by Lily Ashford, paranormal (2005)
Phaze, $2.00, ISBN 1-59426-533-X
In Lily Ashford's One Torrid Night, Antonia Gilles is - what else? - a librarian who has been having X-rated dreams involving a sexual god-like creature for some time now. Imagine her delight when this creature, Kelton, turns out to be some actual mythical sex-guru being who takes a liking to Antonia and decides that they are better off taking their relationship to a higher level.
I have a hard time imagining that a stereotypical actually-pretty-but-will-insist-she-isn't moo-moo cow like Antonia can sate the appetites of a sex expert like Kelton but that won't be the first time I see such a premise in a sexy story.
The love scenes are steamy but a little too purple at times, with the overuse of the word "seed" bordering on abuse. What ruins my mood are Antonia's too-obvious Mary Sue leanings. She's hot, but naturally she doesn't realize it and thinks everyone is prettier than her and oh, boo-hoo, surely a hot stud doesn't want her, sob sob sob. It's the same old broken record. At the same time she magically saves the hero from his past and his demons by accident - how cute - and at the end is elevated to a semi-divinity just because she is loved by the hero. Ugh.
There are plenty here to entertain fans of cheesy barbarian/viking/Fabio sex god fantasies and I have to admit that some of the scenes where the hero is held captive and his body is exposed to the heroine's naughty manipulation are pretty hot, but all in all, the heroine is too much of a Mary Sue character and I keep expecting Kelton to tell me that he can't believe that the thing on his tongue is not butter. Lose the adolescent heroine affectations and we'll talk, Ms Ashford.
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