Sinful Secrets
by Thea Devine, historical/paranormal (2001, 1998 reissue)
Kensington, $12.00, ISBN 1-57566-824-6


Vampires, non-stop silly sexual marathons, and kinky harems - oh my! Thea Devine's Sinful Secrets is not for the faint of heart (Regency grandma, I'm talking to you) or those looking for enlightenment, Mary Balogh or Laura Kinsale-style. For those looking for non-stop outrageous boinkathons and out-of-this-world plots that push the camp factor off the scale, welcome aboard.

The plot, if you can call it that, has Sayra Mansour, a position girl (a nice euphemism for stripper in historical times) witnessing a murder and then getting spirited to some Middle-eastern harem. There, she gets serviced and deflowered by Brit diplomat Declan Sinclair for the ruler's (and my) voyeuristic pleasure. They do it left and right, up and down, with or without an audience, and Declan gives a whole new meaning to the word Automatic Viagra.

Then, they realize that they are in the midst of a coven of vampires, so they flee. Or as best as they could with their heated nether regions screaming at them, "Boinking! Boinking! We want boinking!" They boink in the camp full of appreciative Middle Eastern folks, they boink in the train, they boink everywhere. Cool. Along the way, he teaches her the joys of getting shaved there and that mouths aren't just made for talking.

There are more vampires waiting in England, however, and oh, how on Earth can these two lovebirds do it yet again? What sort of pills are they taking?!!

But underneath all the sweaty heavings and hot, wet steamings, there is a very good campy romance. I'm not kidding - there's something rather touching about how Declan gets driven into mad jealousy when his overachieving brother starts eyeing Sayra. Or the way he wraps the cloth that he uses to clean Sayra after their energetic doctor games around his - er, never mind (and don't ask). And the last chapter actually is a very touching scene of reconciliation as Declan proves that he will do anything for Sayra.

Okay, so Sayra is a rather dim heroine who thinks way too much in italics, and the vampire plot is strictly B-grade T&A movie material. Then again, Sinful Secrets is a B-grade T&A material, full of eye-popping, mind-boggling energetic feats, really fun and trashy campiness, and some genuinely moving - if perverse - moments of displays of affections. Gratuitous and senseless nudity and violence are on the menu. I will never look at a roll of bandages the same way again.

This book has Very Fun Guilty Pleasure stamped all over it. It may be an acquired taste to appreciate the mad kitschy camp of this story (and oh yeah, the long, long boinkathons can be pretty hilarious), but for me, it's definitely a hoot.

Rating: 89


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