His Final Seduction
by Scarlett Childs, paranormal (2009)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-60504-525-2
His Final Seduction is a "Red Hots!" story, which means you can expect plenty of erotic scenes. Unfortunately, the erotic scenes in this story come off more like an effort of an author emulating better written erotic romances rather than stirring up the heat on her own right.
We have Club Carnal, which functions as a brothel in all but name only. After all, you attend an interview for the waitress post topless and you also let the interviewer, also the owner Damien Blake, tug at your nipple ring playfully in the process. Or that the "day manager" of the club wears the standard uniform - "a Band-Aid-sized leopard-skin bikini, a matching pareo and a large black-beaded necklace" - even if she's, you know, a manager. And this manager caresses her private parts in front of the boss when she sees the new girl being auditioned. Then again, we are talking about a boss who molests the new girl without a thought, so...
And all these are only on the first page! Within the next few pages, he's fingering this new girl into an orgasm while an audience cheer. All this is great, I suppose, if you like this kind of thing, but I find that the erotic scenes here have a by-the-number feel to them.
Oh yes, the story. Sydney James has sworn off men but her friends pooled their money to send her to this private island anyway where, having paid the entrance fee, you get to have all kinds of sex you want to your heart's content. Some friends, I tell you. I bet they are the ones who buy a recovering junkie high grade cocaine from the goodness of their hearts. At any rate, after a down-to-earth start, albeit with outlandish sex scenes, the story then takes an unexpected detour into the twilight zone when we learn that club owner Damien is under the thrall of a naughty succubus who once saved his life in exchange for him seducing one hundred women for their energy. Guess who is his lucky one hundred.
The plot seems secondary, or maybe even tertiary, to the whole "sex, sex, sex" thing here, with the plot acting as a device to allow the reader to know that Damien's actually seducing all these hapless mortals because he has to, not because he's the biggest pimp in the land. After all, this is the romance genre, where people rarely take their clothes off and have fun because they want to, it's more often than not because they have to. At any rate, after plenty of mechanical sex scenes here and there and everywhere, the hero announces that he's in love with the heroine, the plot is wrapped up nicely, and I'm supposed to believe in the happily ever after.
His Final Seduction isn't a particularly good romance story as it focuses very heavily on sex scenes. As an erotica, it also doesn't impress me much. The problem here is that, even for a paranormal erotic romp, this one is too exaggerated and outlandish to be taken seriously. There is a cartoon quality to the story, in other words, that makes it more comical than erotic.
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