elephant tusks, not even a pig snout. She has never known what sex feels like until she spies Lyon here sticking it to that fish woman and then somehow becomes linked to Lyon's mind and feels invisible hands playing with her nether parts. Don't ask. Personally I'd think she'd feel like a man making love to a woman rather than a woman being made love to were she linked somehow to Lyon's mind but... yeah, I'm not sure what is going on either. Then again, I've never personally spied on an indiscriminate male slut having sex with a fish before so I can't be blamed for not fully "getting" the bliss that Juliette is supposed to be experiencing. I'll just chalk all this up under "Ooh, fish sex - are we having fun yet, gals?" and move on.
At any rate, before a happy ending can be achieved between Lyon and Juliette, they have an assortment of obstacles to overcome, including fish women bent on getting impregnated by a double-dicked horse guy, psychotic pimp daddies, an attempt at magic-casting on Juliette's part that leads Lyon to believe that he has impregnated her, and some awful attempts from the author to give her characters French-accented English ("beeg", "geefts", et cetera).
If you have not read a book in this series before, I have to warn you: the sex scenes here are not all voluntary on both partners' part. [spoiler starts] If you have always wanted to read about a hero being raped by a fish woman, here's your chance. Oh, and on a completely unrelated note, Lyon also likes having phallic-shaped implements like bananas being jammed into every feasible orifice in his body during sex. Not that this is directly shown, but it is blatantly implied. Heh. [spoiler ends] Some of the things done by the bad guy are quite unpleasant indeed, such as how he forced a young teenage girl to service a couple of customers before chasing her out in the open to hunt her down as if she's some game. There is nothing too detailed in such descriptions, but enough details are given nonetheless to make me wince.
On the bright side, Lyon is full of freaky sex scenes that have me positively delighted. [spoiler starts] It's hilarious when initially Juliette refuses to have sex with Lyon even if it's to save his life because, as she puts it, she places a great value on her hymen as its absence will change the way the world views her as a woman. To save himself, Lyon conjures two phantoms of himself and then proceeds to have one Phantom Lyon demonstrate the art of giving a man a handjob on the other Phantom Lyon. What follows is easily one of the strangest threesome sex that I have ever read in my checkered career as a reader. And that is not counting how the two Phantom Lyons refer to the real Lyon as "Him", complete with a capital H. Truly hilarious. [spoiler ends] Reading this book is so fun because it's so entertaining in an over-the-top manner.
It helps that despite being a virginal woman of ill-repute cliché at the surface, Juliette has a good reason to be a virgin. She is not a stupid heroine by any mean and she even tries to manipulate men using her sexual wiles in order to save herself or those she cares for. Sure, Ms Amber may make Juliette come off way too much like a contemporary American woman at times rather than a French woman of the nineteenth century, but look! Juliette actually saves the day in this story along with an unexpected ally. Sisters are doing it for themselves, woo-hoo!
As for Lyon, he is actually a beta hero since he lacks the whole Neanderthal bulldog thing that his eldest brother Nicholas has going for that man. He's an okay fellow, I suppose, although he is rather spectacularly dim-witted and he allows his little heads, all two of them, to control his actions so much that he tends to stick it to the wrong people. Nonetheless, I'm sure Juliette has him firmly under control with her amazingly elastic and sore-free magic private part, as long as she doesn't mind him accidentally fornicating with and impregnating some local lifestock that he has mistaken for her now and then.
Both characters are likable and have just enough depths to make them come off as more than just mere flesh puppets putting on a show to titillate readers. I believe these two are the most well-developed characters so far in the author's novels.
The usual disclaimer applies: if you like your stories to be less far-out, more "intellectual", et cetera, there is always some other book out there that will meet your fancy. But if you want high-grade cheesy smut with some sex scenes that will make you squeal in a "I can't believe she wrote that, OH MY GOD!" delighted manner, well, this one may entertain you as much as it did me. I know, it's not exactly something that will help improve my street credibility, but I think that I'm ready to - and am absolutely delighted to - receive my Elizabeth Amber's fan club membership card. I hope it is a sparkly glow-in-the-dark one shaped like a forked... Ahem, just shove that thing in a brown envelope and slip it under my door, okay?
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
Search for more reviews of works by this author: